U2360° Tour

The U2360° Tour was a stadium tour, that U2 took around the world in 2009 - 2011. Initially reported to be called the "Kiss the Future" tour by a report in Billboard, the tour was instead named after the stage layout that allowed concert goers to see the show from any angle in a stadium.

At the time of writing, the U2360° tour is the biggest concert tour of all time. The tour featured the band playing in the round allowing spectators on all sides of the stage, often allowing the band to maximize attendance at each show. The large structure built to support screens and sound was nicknamed "The Claw" and stood 164 feet tall. Three separate structures were built, to allow for transport and set up of the stage.

The tour was built around the structure, that many said resembled a space ship. This included the opening music to each show, "Space Oddity" by David Bowie, video montages featuring aliens, and satellite hook ups with the International space station astronauts, and many space themed songs in the preshow, and the outro song, Elton John's "Rocket Man".

The tour was initially announced through U2.Com with the first two legs being announced on March 9, 2009. Later legs were announced later in the year. One leg, planned for North American in early 2010 was postponed due to health issues by Bono.

U2360°: Leg One [Europe]

The first leg of the tour was announced on March 9, 2009, as part of an announcement online. A second show for Dublin was announced on March 13. Ticket sales were staggered throughout the month with tickets on sale for shows in Milan and Gothenburg on March 13, Amsterdam on March 14, Dublin, Paris and Nice on March 20, Barcelona on March 26, Zagreb on March 31 and so on. Additional shows in many cities were added as the first show sold out, and would go on sale later to allow for subscriber presales for subscribers to U2.com.

Rehearsals for the tour saw the band arriving in Barcelona by June 17, and practicing in the city starting on that day. A dress rehearsal was performed on June 29, 2009, the night before the start of the tour, which was opened to guests from Amnesty International, Special Olympics and Netjets, as well as a large assembley of U2 fans who gathered outside the stadium to listen in.

U2360°: Leg Two [North America]

The second leg of the tour took U2 to North America. These dates were part of the initial announcement on March 9, 2009, and sales for these shows started at the end of the month. Shows in Chicago, Toronto, Boston and East Rutherford all went on sale March 30, 2009. The remainder of the dates went on sale throughout April.

The show at the Rose Bowl on this leg of the tour was filmed and broadcast live on YouTube as the concert was happening. The concert was also released later as a home video release. The broadcast on YouTube was watched by nearly 10 million people in 188 countries, and attendance at the show hit 97,014 people, breaking records for the largest attendance at a concert by a single headlining act. The home video was released before the end of the tour.

The show scheduled for September 25, 2009 in New York City is rescheduled to September 23, 2009. It was planned as the second of two shows, but is now the first. The schedule change is due to a change in the New York Jets schedule.

Opening acts for this leg of the tour included Snow Patrol, Muse and the Black Eyed Peas.

U2360°: Leg Three [Europe]

Originally planned as the fourth leg of the tour, after another North American leg, this leg instead became the third after Bono's back injury caused the cancellation of that leg. This leg was a European stadium tour, and saw U2 performing in Russia and Turkey for the first time in their career.

The tour leg was announced on Sep. 24, 2009, and ticket sales for the leg started with a presale on Sep. 29, and a general sale on Oct. 3 or 5 for shows in Denmark, Finland and Austria. Additional shows would be sold in the weeks that followed, with ticket sales between October and February. Although not part of the initial announcement, Brussels was announced in October; Turin, Rome and San Sebastian were announced in November; Zurich was announced in January with a second show being announced in February.

This leg of the tour is exciting for fans as a number of new songs, never before heard make their appearances during the shows. This includes "Mercy," "Every Breaking Wave," "North Star," "Glastonbury," "Boy Falls from the Sky," and "The Return of the Stingray Guitar." Rehearsals for the tour took place in Turin, starting on July 30, 2010, and many of these new songs were first heard during these rehearsals.

U2360°: Leg Four [Australia and New Zealand]

Originally announced on Sunday August 21, this leg of the tour was originally announced to include five shows, but as tickets sold, an additional show was added in each city. The dates had been rumoured for some time when they were finally announced. Presales started for this leg of the tour through U2.Com on August 26, with general sales starting on September 3.

As with the previous leg in Europe, a number of new songs were played throughout these shows. At all 10 shows, Jay-Z was the opening act for this leg of the tour.

U2360°: Leg Five [South Africa]

The fifth leg of the tour saw U2 return to South Africa for the first time since PopMart. Two shows were done, one in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg. The promoter for the concerts, Big Concerts, leaked the news that U2 would be playing on October 15, but the actual announcement of the shows came on October 18. Ticket sales for the two shows in South Africa were through Computicket, with the presale starting on Oct. 20, and the general sale on Oct. 23. Opening acts included the Springbok Nude Girls and Amadou and Mariam.

U2360°: Leg Six [South America]

The sixth leg of the tour saw U2 return to South America in 2011, to play seven shows in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Originally this leg of the tour had been rumoured for the end of 2010, but due to issues with Bono's back, things were rescheduled early in 2010, which saw these dates pushed back to 2011. This leg of the tour was announced in December 2010 with tickets going on sale on Dec. 7. Additional shows were quickly added for La Plata, and Sao Paulo, and a previously unannounced show for Santiago was also added after the intial tickets went on sale.

Muse returned for these shows, and opened for all seven concerts in South America.

U2360°: Leg Seven [North America]

This leg of the tour was intended to be the third leg of the tour, and was originally scheduled to happen in early 2010. However, Bono suffered a back injury which caused the whole leg of the tour to be rescheduled to 2011 instead.

The announcement of the shows was made on October 26, 2009, with shows announced for Anaheim, Denver, Oakland, Seattle, Edmonton, East Lansing, Toronto, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia, Montreal and East Rutherford. The sales opened on Nov. 2 with other shows starting throughout the month. Presales started on Oct. 27. The announcement was made as the band was winding down the second leg of the tour. It was also announced in November that the band would take a break during this leg of the tour to play the Glastonbury Festival in 2010. On Nov. 16, a new show is announced for Minneapolis as well. And although the leg was originally announced to start with a show in Anaheim, on Feb. 17, 2010, another added show was announced to start the leg, this time in Salt Lake City. At that time U2.com announced this would be the final city added.

In May, Bono had to have emergency back surgery while rehearsing for the upcoming shows. On May 21, it was announced that the opening night in Salt Lake City would be postponed. The full first leg was postponed a few days later on May 25. Paul McGuinness made a statement, "'Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we're all devastated. For a performer who lives to be on stage, this is more than a blow. He feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and their audience. Which is of course nonsense. His concerns about more than a million ticket buyers whose plans have been turned upside down, we all share, but the most important thing right now is that Bono make a full recovery." The band's appearance at Glastonbury is also cancelled, although The Edge does appear with Muse at that performance. The rescheduled dates were announced on July 13. They do not flow in the same order however, and Denver is now scheduled to be the opening show, and Minneapolis is now scheduled to be at th end.

The rescheduled dates allow U2 time to add some additional shows to the tour, and these are announced in the months following the rescheduling. This includes shows in Mexico City announced in September, now opening the leg, and shows in Nashville, Winnipeg, Pittsburgh which are announced in October and shows in St. Louis, and Baltimore announced in November 2010. The last show to be added is the final show of the tour, Moncton, NB which is announced January 31, 2011.

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