Hola, Mexico!

ETS, the official tour and travel operator for the Vertigo Tour, announced today that it will be offering tour packages for the dates in Mexico. Get ’em while they got ’em, ’cause they’re going quickly.

Update: ETS has just added a bus trip to its Mexico tour offerings. The ETS Concert Caravan travels from Laredo, Texas, to Monterrey on Feb. 12. A Concert Caravan package, priced at $229, provides you with roundtrip travel, concert ticket, and admission to a pre-show party. The buses leave Laredo at 7 a.m. and return there after the show. The Concert Caravan package will go on sale on Monday.

OZ and NZ shows sell out

U2 fans in Australia and New Zealand are expressing their disappointment of not getting tickets to the shows in their countries, which sold out faster than you can say, “Damn you, Ticketek and Ticketmaster!” The Sydney show sold out in an hour, the Auckland show in 90 minutes, and the Melbourne show in two hours. A second Auckland show was announced for March 18. Second shows in Sydney and Melbourne are expected to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 6).

Tickets to the OZ and NZ shows are already being sold on eBay for more than $2000 each.

Fans who were locked out of the on-sales have an alternative way to score tickets. Over the weekend, ETS, the official tour and travel operator for the Vertigo Tour, announced that it is offering packages for the shows in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney. The packages include hotel accommodations, a pre-show party, and concert tickets.

ETS is also offering a contest to win a package for two to see U2 in Sydney. You must register as an ETS Insider to enter the contest.

Update: U2 announced today additional shows in Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney. Tickets for these shows will go on sale on Monday, Dec. 12 at 9 a.m.

Will You Follow in 2006?

ETS, the official tour and travel operator for the Vertigo Tour, is asking for fan input on the 2006 tour. ETS recognizes that U2 fans travel great distances to see the band, but ETS is wondering how far we will follow.

If you are planning or want to attend any of the shows on the 2006 tour (there will definitely be more dates announced!), please take a minute to read a letter from Don McVie, the president of ETS, about the 2006 tour and answer his questions.

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U2 offer 8-track live CD to U2.com subscribers


In a bid to retain their many subscribers after their first full membership year, U2.com are offering an ‘exclusive’ CD/CD-ROM double disc set called ‘U2 Communication’ to current members, and an additional 20% discount on the $40 subscription fee.

The CD’s exclusivity is debatable, since the 8 tracks are taken from the current Vertigo live DVD which many U2.com subscribers are likely to have acquired. It looks rather sexy, though, and this fan has already succumbed to its lure.

The offer was made via a U2.com mail shot which was sent out this Tuesday.

From the e-mail: This package, which will not be available at retail, contains an 8-track CD featuring songs recorded live during the Vertigo Tour; and a CD-ROM containing an interactive audio player, an exclusive live video clip from U2’s Vertigo 2005 show at Milan’s San Siro stadium, as well as wallpapers and U2 screen savers using the show’s amazing imagery.

U2.com staff further apologise for the 2005 ticket snafu and state they continue to look into fair ways to distribute tickets to fans. They stress however, that the subscription renewal does not include any distribution solution or any guarantee of tickets to future shows. No change there, then. Boom boom.

Lights, camera, third leg!

“If we fuck up, just blame Larry. He doesn’t show up for rehearsals…No one’s heard this one. Well, maybe three people.”
–Bono, introducing “Fast Cars”

U2 gave fans a treat at the opening of third leg of the Vertigo tour in Toronto by performing a swanky, hip-swaying rendition of “Fast Cars,” a song they have never performed lived. The Toronto audience also received another Vertigo tour first with the addition of “In a Little While,” which has not been heard since the Elevation tour in 2001. After muddling through the song, Bono apologetically explained, “We haven’t played this one in…[laughs] a little while.” Also new to the tour was “Old Man River” tagged to “One.” (Promo Bono would call it an extended snippet.)

“We normally start in Toronto and move west. We moved up to Toronto,” said Bono, who asked the audience not to forget about rock ‘n roll while the city endures the international film festival and its many celebs.

In the audience were U2 producer Daniel Lanois; actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Orlando Bloom, and Kate Blanchett; film makers Neil Jordan and Atom Egoyan; Barenaked Ladies’ singer Stephen Page; media personality George Stroumboulopoulos; and Canadian singer and activist Chantal Kreviazuk.

(Photos: U2log.com)

U2 at Croke Park: ‘What’s Irish for 14, Larry?’

Bono is serious. For their second performance of ‘Vertigo’ of the night, he walks over to the drum kit to ask Larry Mullen how to say 14 ‘as Gaeilge’.

Misunderstanding, Larry shouts: ‘A h-aon’! (‘one’) Bono asks again and this time the drummer gets it right: ‘Ceathar déag’. Three times he tells Bono how to say it.

‘A h-aon, a dhà, a trì, a ceatharmmmmmfrgh!’

Close enough. With an apology to the venue’s local neighbours because the show ran 10 minutes past the 11pm curfew, the band tear up the song something wicked. (They might as well skip the first time they play it at the start of the show.) The place is alight, and all around us kids’ faces are in ecstasy. Croke Park sings along as they have done all night.

The European leg of the Vertigo Tour has officially got lift off. While the first two shows in Brussels and Gelsenkirchen left us a little indifferent and having missed the reportedly better gigs in the U.K., Croke Park I has it all. Drive, energy, emotion and fun – this time the boys were truly back in town.

There were, as expected, few real surprises in the setlist (Wild Horses, With or Without You, I Will Follow), but the passion, the Irish banter (Bono mentioned the Irish poet John Keats when he noticed a banner in the audience that said ‘see you in Rome’) and various ‘new’ snippets like Thin Lizzy’s ‘Jailbreak’ and an improvisational ‘Northside in the Rain’ well made up for that. Talking about the rain… Bono sang some lines of it, twice during the show.

‘Oh, you look so beautiful tonight,’ Bono told the Croke Park audience. Absolutely gorgeous, yes.