March 6, 2009 / 10:17 PM / 10 years ago

U2 to begin world tour in Spain on June 30: report

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U2 will kick off its world tour in the Spanish city of Barcelona on June 30 and stay on the road until the fall of 2010, playing 90-100 shows, music trade publication Billboard reported on Friday.

Irish band U2 play on the roof of the BBC Broadcasting House building in London February 27, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

The official announcement of the stadium tour, to support the Irish rock band’s first album since 2004, “No Line On the Horizon,” will be made on Monday.

Billboard said the tour is expected to be one of the highest-grossing ever. U2’s 2005-2007 “Vertigo” tour pulled in $389 million, ranking second only to the $558 million haul for the Rolling Stones’ “Bigger Bang” trek, which also ran from 2005 to 2007.

U2 are currently in the midst of a whirlwind trek to promote the album, which was released earlier this week, playing on the roof of the BBC in London, having a street temporarily named after them for a week in New York, and performing an unprecedented five-night engagement on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.”

The band is also holding a free show at a Boston theater on March 11.

Billboard said U2 would begin the first North American leg of the tour in Chicago on September 12 after wrapping the initial European leg on August 22. The band plans to return to both North America and Europe starting in June 2010, and may then hit South America. It will be promoted by Live Nation Inc.

U2’s publicist did not return an email seeking comment on the Billboard story.

Billboard quoted U2 guitarist the Edge as saying the new tour would be “completely different” from the current concerts thrown by established supergroups.

“It’s hard to come up with something that’s fundamentally different, but we have, I think, on this tour. Where we’re taking our production will never have been seen before by anybody, and that’s an amazing thing to be able to say. For a band like U2 that really thrive on breaking new ground, it’s a real thrill,” he said.

Billboard said ticket prices for the shows — to be held in a 360-degree configuration — would start at $30 and rise to $250. Online sales will begin in Europe in mid-March and in late March/early April in North America.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Eric Walsh

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