Vertigo Tour

The Vertigo tour was a world tour that saw U2 perform in both stadiums and smaller arenas, on two different stages. The outdoor shows made use of a video screen behind the stage, and two large arms that went out into the crowd. The indoor shows used light curtains throughout the show, and featured an ellipse stage that allowed fans to stand inside the stage. The indoor shows were done in North America, while the stadium show was used elsewhere.

The initial tour plan for the 2005 would have seen U2 announcing a tour starting in Miami on March 1, and dates all the way through the end of 2005 with shows in Australia, ending on December 18. This plan changed throughout the tour, and even before it was announced due to an illness in one of the band member's families. Initially the tour was shortened by removing dates at the start of the tour, and these were then moved to the end of the tour, moving the Australian shows into 2006. A second delay in dates saw the Australian dates and now planned dates for Hawaii and Japan moved into late 2006.

A performance from Chicago on the first leg of the tour on the indoor stage was released as a home video before the tour had even finished. A second release, the 2008 film U2 3D was shot on the outdoor stage during the 2006 shows. Additional live footage from the band's show in 2005 in Milan was used on the bonus DVD that accompanied the deluxe release of U218 Singles.

Opening acts for the tour included Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, Kanye West, Keane, The Killers, Pearl Jam and many more.

Vertigo: Leg One [North America]

The first leg of the Vertigo tour was a tour of North American cities in arena sized venues. The tour started on March 28, 2005 in San Diego, CA. The announcement of the tour was made on January 24, 2005, with ticket sales starting on January 29 in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, and San Diego, with the remainder of shows going on sale January 30 (Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose) or January 31 (New York, East Rutherford.) Initially only one show was announced for each city except for Chicago, East Rutherford and Boston, where two shows were initially announced. As shows sold out an additional show was added for all cities except for Philadelphia and New York City. Chicago had two additional cities added.

The tour had originally been due to be announced on January 10, but the week before news reports started to circulate that the announcement had been pushed back to an illness in the family. Although the full plans were not known, it is known that the tour was originally to have started in Miami on March 1, and most of the first month of shows was cancelled. It is also known that at the time, a much bigger announcement was planned including Australian and Japanese dates. At the time the Paul McGuinness said "We’ve postponed the announcement of the tour because the routing is still being worked on. As soon as we get everything confirmed over the coming weeks, we’ll let you know." It is thought that six additional cities including Miami would have been played had the original routing been kept.

Ticketing for this leg of the tour also proved to be disasterous for the U2 fan club members, using the online fan club for the first time to purchase tickets. In most venues tickets just were not available when the presales started. In an apology Larry Mullen said, "There was a mess up in the way the tickets were distributed through for the Vertigo pre-sale. Some of it was beyond our control, but some of it wasn't." He apologized for the issues, and expressed that he was appalled that fans and scalpers had competed for tickets through their own website. Larry Mullen also took time at the Grammy Awards to once again apologize to fans for the ticketing issues.

Entrance to the "ellipse", an area inside the stage for General Admission goers is not accessible by lining up and being the first one in the venue. Instead your ticket is scanned and you are told either you have won admittance or not. If you win, you are allowed to take one guest, but exceptions are made for groups of three people.

Rehearsals for the tour started in Mexico at Fox Studios in Rosarito, where the band spent 10 days in February rehearsing for tour, including a song that never made it out of rehearsals, "Lemon." The band finished there around February 26 and moved on to Vancouver to start rehearsals on stage.

Vertigo: Leg Two [Europe]

The second leg of the Vertigo tour saw U2 taking the tour to Europe, where they would move into larger venues, with a very different stage, featuring two arms coming from the main stage instead of a fully enclosed ellipse. The second leg of the tour was announced along with the first leg of the tour on January 24, 2005. In the intial announcement, only one show was announced for each city, except London where two shows were announced. Manchester, Paris, Milan all would receive a second show after the initial announcement. Dublin and Amsterdam would both recieve two additional shows after the initial announcement.

Ticket sales started for the European dates ahead of the first leg sales, with the first tickets being sold on January 28 for shows in the UK, with tickets for Brussels going on sale next on January 29. Ticket sales would continue through February, with tickets being sold for Madrid falling on Feb. 3; Paris, Nice and Dublin on Feb. 4; Vienna, Amsterdam, Oslo on Feb. 5; Chorzow, Gothenburg, Copenhagen on Feb. 7; Barcelona on Feb. 10; Zurich on Feb. 11; Munich, Gelsenkirchen, Berlin and Lisbon on Feb. 14; and San Sebastian on Feb. 17

Mid-way through the second leg of the tour U2 participated in the Live 8 concerts in London.

Vertigo: Leg Three [North America]

The third leg saw U2 return to North America and take the show back to the smaller indoor arenas. The stage from the first leg was resurrected and used throughout the tour. The larger outdoor stadium version of the stage would be used only twice in the USA, in Hawaii in 2006, and much later at the Dreamforce show in San Francisco in 2016.

Although planned for a much later announcement, the ticket issues that plagued pre-sales for the first leg of the tour saw U2 announce at the end of January that there would be a third leg of the tour in the fall, and it would visit North America, and that at that time several additional concerts would be scheduled for markets that were announced for the first leg. The leg was formally announced as happening on March 6, 2005, before the first leg even started with a note, "With the Fall leg of the 'Vertigo//2005 Tour' confirmed, a new system is in place to manage presales to U2.Com Subscribers who have yet to get tickets." The formal announcement of dates followed the next day and sales started shortly after. The announcement listed the leg would start in Toronto and end in Portland, and announced 3 shows for New York, and two each for Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. Other additional shows were added as shows sold, including four dates in total for Toronto to open the leg.

Once again admittance to the ellipse area is done through a lottery conducted as people's tickets are scanned.

Vertigo: Leg Four [Mexico and South America]

The fourth leg of Vertigo was announced after the fifth leg of the tour. On December 9, 2005, it was announced that the Vertigo tour would continue with dates in Monterray and Mexico City. The first Mexico City date went on sale on December 14, and a second show for Mexico City was announced the following day. Shows for South America were also announced at this time, and sales started on December 22 for those concerts.

It was during this leg of the Vertigo tour that the footage for the film U23D was filmed. Filming started with the two shows in Mexico City, and then two shows in Sao Paulo were also filmed. Additional footage was captured at shows in Santiago, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Melbourne, Australia.

Although the original intention was to take the production directly to Australia following this leg, that series of shows would be postponed after the end of the leg four shows.

Vertigo: Leg Five [Oceania]

The Australian and New Zealand dates were initially announced before leg 4 was announced. These dates were announced on November 19, 2005, and went on sale intially on December 5 of that year. New shows were added on December 11 and quickly sold. Hawaii and Japan were announced later on January 14.

The Oceania leg of the tour was twice impacted by cancellations. Initially this leg of the tour was supposed to happen before the end of 2005, but when U2 cancelled the first month of dates from the tour, they made plans to extend the return to North America in the fall, and push the dates in this region to early 2006. These dates were announced, and sold, but were later rescheduled again, this time to the end of 2006.

The second postponement happened on March 6, 2006, this time with the dates already scheduled and sold. All of the Australian, New Zealand, Japan and the date for Hawaii were put on hold. It was months before they were once again rescheduled, announced in June of that year. Most of the dates were rescheduled but the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama was unavailable, so three shows were scheduled for the Saitama Super Arena instead.

The Hawaii date marked the end of the tour. And it was the only "Vertigo" concert in the USA that made use of the outdoor stage.

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