New U2 snub angers Australian fans


AUSTRALIAN U2 fans are furious the band have extended their Joshua Tree 30th anniversary tour — without adding an Australian leg.

A petition has started to try and get the band to return to Australia, a territory they haven’t visited in seven years.

The Irish band touted a big announcement about the anniversary tour — which turned out to be due to ‘overwhelming demand’ they will now do a second victory lap around America.

The band play Pittsburgh tonight before the European leg kicks off in London on July 8.

The tour was scheduled to end in Brussels on August 1, after European and North American shows.

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media_cameraThe first night of the Joshua Tree tour in Vancouver on May 12. Picture: Danny North

However the band will now play secondary markets in the US such as Detroit, Kansas City and St Louis, then a Latin American leg that ends in Brazil on October 19.

Their Australian promoter, Live Nation, said there are still no plans for the tour to come down under.

Economically, it makes more sense for the band to tour America rather than ship their huge production to Asia and Australia.

However local fans have vented about being overlooked again.

Sydney U2 fan Naomi Dinnen started a petition, which is being shared online.

“This band pays a lot of attention to their fans and social media,” Dinnen said.

“The South Americans did a great job of campaigning and building the excitement for a tour there. It’s awesome that U2 are doing Mexico and Brazil and Argentina. But even U2 fans in the US and UK are asking “Why aren’t they playing Australia?”

The tour sees U2 play the 1987 album The Joshua Tree in full (the album housed U2 anthems With or Without You, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Where The Streets Have No Name and Bullet the Blue Sky) book ended by two sets of hits including Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bad, Pride, New Year’s Day, Beautiful Day, I Will Follow and One.

The Joshua Tree has special significance to New Zealand — the song One Tree Hill is about Kiwi Greg Caroll, who worked for the band, who died in a motorcycling accident in Dublin in 1986. (One Tree Hill being a volcanic peak in Auckland.)

media_cameraThe band have recreated the album’s iconic cover for the new concert’s staging: Pic: Danny North

The Joshua Tree is a hugely important album and means a lot to Australian and NZ fans. They at least need to play New Zealand to honour Greg Caroll.”

Dinnen is one of many U2 fans who bought tickets to see The Joshua Tree tour when the band announced it wouldn’t be coming down under.

“It seems to be their MO now to announce a few dates at a time. It’s very frustrating (and expensive) for fans. Even those of us who manage to get to some of the shows overseas are feeling pissed off. A lot of people are going to Brussels because it was supposed to be the last Joshua Tree show and now they’ve extended the tour it will be an anticlimax.

“The thing with social media is it really connects the fans and lets us share our experiences so much more intimately. It also means there’s more opportunity to feel left out.”

U2 haven’t toured Australia since the 360 tour in 2010, with the 2015 Innocence and Experience tour sticking to North America and Europe.

media_cameraU2 in 1987. The Joshua Tree tour flashes back 30 years. Picture: Anton Corbijn

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“We’ve been hearing ‘next year’ since the Innocence and Experience tour ended in Dublin in 2015. From what we knew The Joshua Tree was only supposed to be a handful of US shows then we’d have Innocence and Experience tour part two to support the new album. While everyone loves The Joshua Tree and the tour is a big success it’s very disappointing that they’re not coming here. Eight years is too long between tours.”

Dinnen said fans were hoping for a new album by Christmas.

“When they’re doing this apparently random zigzagging it just makes the band look like they don’t have a plan at all. They keep telling fans they’re finishing off the next album, but there’s no sign of it apart from one new song they’re playing to close some of The Joshua Tree shows.”

Unlike regular world tours, U2 have no new album to promote; with the follow-up to 2014’s controversial ‘free’ album Songs of Innocence yet to be finished.

The band released a 30th anniversary edition of The Joshua Tree last week, which will see the 1987 record return to the ARIA chart.

It is currently No. 45 on iTunes, however most fans will have opted for the collectable physical versions.

ACT: Sign the petition to convince U2 to bring The Joshua Tree tour to Australia

media_cameraU2 haven’t toured Australia since 2010. Picture: Danny North

Originally published as New U2 snub angers Australian fans

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