The Crystal Ball: Tour, Videos, Black Friday
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-09-27)
There was recent mention that the whole band had sat down in Dublin and have started work on The Joshua Tree 2019 tour. Those meetings will lead to the rehearsals. Rehearsals are due to start October 7-8th. Initially the band are planning on using a small rehearsal location close to their homes on the Mediterranean, similar to how rehearsals for Experience + Innocence started. They won’t be moving to a larger stage until the first part of November. And Mt Smart Stadium is not available until after November 2, as Metallica is performing a concert there that evening. The tour opens on November 8, 2019 at Mt Smart. The band has revealed through recent interviews that the show will have three parts like the 2017 tour did, with a shorter section before the full album, then the full performance of The Joshua Tree and then an encore to follow. (Update: Since this story was written, Metallica have cancelled this date in Auckland.)
There’s a number of new releases due over the next couple of months from what we have been told.
First up is two new releases in coloured vinyl, Pop in orange vinyl, and October in cream coloured vinyl. In most countries these will be available at one exclusive retailer. In the UK they will be available at HMV, in France and Belgium they will be available through FNAC, and in Canada they will be available through Sunrise records. Full information about these releases is available in our recent article, including other retailer information. We are told by our sources at Universal that two more releases are being worked on for the Spring. The previous releases in this set have been part of a bigger release of vinyl. When How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb and The Unforgettable Fire were released the U2 records were two out of 16 titles released as exclusives to these vendors. The other artists included at that time included colour vinyl from 50 Cent, ABBA, Crowded House, Elton John, Maroon Five and others signed to Universal Music.
The fan club double CD set, Live Songs of iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE is also due to start shipping next month. Recent emails have stated “Our apologies that technical issues have delayed production of the physical set, including the special tour photo booklet, but the good news is that dispatch begins next month. We’ll be emailing with further details once it’s underway.” Those emails were sent on September 12, and that means ‘next month’ is October. We’ll pass along any information we get that these have started shipping, but if the past is any indication, it will take the fan club a few months to get all of these delivered. In the meantime there are ten tracks from the set available for download now at your U2.Com profile if you have resubscribed for the 2019 year. You’ll have to be logged in to see them.
We are told that there will be two releases at the end of November as well. Expect a video release celebrating the Experience and Innocence tour to be announced soon, with a planned release date at the end of November. We haven’t had any updates lately, but we were told this is still expected this Fall by Universal. We are also told that U2 will be participating in the Black Friday Record Store Day event again this year. We don’t have any details on what that Record Store Day release will be at this time, but if they are releasing a home video at the same time, it may tie into that project.
The home video was filmed by David Mallet’s Serpent Productions, and the director of photography was Brett Turnbull. They filmed the final show of the tour, held November 13 in Berlin for a home video release, with a second show in Manchester being filmed as a dress rehearsal. Additional footage was also collected in Belfast and Dublin. Mallet’s name may be familiar, as he was the director of “Zoo TV: Live from Sydney” and “PopMart: Live from Mexico City”. Turnbull was the camera supervisor on the “Innocence and Experience: Live in Paris” video release. The film in Berlin was done with 25 traditional cameras, including cameras capable of shooting in 4K, as well as non-traditional cameras such as GoPro’s and other body cams. This video has been planned for a late 2019 release all along. “The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour” movie originally planned for earlier this year has been postponed to next year.
And if that’s not enough for November, the band is also reissuing their entire catalog in Japan to celebrate touring there. More information about these and other upcoming releases is available in our Upcoming Releases section.
What comes after that?
Last year, a number of comments were made by the band. In May in Rolling Stone, The Edge shared, “There’s lots of ideas for the next records, but I think a bit of time off just to listen to music and to really feed our creative instincts is in order.” and Larry in June in The Sunday Times said, “I assume there’ll be another album. I don’t know when and I’d like to think we have some time to consider it. I don’t know that anybody needs a U2 record or a U2 tour anytime soon. People could do with taking a break from us and vice versa.” Bono late in the year spoke about wanting to make the next album a rock album.
Another mention of the future is from Willie Williams, long-time collaborator of the band, when he spoke to TPI Magazine while the band was in Paris last fall. Willie was asked if he has any ideas ready to go, and replies, “Of course…it would be rude not to! There are 3 ideas in the bag. They are now off the tracks in terms of what a band should be doing and that is that is immensely liberating for all of us.” And now earlier this week, Ryan Tedder added some comments, including revealing that he’ll be working with the band on their new album when they come to Los Angeles in the future.
From what we understand, the album will be new, and will not revisit the work done for Songs of Ascent. So we expect it will be a few years before we see it finished and released.