|World tour by U2|
|Associated album||How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb|
|Start date||28 March 2005|
|End date||9 December 2006|
|U2 concert chronology|
The Vertigo Tour was a worldwide concert tour by the Irish rock band U2. Launched in support of the group's 2004 album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, the tour visited arenas and stadiums from 2005 through 2006. The Vertigo Tour consisted of five legs that alternated between indoor arena shows in North America and outdoor stadium shows internationally. Much like the previous Elevation Tour, the indoor portion of the Vertigo Tour featured a stripped-down, intimate stage design. Protruding from the main stage was an ellipse-shaped "B stage" that encapsulated a small number of fans.
The tour grossed US$260 million in 110 sold-out concerts in 2005, making it the top-grossing tour of the year. In North America alone, the tour grossed $138.9 million with around 1.4 million tickets sold. The Vertigo Tour won the 2005 Billboard Roadwork Touring Awards for Top Tour, Top Draw, and Top Single Event, and U2's management company Principle Management won for Top Manager. By the time it finished, the Vertigo Tour had sold 4,619,021 tickets — with 131 shows — for a total gross of $389 million; the gross was the second-highest such figure ever. The tour was depicted in three concert films: Vertigo 2005: Live from Chicago, Vertigo: Live from Milan, and U2 3D.
After rehearsing for several months in Vancouver, the tour's opening night was on 28 March 2005 at the iPayOne Center in San Diego, California. The first leg through North America consisted of 28 sold-out indoor arena shows and finished on 28 May in Boston, Massachusetts.
The second leg was a European stadium tour, commencing on 10 June in Brussels and finishing on 14 August in Lisbon. They played in a number of venues including Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Madrid, Milan and Oslo. U2 broke Irish box office marks with ticket sales for three Croke Park concerts in Dublin, after more than 240,000 tickets were sold in record time. In The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Austria, the tickets were all sold within 60 minutes.
The band then returned to North America for the third leg in the autumn, playing 50 sold-out shows in indoor arenas, starting on September 12 in Toronto and finishing up on December 19 in Portland, Oregon.
A fourth leg began on 12 February 2006 in Monterrey, Mexico, and ran through March visiting Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Chile; many of these locales had not seen a live U2 performance in nearly a decade and proved to be a hugely successful leg, with massive audiences attending these shows.
On 9 March 2006, it was announced the final 10 shows in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Hawaii were postponed due to a serious illness to guitarist The Edge's daughter Sian. (The initial start of the tour had been postponed slightly for the same reason, although this time prior to any tickets being sold.) On 20 July 2006, it was announced that those dates were now on for November and December, with some adjustments and additions of dates. The fifth leg started on 7 November in Brisbane, Australia and concluded on 9 December 2006 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii after thirteen shows.
The Vertigo Tour's production was designed by architect Mark Fisher and stage and lighting designer Willie Williams. Key elements were an ellipse-shaped ramp on the floor connected to the stage, with some fans inside it and some outside it (similar to the heart-shaped ramp used on the previous Elevation Tour). The inside area of the ellipse came to be known as the "bomb shelter", in reference to the supporting album.
In the North American shows, a set of seven retractable, see-through LED-based lighted bead curtains hung behind and to the side of the stage, showing abstract patterns, maps, moving figures, and occasionally text. The roll-drop LED screens were designed by Fisher using 360deg golf-ball pixels developed with Frederic Opsomer of innovative Designs in Belgium. The spherical LED product joined the BARCO product line as the Mi-Sphere. Dynamic, "moving" lights were also embedded in the stage and the B-stage ramp, as well. Four screens suspended above the stage showed close-ups of each member of the band, another element reused from the Elevation Tour.
For the European, Latin American and Australian stadium shows, the bead curtains were replaced by an LED screen behind the band. The screen was assembled from BARCO O-Lite modules. The assembly of the screen was similar to the rigging used for the LED screen in the PopMart Tour. The ellipse was also replaced with two catwalks leading to two B-stages in the style of the 'Vertigo target'.
The show's set list varied, with notable differences between each leg of the tour.
The arena shows of the first and third legs usually began with the same trio of songs: "City of Blinding Lights", "Vertigo", "Elevation". On the first leg, "City of Blinding Lights" would alternate with "Love and Peace or Else", and sometimes "Beautiful Day" appeared in the opening trio. In contrast, the stadium concerts of the second leg opened with "Vertigo", "I Will Follow", and "The Electric Co.", though "I Will Follow's" position was occasionally occupied by other songs. By the fourth leg, "City of Blinding Lights", "Vertigo" and "Elevation" were the standard opening trio, that was only altered once - early on in the fourth leg. After the opening trio, songs from U2's early days were played at the arena shows, while the stadium shows featured more anthemic rock songs. "New Year's Day", "Until the End of the World", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and "Miracle Drug" were examples of songs that oftened appeared in the main set. Beyond this point in the setlist, the stadium and indoor sets became roughly similar. "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" was played at every show as a tribute to Bono's father. Then there was then a sequence of politically based songs (usually "Love and Peace or Else", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", and "Bullet the Blue Sky"), based around the theme of "Coexist" (written to show a Muslim Crescent, Jewish Star of David, and Christian Cross). Later, with flags of African nations displayed on the screens, "Where the Streets Have No Name" followed "Pride (In the Name of Love)". This led to a plea from Bono to participate in the ONE Campaign, while the opening of "One" played.
The encores varied from leg to leg, and night to night. The first encore was frequently a musical and visual look back to U2's famed Zoo TV Tour, usually featuring "Zoo Station", "The Fly", and "Mysterious Ways". However, for many shows on the third leg, this was discarded in favor of an acoustic encore. The second encore often showcased recent material, and almost all second leg shows as well as rare first and third leg shows ended with a repeat of "Vertigo", in homage to U2's early concert days when they would run out of songs to play. The usual concert finisher in the first leg was "40" where Adam and Edge would switch instruments, but over the course of the tour, many other closing songs would be used as well.
At the start of the much-delayed fifth leg in Australia, the usual first Zoo TV-style encore was used initially, but several shows into the leg "Zoo Station" was dropped in favour of "Mysterious Ways" with "The Fly" opening the encore, making the first encore "The Fly", "Mysterious Ways" and "With or Without You". The second encore, however, showcased three songs that had not been played until this point on the entire tour. "The Saints Are Coming" was played, following U2 and Green Day's using it to reopen the Louisiana Superdome. Up next was a full electric performance of "Angel of Harlem". Making its Vertigo Tour debut and closing a show for the first time ever was "Kite", which hadn't been played since the end of the Elevation Tour five years prior. Kite was accompanied by a didgeridoo and the show ended with Bono releasing a kite from one of the B-Stages. During the band's second show in Auckland, "One Tree Hill" replaced Kite as the show closer. The encore of the final concert of the tour in Honolulu included "The Saints Are Coming" featuring Billie Joe Armstrong, "Window in the Skies" and Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" featuring Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready. The tour ended with the song "All I Want Is You".
Diversity of material played
The Vertigo Tour was notable not only for its diversity of material — it was the first tour since the Lovetown Tour to feature at least one song from each of their currently released albums — but for the rarity of some songs played. Most notably, "The Ocean" had not been performed since December 1982. Tracks from their debut album Boy were chosen ahead of tracks from their biggest-selling album, The Joshua Tree. A number of other songs returned to the setlist after absences of more than fifteen years, including material from October, while "The First Time", from 1993's Zooropa album, was played in full live for the first time. "Miss Sarajevo", a song from U2's side project Original Soundtracks No. 1, became a concert regular despite previously only being played live twice since its release in 1995. Although Luciano Pavarotti sang the operatic vocals on the original, "Miss Sarajevo" featured Bono competently singing the operatic vocals. Also, "Discothèque", from 1997's Pop album, made its final two appearances. The Vertigo Tour has also featured Larry Mullen, Jr. on vocals on "Elevation", "Miracle Drug" and "Love and Peace or Else". All but two songs ("A Man and a Woman" and "One Step Closer") from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb were performed on the tour. "Fast Cars", a bonus track on some countries' editions of the album, was also performed. "Walk On", the Grammy Award-winning song from All That You Can't Leave Behind, was played only sparingly on the tour, and barring performances in Brisbane and Sydney, was played in stripped back acoustic form. Also "Bad", which was a regular on the Elevation Tour playlist, was played less frequently on this tour.
Two nights of the band's four-night engagement in Chicago, Illinois in May 2005 were filmed for the live DVD Vertigo 2005: Live From Chicago. During the European stadium leg of the Vertigo Tour in the summer of 2005, four more concerts were filmed: two in Dublin and two in Milan. Songs from the Milan shows were featured in a band profile on 60 Minutes and on U2.COMmunication. Ten songs performed at the Milan concert appeared as a special edition bonus DVD in U2's November 2006 compilation album U218 Singles. The 20 February 2006 show in São Paulo, Brazil was broadcast live by Rede Globo. Additionally, 700 hours of footage from seven Latin American concerts were filmed in 3D HD for the film U2 3D, released in 2008 in Real D Cinemas. On 18 and 19 November, additional U2 3D filming was done at the Melbourne concerts at Telstra Dome, as additional shots of the stage's LED display and the concert audience were needed.
Support slots were taken up by Ash, Arcade Fire, Athlete, Dashboard Confessional, Feeder, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Kanye West, Keane, The Killers, Kings of Leon (U.S. leg only), Sissor Sisters, Snow Patrol, Starsailor (Cardiff only), Paddy Casey (Dublin only), Razorlight, Pearl Jam (Honolulu only) and The Zutons.
Ticket presale controversy
The band's website, U2.com, was involved in a ticket presale controversy that upset fans. Users who paid $40 for a subscription to U2.com were promised the opportunity to purchase tickets in a presale that preceded any general public ticket sales. However, many fans were unable to purchase tickets, as technical glitches plagued the presale. Additionally, many scalpers had taken advantage of the system by subscribing to U2.com and purchasing as many tickets as possible, with the intentions of selling them for profit. Larry Mullen, Jr. apologized on behalf of the band at the Grammy Awards.
The LED based curtains behind the indoor stage setup were conceived by Mark Fisher and Willie Williams, custom made by Barco NV and Innovative Designs, and supplied by XL Video. The Vertigo Tour used 189 strings of these "MiSphere" LED balls suspended from custom truss, which allows the LED curtains to be rolled up. High above the center stage hung the MiSphere strings, each contained 64 spheres and totaling nine meters long; together the spheres formed seven 3-D curtains, which permitted concertgoers around the arena to have an excellent view of the curtains above the band and of the images displayed on them.
Lighting gear list
The following gear was used for the show's lighting:
- 54 Martin MAC 2000 Wash
- 15 Vari*Lite VL3000
- 37 Martin Atomic 3000 Strobe
- 66 2x2 DWE audience blinders
- 12 Lycian M2 Follow Spot
- 6 Strong 3K Gladiator Follow Spot
- 6 Saco Technologies LED Factory Light (custom)
- 24 ETC Source Four Leko
- 6 Lowell Tota light
- 6 1x4 DWE audience blinders
- 2 18K HMI Fresnel
- 1 Flying Pig Systems WholeHog 3 console (running beta version of the new 1.3.9 software)
- 189 MiSphere string
- 4 Barco G10 projector
- 5 Barco G5 projector
- 5 Folsom Encore image processor
|28 March 2005||San Diego||United States||San Diego Sports Arena||Kings of Leon|
|30 March 2005|
|1 April 2005||Anaheim||Honda Center|
|2 April 2005|
|5 April 2005||Los Angeles||Staples Center|
|6 April 2005|
|9 April 2005||San Jose||HP Pavilion at San Jose|
|10 April 2005|
|14 April 2005||Glendale||Jobing.com Arena|
|15 April 2005|
|20 April 2005||Denver||Pepsi Center|
|21 April 2005|
|24 April 2005||Seattle||KeyArena at Seattle Center|
|25 April 2005|
|28 April 2005||Vancouver||Canada||GM Place|
|29 April 2005|
|7 May 2005||Chicago||United States||United Center|
|9 May 2005|
|10 May 2005|
|12 May 2005|
|14 May 2005||Philadelphia||Wachovia Center|
|17 May 2005||East Rutherford||Izod Center|
|18 May 2005|
|21 May 2005||New York City||Madison Square Garden|
|22 May 2005||Philadelphia||Wachovia Center|
|24 May 2005||Boston||TD Banknorth Garden|
|26 May 2005|
|28 May 2005|
|Leg 2: Europe|
|10 June 2005||Brussels||Belgium||King Baudouin Stadium||The Thrills, Snow Patrol|
|12 June 2005||Gelsenkirchen||Germany||Veltins-Arena||The Thrills, Feeder|
|14 June 2005||Manchester||England||City of Manchester Stadium||Snow Patrol, The Bravery|
|15 June 2005||Athlete, Idlewild|
|18 June 2005||London||Twickenham Stadium||Doves, Athlete|
|19 June 2005||Idlewild, Ash|
|21 June 2005||Glasgow||Scotland||Hampden Park||Interpol, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club|
|24 June 2005||Dublin||Ireland||Croke Park||Radiators, Snow Patrol|
|25 June 2005||The Thrills, Paddy Casey|
|27 June 2005||Ash, The Bravery|
|29 June 2005||Cardiff||Wales||Millennium Stadium||Starsailor, The Killers|
|2 July 2005||Vienna||Austria||Ernst Happel Stadium||The Magic Numbers, The Thrills|
|5 July 2005||Chorzów||Poland||Stadion Śląski||The Magic Numbers, The Killers|
|7 July 2005||Berlin||Germany||Olympic Stadium||Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol|
|9 July 2005||Paris (Saint-Denis)||France||Stade de France||Starsailor, Snow Patrol|
|10 July 2005||Snow Patrol, The Music|
|13 July 2005||Amsterdam||Netherlands||Amsterdam Arena||Kaiser Chiefs, The Killers|
|15 July 2005||Snow Patrol, The Music|
|16 July 2005||Athlete, Snow Patrol|
|18 July 2005||Zürich||Switzerland||Letzigrund||Feeder, Ash|
|20 July 2005||Milan||Italy||San Siro|
|21 July 2005|
|23 July 2005||Rome||Olympic Stadium|
|27 July 2005||Oslo||Norway||Valle Hovin||Paddy Casey, Razorlight|
|29 July 2005||Gothenburg||Sweden||Ullevi||The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Razorlight|
|31 July 2005||Copenhagen||Denmark||Parken Stadium|
|3 August 2005||Munich||Germany||Olympiastadion||The Zutons, Keane|
|5 August 2005||Nice||France||Stade Charles-Ehrmann|
|7 August 2005||Barcelona||Spain||Camp Nou||Kaiser Chiefs, Keane|
|9 August 2005||San Sebastián||Estadio Anoeta||Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand|
|11 August 2005||Madrid||Vicente Calderón Stadium|
|14 August 2005||Lisbon||Portugal||Estádio José Alvalade||Kaiser Chiefs, Keane|
|Leg 3: North America|
|12 September 2005||Toronto||Canada||Air Canada Centre||Dashboard Confessional|
|14 September 2005|
|16 September 2005|
|17 September 2005|
|20 September 2005||Chicago||United States||United Center|
|21 September 2005|
|23 September 2005||Minneapolis||Target Center|
|25 September 2005||Milwaukee||Bradley Center|
|3 October 2005||Boston||TD Banknorth Garden||Keane|
|4 October 2005|
|7 October 2005||New York City||Madison Square Garden|
|8 October 2005|
|10 October 2005|
|11 October 2005|
|14 October 2005|
|16 October 2005||Philadelphia||Wachovia Center||Damian Marley|
|17 October 2005|
|19 October 2005||Washington, D.C.||Verizon Center|
|20 October 2005|
|22 October 2005||Pittsburgh||Mellon Arena|
|24 October 2005||Auburn Hills||The Palace of Auburn Hills||Institute|
|25 October 2005|
|28 October 2005||Houston||Toyota Center||Damian Marley|
|29 October 2005||Dallas||American Airlines Center|
|1 November 2005||Los Angeles||Staples Center|
|2 November 2005|
|4 November 2005||Paradise||MGM Grand Garden Arena|
|5 November 2005|
|8 November 2005||Oakland||Oakland Arena|
|9 November 2005|
|13 November 2005||Miami||American Airlines Arena||Institute|
|14 November 2005|
|16 November 2005||Tampa||St. Pete Times Forum|
|18 November 2005||Atlanta||Philips Arena|
|19 November 2005|
|21 November 2005||New York City||Madison Square Garden||Patti Smith|
|22 November 2005|
|25 November 2005||Ottawa||Canada||Scotiabank Place||Arcade Fire|
|26 November 2005||Montreal||Bell Centre|
|28 November 2005|
|4 December 2005||Boston||United States||TD Garden||Institute|
|5 December 2005|
|7 December 2005||Hartford||XL Center|
|9 December 2005||Buffalo||HSBC Arena|
|10 December 2005||Cleveland||Quicken Loans Arena|
|12 December 2005||Charlotte||Time Warner Cable Arena|
|14 December 2005||St. Louis||Scottrade Center||Kanye West|
|15 December 2005||Omaha||Qwest Center Omaha|
|17 December 2005||Salt Lake City||EnergySolutions Arena|
|19 December 2005||Portland||Rose Garden|
|Leg 4: Latin America|
|12 February 2006||Monterrey||Mexico||Estadio Tecnológico||The Secret Machines|
|15 February 2006||Mexico City||Estadio Azteca|
|16 February 2006|
|20 February 2006||São Paulo||Brazil||Morumbi Stadium||Franz Ferdinand|
|21 February 2006|
|26 February 2006||Santiago||Chile||Chile National Stadium|
|1 March 2006||Buenos Aires||Argentina||River Plate Stadium|
|2 March 2006|
|Leg 5: Oceania/Pacific|
|7 November 2006||Brisbane||Australia||Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre||Kanye West|
|10 November 2006||Sydney||ANZ Stadium|
|11 November 2006|
|13 November 2006|
|16 November 2006||Adelaide||AAMI Stadium|
|18 November 2006||Melbourne||Docklands Stadium|
|19 November 2006|
|24 November 2006||Auckland||New Zealand||Mount Smart Stadium ^|
|25 November 2006|
|29 November 2006||Saitama||Japan||Saitama Super Arena|
|30 November 2006|
|4 December 2006|
|9 December 2006||Honolulu||United States||Aloha Stadium||Rocco and the Devils, Pearl Jam|
^ = Mount Smart Stadium was formerly known as Ericsson Stadium, but during the delay of the fifth tour leg the stadium was renamed.
- "Showing details for U2's Vertigo Tour". U2gigs.com. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Waddell, Ray (2005-12-13). "U2's Vertigo Leads Year's Top Tours". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- "Rolling Stones, U2 help drive concert revenues to record in 2005". USA Today. Associated Press. 2005-12-29. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- "About the Awards: Congratulations to all 2005 finalists & winners!". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Cohen, Jonathan (2007-01-01). "U2: From joshua trees to palm trees". Billboard for Reuters. Retrieved 2009-03-10. It was bested only by The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour, which took place at roughly the same time but was longer overall.
- Pang, Kevin. "Get inside U2's bomb shelter". Chicago Tribune.
- Goldstein, Greg (2006-10-31). "U2 Goes 3-D For Vertigo Concert Film". The Hollywood Reporter for Billboard. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Geller, Rusty (December 2006). "My Long Weekend in Melbourne" (PDF). Focal Point (Australian Cinematographers Society). pp. 8–11.
- Waddell, Ray (2005-01-27). "U2 pre-sale plagued by Web glitches". Amusement Business. Retrieved 2009-03-09.
- "U2 Vertigo Tour a feast for the eyes with revolutionary Barco technology" (Press release). Barco NV. 2005-03-29. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Jennings, Steve (2005-05-27). "Production Profile: U2's Vertigo". Pro Lights and Staging News. Retrieved 2009-03-11.