The Joshua Tree Tour

U2 were gaining in popularity, and The Joshua Tree Tour saw U2 playing in arenas and some stadiums, with a simple stage, but to larger and larger crowds. Two legs were done in the North American market, and one in the European market. Throughout the tour the band would start work on Rattle and Hum and many performances on the last leg were filmed as part of that documentary.

Support acts through the tour varied and included Lone Justice, The Pretenders, UB40, The Waterboys and The Pogues as well as B.B. King. At a number of shows U2 took the stage as their own opening act, The Dalton Brothers.

A fourth leg was planned, but after touring and work on Rattle and Hum the band decide to forego visiting Australia and New Zealand in early 1988 to finish the new album instead, and make plans to take that album to Oceania instead. That tour was then pushed to early 1989, and then eventually pushed to late 1989.

Leg One: United States

The first leg opened in Tempe, Arizona on April 2, and closed in East Rutherford, New Jersey on May 16, 1987. During this leg, the band only played shows in the USA. Venues ranged from the 8,032 in attendance in Tucson, AZ to 51,718 in attendance in Pontiac, MI, U2's first headlining appearance in a stadium in North America.

Leg Two: Europe

The second leg of the tour took the band throughout Europe, starting in Rome on May 27, 1987 and ending on Edge's birthday on August 8, 1987 in Cork, Ireland. The band headlined two nights at Croke Park in Dublin on this tour, and were moving to larger venues throughout Europe. The appearance in Paris on July 4 was filmed for television broadcast, and was released as a home video release in 2007 as part of the 20th anniversary releases of The Joshua Tree.

Ticket sales are difficult for the second leg of the tour, the band is at the height of their popularity and the number of tickets do not meet the demand. There are reports in some cities of people queuing for days to get a ticket, and when box offices are opened the ticket sales turn rowdy and police sometimes have to be brought in.

Leg Three: North America

The third leg of the tour returned to North America, this time playing shows in both Canada and the USA. It was during this leg of the tour that much of the live footage for Rattle and Hum was filmed.

Related News: The Joshua Tree 1987 Tour