Their album sales in the U.S. haven’t held up in the manner they would have liked, but U2 is still king when it comes to packing concert stadiums, judging by the overwhelming demand for tickets for their summer shows in Europe, particularly Ireland.
Seats for the two U2 shows in Dublin’s Croke Park sold out in less than two hours on Friday, all 190,000 of them. Needless to say the native sons set a sales record, shifting all those tickets so quickly that another hometown date on Monday, July 27 was added.
Bono was pleased with the news that Irish fans couldn’t wait to part with their euros to see a show, though he admitted in an Irish radio interview that he wasn’t sure if sales would be as brisk as they’ve been for the band in the past.
“It’s a very proud moment for us. We love our country. As my friend Gavin Friday says, ‘Insecurity is your best security.’ That’s just the way we are. We don’t take anything for granted, “Bono said.
“The album went to number one in 31 countries. We had a big celebration. Then we discovered it had not gone to number one in Finland and we were depressed. That’s the kind of band we are.”
Using that logic, U.S. sales of their newest release, "No Line on the Horizon," must be somewhat upsetting for the band. They were only at the top of the Billboard charts for a week before being KOd by Kelly Clarkson last week, who is expected to once again reign supreme when the new chart is released on Thursday.
Horizon has certainly been a success in Europe, though, where it’s at the top of Billboard’s Europe chart. But at home in Ireland, the album dropped to number two last week, behind new American sensation Lady GaGa.
According to the upcoming issue of Rolling Stone magazine, the U2 tour, called “U2360,” is going to be a sight to savor. The band will be performing exclusively in stadiums, and in the round for the first time. Their massive stage and all its accoutrements has been nicknamed “The Claw.”
Check out these statistics – the Claw stands at 164 feet tall, twice as large as the previous biggest stadium set, that used by the Rolling Stones for their “Bigger Bang” tour. And 120 trucks will be needed to take Claw from show to show.
“You just don’t know how long you are going to be doing this,” Bono says of touring. “When we walk out onstage the hairs on people’s necks go up — but what people don’t know is that the hairs on our necks go up too.”