U2 finished up their 2018 touring commitments with a gig in Berlin on Tuesday night (November 13), making good on a show that had to be canceled earlier in the fall when Bono lost his voice a few songs into the performance.
The show ended with this statement from Bono:
Bono: “we’ve been on the road for quite some time, just going on 40 years, and this last 4 years have been really something very special for us. We’re going away now…” #U2eiTour
— U2gigs (@u2gigs) November 13, 2018
To some, there is a scary sense of finality to these words. Was Bono signaling that the band was packing it in? Are they finally tired of the grind? Is there something about Bono’s health we don’t know about?
Calm down. Here’s why everything is all right.
- When U2 tours, they always take an extended break through the Christmas months before going back on the road in February/March/April of the following year.
- Bono always makes some kind of farewell statement at the end of a touring leg. Such sentiments are not new.
- There are still many cities to hit on the Experience + Innocence Tour which cannot be confused with the Innocence + Experience Tour, which ended on December 15, 2015. It was then followed by The Joshua Tree 30 Tour. 51 gigs played between May and October 2017. Many of the stops on that tour were not included in the North American legs of Experience + Innocence. For example, they’ve yet to play Toronto this time around and they never miss the city. They just needed to put space between a JT30 stop and a return with E+I
- U2 has promised to play some markets to which they’ve never been before, including Manila and Singapore…
- …which brings me to this article on the upcoming Australasian tour set to start in August. (Thanks to Aaron for the link.)
- E+I has only featured 60 dates (a mere 27 in North America; see Toronto note above), generating a box office of around $106 million USD. Chickenfeed for U2 and Live Nation, the worldwide promoters of the tour.
- Speaking of which, U2 is still under contract to Live Nation, having signed a 12-year recording and touring commitment back in 2010. That deal still has a couple of years to go.
Bottom line, U2 fans, is that you stand down from DefCon 1. Your band will be back on the road in 2019. I guarantee it.
(With info from The NME)