June 12, 1997

[3 sleeps until u2]
In two days, U2's PopMart tour pulls into Edmonton.
Here are some tour tidbits:

No stops at home

U2's world tour won't be hitting the Irish band's home town.

The cost of staging U2's lavish PopMart show, with its huge stage props and special effects, would make it a losing proposition at Dublin's Phoenix Park, says concert promoter Jim Aiken.

"Even if we had a crowd of up to 100,000, the band would have nothing out of it. They would have lost money on the event," Aiken said. "It could have cost two million pounds ($4 million Cdn) to put on the concert without paying the band."

The outdoor event slated for Aug. 30 was part of the group's eight-month Popmart tour, which began in April and includes stops in Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Greece and Israel.

Aiken cited the high costs of sanitation, security and insurance for Phoenix Park.

"When we looked at it, we discovered it was a wonderful idea, but made no sense," he said.

- The Associated Press



Fun Lovin' Criminals to open concerts

On Saturday and Sunday night, U2 will take the Commonwealth stage at 9:30 p.m. after a 45-minute opening set from 8 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. by the Fun Lovin' Criminals. Gates to the stadium open at 6:30 p.m.

-- Shawn Ohler

Today's U2 trivia

U2 guitarist The Edge actually has a real name -- David Evans.

-- The Canadian Press

The PopMart forecast...

Environment Canada predicts a high of 21, cloudy skies with a 60 per cent chance of showers Saturday, and a high of 22 with slightly less chance of showers Sunday.

Bono almost fired?

U2 was founded by drummer Larry Mullen, who says he once almost fired lead singer Bono during the band's early days.

"I did try to fire him," Mullen told David Letterman Tuesday night. "There was an incident where we had a little bit of a misunderstanding and he threw a drum kit at me. And I said that it was time for him to leave.

"But as you can see, he came back, crawling on his hands and knees, and here we are."

Added Bono: "This man gave me my first and only job."

Mullen joked that he started U2 because he was bored gorwing up in Dublin.

"It was funny, because you know, in Dublin, 1976, there wasn't a whole lot to do. You know, join a band or play football. So, we started a band."


More stuff

  • Bono and the boys are expected to be arriving at the International Airport at 5:20 p.m. Friday, and the stage they'll be performing on Saturday night should be up and ready by then.

  • Miss the big interview with Bono and Larry Mullen on the David Letterman show Tuesday night? Fear not. We've got the transcript. How's that for going the extra mile on the hype highway?

  • Have you heard all of U2's albums? What do you think of them? Our music reviewer, Shawn Ohler, has heard them all too, and he's got some opinions. Compare your thoughts with his. And remember, we actually pay to hear what he thinks.

  • Web site du jour

    We'll be posting a new Web site of the day every day leading up to the big concert Saturday night.

    Today's site:

    ABC is Pop!
    Bad thing: It's ABC's platform for hyping a television special on U2. Good thing: It's got video clips, sound, and great background on the band. Fine looking graphics, too.