The Crystal Ballroom: Upcoming Music and Films

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2024-06-05)

U2’s original plans at the start of 2023 appeared to be to do a short run of dates at Sphere in 2023, and then release a new album, and go on tour this summer. We know now that did not happen. The band, however, have been waiting on Larry Mullen’s recovery to finish the album, and those plans shifted backwards accordingly, but are now underway. We mention it because recently some pieces of those original plans have shown up, making it look like there may be current planned dates. We’re told the upcoming tour dates are not finalized, and anything referencing specific dates is likely remnants of this earlier plan.

However, a tour is coming, and the crew is said to be booked for June 2025 for that tour. We’re expecting it to be stadium shows in Europe to start, and then are hearing some talk of an arena leg in North America to round out the year. But until a new album is finished and a release date is set, the band are not making firm commitments to tour. Afraid we have some time to wait before any strong touring rumours kick in.

A new album is being finished. The band were previously reported to be working in Los Angeles in February and March (including Larry Mullen.) We were told at that time that the progress was good and the band was still hopeful to have something out later this year.

More recently all four members of the band have been in Dublin, and we’ve been told they’ve been spotted coming and going at Hanover Quay. Hanover Quay is the studio the band themselves own in Dublin. It’s possible some work is being done on the album at this time in Dublin, but it is also home to Principle Management these days, U2’s own management team, so there may be other reasons to visit as well.

While they are all at home, Bono and The Edge recently took in Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Dublin. Larry Mullen made an appearance at a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings to lay a wreath on behalf of the band and Gavin Friday. Adam is participating in two sessions at the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas this Friday and Saturday in Ireland.

U2 have a couple of months to finish off the album if they want to make a Fall release date including vinyl, and we are expecting to hear more once the album is complete and a release date chosen.

We’re also waiting on news of a new 5-song “Zoo TV” EP that will be released on vinyl, featuring five tracks taken from that tour, all from one show. (And we’re told it won’t be the Sydney show either.) We were told originally to expect the EP in June, but recently we’ve been told “this summer” instead. It is expected to be a limited release, with just a single pressing. Some retailers in the UK and Ireland have recently confirmed knowledge of this EP. More on this release is available in our earlier story.

The “To Love and Only Love“ collection of singles has been appearing regularly with a new single every two weeks. Up next is “Mofo” which will finish off the Pop era singles, and we’re expecting “Sweetest Thing” at the end of the month. Twelve singles are planned in total.

What else has U2 been up to? Rumour has it via Vital Vegas that the band was in Las Vegas on Monday to meet with the team at Sphere about their upcoming film that will be shown at the Sphere. They continued on to California, where MSG Sphere studios is being used to develop content for the film. The report claims that the film will incorporate performance footage from the Sphere shows filmed at the end of February, original graphics, and will run about an hour in length. To date, only one film has been shown at Sphere, Postcard from Earth and it looks like the plan is to branch out into films a bit more. It is likely that the Sphere film will be exclusively done for that venue, at least for the initial period. We originally told you about the plans for a Sphere film to be shown at Sphere back in February.

It looks like the Sphere film may make it to release ahead of other long-awaited projects from the band. We have no updates on The Joshua Tree 2017 film at this time, and are told that the project has been shelved for now and will be revisited at a later date. Bono’s Surrender film appears to still be underway, but still has not been announced.

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