The Joshua Tree 2017

With the delay of Songs of Experience rumours started to swirl in early December 2016 that the band was working on a new version of "Red Hill Mining Town" for a 30th anniversary release of The Joshua Tree and that they would celebrate by doing a small number of show to celebrate the album. Initial plans called for U2 to play the entire album in full, in order, at a handful of shows, but by tour was announced it had grown into a full tour including shows in North America and Europe, and would later be expanded again with a additional legs in North and South America. The tour was a stadium tour, and the band did indeed play the full album each night on tour.

The tour was first officially hinted at with a video on Christmas Day 2016, which showed the band gathered together decorating a replica of the famous Joshua tree from the cover of the album for Christmas. The full tour was officially announced on January 9, 2017 with the first two legs being announced. These shows included a stop at the Bonnaroo Festival in the United States.

The LED screen used behind the stage was 200 feet in length and 45 feet high, and had a resolution of 7200 x 1560 pixels. The stage ran the entire length of the screen, and also featured a b-stage shaped like the original tree from the album artwork. The band took the stage and played a short set at the b-stage before the screen would light up as they started to play The Joshua Tree in order.

The tour won Tour of the Year at the LOS40 Music Awards in 2017. The band also took home awards for Top Touring Artist and Top Rock Tour at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. And at the iHeart Music Awards for 2018, the band won Best Tour.

The Joshua Tree 2017: Leg One [North America]

Leg one of the tour was announced on January 9, 2017 as part of the intitial announcement of the tour. The band would play shows throughout the United States, as well as two shows in Canada, the opening show in Vancouver, and a later show in Toronto. They would also visit Manchester TN as part of the Bonnaroo Festival on this leg. Pre-sales for the leg started on January 11, and the general sales for tickets started on January 17, 2017. Additional shows were added for East Rutherford, Pasadena and Chicago.

Prior to the announcement of the tour, a show in Raleigh, NC was appearing on itineraries for the tour right up until the week before the announcement. When the announcement happened Raleigh was no longer in the list. On January 30 a final stop was announced for Louisville, KY replacing the space that had previously been listed as a Raleigh stop, and sources at Live Nation and with North Carolina State University reps suggested that the avoidance of Raleigh may have been due to laws regarding public washrooms and their use that had recently been passed, and a call for entertainers to boycott the state.

Rehearsals for the tour took place in Vancouver. Rehearsals started on May 2, and continued through to May 10 with a dress rehearsal. A new song was worked on throughout the rehearsals, and "The Little Things That Give You Away" made its tour debut on the opening night of the tour in Vancouver, accompanied by an image that would become the front cover of the album Songs of Experience.

Opening acts on this leg of the tour included The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, and One Republic.

The Joshua Tree 2017: Leg Two [Europe]

The second leg of the tour was also announced at the initial January 9 tour announcement. Concert tickets for the shows went on general sale on January 16, 2017, with a presale for U2.Com members starting on January 11, 2017. Second shows were added in Rome, Paris, Amsterdam and London after the initial sales.

The tour played to large crowds throughout Europe, including a rowdy hometown crowd in Dublin. The concert at Croke Park was announced during the concert with a flyover by the Air Corp, with four plans streaming the colours of the Irish flag.

Throughout the European leg, the band were starting to work on promotion for the upcoming Songs of Experience album. Listening sessions for the press of new tracks that had started in North America continued into Europe. As well the band shot two videos in Amsterdam, one for "The Blackout" shot in a small club and one for "You're The Best Thing About Me" partially filmed during the show there, but as yet still not released.

A special dress rehearsal on July 7 in London saw U2 invite London firefighters to see them practice following a tragic fire at Grenfall Tower a month prior. 48 people were in attendance to watch this practice, and eight songs were performed.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds was the opening act on all of the second leg shows on the tour, and Noel himself joined U2 on stage at one of the shows in London to perform "Don't Look Back in Anger."

The Joshua Tree 2017: Leg Three [North America]

The third leg of the tour was announced part way through the first leg of the tour, with a formal announcement on June 6, 2017. Presales began on June 8 with public sales starting on June 12. Additional shows in New Orleans and Glendale were added after the initial announcement. Originally the third leg visiting North America had not been planned and the band had intended to take a vacation during that time and resume with shows in South America. But with the success of the early shows on the tour the band felt confident in a second round of shows for the USA.

A show in St. Louis, planned for September 16, 2017, was sold, but unfortunately had to be cancelled. An announcement was made that "We have been informed by the St. Louis Police Department that they are not in a position to provide the standard protection for our audience as would be expected for an event of this size. We have also been informed that local crowd security personnel would not be at full capacity." At the time a series of protests were being held throughout St. Louis following the aquittal of a former police office in a shooting death. Both U2 and Ed Sheeran cancelled concerts there in the midst of the protests.

The opening act for all shows on the third leg of the tour was Beck, cementing a relationship with U2 that would also see the artist remix a number of songs off of U2's soon to be released album. The song "You're The Best Thing About Me" was released just before this leg of the tour, and made its debut on September 10, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Joshua Tree 2017: Leg Four [Mexico and South America]

The fourth leg of the tour saw U2 performing in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. It was the bands first performance in the country of Colombia. Although some list the Mexican dates at the end of leg three, they are included with leg four in the tour book, and we have chosen to include them here as well. This fourth leg of the tour was announced on June 6, 2017 as were the third leg dates. Tickets for the fourth leg started on June 14 for this leg, with presales starting on June 8. Additional shows were announced for Mexico City, La Plata, and Sao Paulo after initial shows were on sale.

Throughout the fourth leg of the tour, the band continued promotional work for Songs of Experience, playing "You're The Best Thing About Me" in concert, shooting a video for "Get Out of Your Own Way" in Mexico City (Not yet released) and filming footage for a BBC Special in Brazil.

All of the shows on the leg were filmed for a home video release as well, under director Anton Corbijn. Both Bono and The Edge revealed Mexico City would be used for the release, but other shows were filmed as well, right to the end of the tour.

The opening act on the shows of the fourth leg of the tour was once again Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, although shows in Argentina were also supported by Joystick.

Although a fifth leg of the tour was looked at for Australia, once the album was ready for release in 2018 those plans were put on hold, and the band would not return to that area of the world until 2019, resurrecting The Joshua Tree tour again two years after it had finished in Brazil.

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