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, launches this March 17, St. Patrick's Day.
U2: The Virtual Road marks the first time that three of these concerts – Slane, Red Rocks, and Mexico – have been made available digitally.
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 over twenty 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, the 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.
In a group statement, Bono, the Edge, Adam, and Larry - better known as U2 - said: "Every show is memorable for us but these four particularly so… It's exciting to be on the road again… 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."
Dan Chalmers, Director of YouTube Music for EMEA said - "It's fantastic that YouTube is partnering with U2 for this exclusive broadcast.
“The four concerts featured in The Virtual Road are the most memorable and iconic in the band's history, and indeed rock history at large. As one of the world's best-selling music artists, U2 have been at the top of the global rock scene for the past four decades. When they perform, the world takes notice - their performances are always a landmark moment for music lovers around the world.
"We're proud to be providing the platform for an artist that has come to embody the definitive live music experience."
Sam Lunn, Head of Campaign Strategy, Island Records said: "One of the reasons U2 remain one of the greatest and most interesting bands in music is their desire to always break new ground. No band has managed to combine emotion, ambition, innovation, and spectacle to produce such consistently brilliant live shows.
"With the announcement of The Virtual Road, and this hugely exciting partnership with YouTube, U2 are once again leading the way with this incredibly exciting virtual concert series."
In September last year, YouTube, Island Records, Interscope, UMe, and UMC announced the relaunch of U2's 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.
Throughout their career, U2 has been known for their unparalleled creative vision and artistry when bringing their music to life on screen. As new and remastered content is added over the next year, their YouTube channel will evolve as a hub to celebrate the band's 40-year legacy and the evolution of their approach to video. Highlights will include previously unreleased live, behind the scenes, and remixed content, and some of their best-known music videos upgraded to HD for the first time ever, up to 4K quality whenever possible. The project will result in hundreds of new and upgraded videos being added to the channel, and a curated experience for fans to be able to explore the depth of the catalog.
From the beginning, U2 were marked out by their drive and ambition, forming as a band "… before they could play." Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, and Adam Clayton met at Mount Temple School and formed U2 in 1978 before signing to Island Records.
Acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world, 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 fourteenth studio album Songs Of Experience – the companion release to 2014's Songs Of Innocence - was released in December 2017 and includes tracks 'Get Out Of Your Own Way' and 'You're The Best Thing About Me'. 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.
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.