‘U2: The Virtual Road’ Concert Series Puts Bono and The Boys Front and Center
March 16, 2021
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By JOHN DALY
U2: The Virtual Road, a series of four concerts broadcast for the first time exclusively on the band’s YouTube channel, for 48 hours only.
U2: The Virtual Road also marks the first time that three of these concerts – Slane, Red Rocks and Mexico – have been made available digitally. The concerts are presented by YouTube, Island Records, Interscope, UMe, and UMC.
The first concert will broadcast on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2021. U2 Go Home: Live From Slane Castle celebrates the band’s return to the legendary Irish concert site on September 1, 2001 for their first performance on the banks of the River Boyne in more than 20 years. And in an exclusive YouTube performance, Dermot Kennedy will open the show with a solo performance recorded last week outside Los Angeles.
On March 25, fans can tune in to see U2: Live At Red Rocks recorded on June 5, 1983 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, United States on the band’s War Tour. A career-defining show, the rain-soaked performance at the iconic venue helped establish U2’s reputation as one of the greatest live acts in the world. And another Grammy-nominated Dublin band, Fontaines D.C. will open the show with a performance recorded in their hometown last year.
The PopMart Tour stormed into Mexico City in December 1997 for a memorable show at the Foro Sol Stadium and April 1 will see Carla Morrison open for the band, only on YouTube, for a very special one-off performance ahead of Popmart: Live From Mexico City.
In December 2015, U2 returned to Paris less than a month after the November 13 terrorist attacks on the city for two rescheduled shows. iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE: Live in Paris marked the final performance on the tour, an unforgettable evening which included an emotional performance of Patti Smith’s ‘People Have The Power’. On April 10, YouTube will broadcast the show for the very first time, with French band Feu! Chatterton on support.
“Every show is memorable for us but these four particularly so… It’s exciting to be on the road again,” said the U2. “Embracing all the wonder of the virtual road… And especially exciting to be joined by such a brilliant line-up of fellow travelers in Dermot Kennedy, Fontaines D.C., Carla Morrison, and Feu! Chatterton.”
In September last year, YouTube, Island Records, Interscope, UMe, and UMC announced the relaunch of U2’s Official Official YouTube Channel with weekly releases of the band’s most iconic music videos and never-before-seen content on YouTube, all remastered at the highest possible standard. The coming year will see the band’s music video catalog remastered in HD and launched exclusively on YouTube.
From the beginning, U2 were marked out by their drive and ambition, forming as a band even “before they could play,” said the band members.
Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, and Adam Clayton met at Mount Temple School and formed U2 in 1978 before signing to Island Records. U2 have released 14 studio albums and have sales in excess of 157 million. They have won numerous awards, including 22 GRAMMYs, an Oscar nomination, and the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience.
In 2003 they won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, ‘The Hands That Built America’, featured in Gangs of New York. 2014 saw U2 nominated for an Oscar for ‘Ordinary Love’ from the feature film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, as well as take home the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
U2’s 14th studio album Songs Of Experience – the companion release to 2014’s Songs Of Innocence – was released in December 2017.
The new album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, setting U2 apart as the only band in history to have topped the chart in four successive decades. In 2018, the band hit the road with the eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE Tour, an arena production that saw U2 continue to push the creative boundaries of technology and engineering.
And following 2017’s acclaimed stadium run with The Joshua Tree Tour – the record-breaking smash hit tour celebrating the band’s seminal 1987 album The Joshua Tree – 2019 saw The Joshua Tree Tour visit New Zealand, Australia, and Japan, as well as bring “the biggest band in the world” (The Guardian) to Singapore, Seoul, Manila, and Mumbai for the very first time.
And in June 2020, SiriusXM and U2 announced the launch of U2 X-Radio, a complete immersion into the work and influences of the band from the Northside of Dublin, all curated by U2.
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