In late May, the biggest rock tour in history hit a speed bump: Bono underwent emergency back surgery in Munich for a compressed sciatic nerve that forced U2 to postpone the summer leg of their mammoth 360° Tour and cancel their headlining spot at Glastonbury. After nearly two months, the band has broken its silence in a homemade video shot by drummer Larry Mullen Jr., in which all four bandmembers give fans the good news: Bono is healthy, the band is in the studio, and U2 will be back in American stadiums in the summer of 2011.
Revealing he's "very well," Bono says he's "feeling strong, feeling confident, and I am ready, rebuilt by German engineering — better design I'm told." The 360° Tour, originally scheduled to launch June 3rd in Salt Lake City, Utah, will now kick off May 21, 2011, in Denver. Bono's swift recovery is permitting the band to play its summer 2010 dates in Europe as scheduled, beginning Aug. 6 in Turin, Italy. All tickets previously sold for the North American tour will be valid at the rescheduled performances, and additional dates and cities will be added to the current 16-show itinerary.
"I actually wanted to apologize for the trouble that this injury has put you all through," Bono says, acknowledging that purchasing concert tickets and making travel plans is "a very big deal" for fans the band doesn't take for granted. "Thank you for standing by us in our hour of need." He adds that the serious back injury, which struck the day after his birthday, was "not a lot of fun for me," but the forced rest proved inspirational: the band has written "some great songs" they've been recording — the video is shot in a studio — and "might be playing them onstage."
Before the camera turns to Bono, Mullen jokes that the Edge has "been quite promiscuous recently," a reference to the guitarist's surprise Glastonbury guest spot alongside Muse. "You don't want to sit idly by, so I got out there to see what the singing talent is like," the Edge says. "But you know the funny thing, it just wasn't the same. ... we've got the best singer and he's looking very well right now."
In a statement, U2's manager Paul McGuinness said rescheduling all the shows in the exact same stadiums "hasn't been easy," thanking the venues and sports teams for helping facilitate the process. As Rolling Stone previously reported, the 360° Tour requires $750,000 a day in overhead, a 170-ton stage, 200 trucks and more than 250 speakers. "Above all, we want to thank the U2 fans for bearing with us," McGuinness said. "They're the best and the band wants to get back to where they belong, surrounded by their audience."
Rescheduled 2011 U2 Tour Dates:
May 21 - Denver @ Invesco Field (formerly June 12, 2010)
May 24 - Salt Lake City @ Rice Eccles Stadium (formerly June 3, 2010)
June 1 - Edmonton, Alberta @ Commonwealth Stadium (formerly June 23, 2010)
June 4 - Seattle, Wa. @ Qwest Field (formerly June 20, 2010)
June 7 - Oakland, Calif. @ McAfee Coliseum (formerly June 16, 2010)
June 17 - Anaheim, Calif. @ Angels Stadium (formerly June 6, 2010)
June 18 - Anaheim, Calif. @ Angels Stadium (formerly June 7, 2010)
June 26 - East Lansing, Mich. @ Spartan Stadium at MSU (formerly June 30, 2010)
June 29 - Miami @ Sun Life Stadium (previously Dolphin Stadium) (formerly July 9, 2010)
July 5 - Chicago @ Soldier Field (formerly July 6, 2010)
July 8 - Montreal @ Hippodrome (formerly July 16 ,2010)
July 9 - Montreal @ Hippodrome (formerly July 17, 2010)
July 11- Toronto @ Rogers Centre (formerly July 3, 2010)
July 14 - Philadelphia @ Lincoln Financial Field (formerly July 12, 2010)
July 20 - East Rutherford, N.J. @ New Meadowlands Stadium (formerly July 19, 2010)
July 23 - Minneapolis @ TCF Bank Stadium (formerly June 27, 2010)