Billboard: So you feel good about the live part of U2's business?U2, along with opener Muse, will spend the next two nights (9/23-24) at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Tonight's show (9/23) was originally supposed to happen Friday.
U2's manager, Paul McGuinness: Absolutely, because in a way there's a memory in the audience. They've always known that when you come to a U2 show -- even when we were doing theaters -- we would do as much production as we could afford. Once we got into arenas, we loved it -- we always played in the round in the arenas -- so this seems natural to be in the round in the stadiums.
The engineering problems are enormous and costly. We had to find a way for it to be aesthetic and figure out a way of doing video. That cylindrical screen we have -- that didn't exist, we had to get somebody to invent that. We had to design this four-legged thing (the claw) -- and build three of them.
Billboard: How long will it take to get into the black?
McGuinness: When do we hit the break-even point? We haven't hit it yet. But we will sometime between now and the end of this leg.
Billboard: So next year is gravy?
McGuinness: Not exactly gravy, because whether we're playing or not, the overhead is about $750,000 daily. That's just to have the crew on payroll, to rent the trucks, all that. There's about 200 trucks. Each stage is 37 trucks, so you're up to nearly 120 there. And then the universal production is another 50-odd trucks, and there are merchandise trucks and catering trucks.
Bono and The Edge will be back in NYC on October 4th for a benefit at Carnegie Hall. All U2 dats below...
U2 - 2009 Tour Dates
23 September, 2009 E. Rutherford NJ US Giants Stadium Muse
24 September, 2009 E. Rutherford NJ US Giants Stadium Muse
29 September, 2009 Washington DC US FedEx Field Muse
01 October, 2009 Charlottesville VA US Scott Stadium Muse
03 October, 2009 Raleigh NC US Carter-Finley Stadium Muse NA
06 October, 2009 Atlanta GA US Georgia Dome Muse
09 October, 2009 Tampa FL US Raymond James Stadium Muse
12 October, 2009 Dallas TX US New Cowboys Stadium Muse
14 October, 2009 Houston TX US Reliant Stadium Muse
18 October, 2009 Norman OK US Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Black Eyed Peas
20 October, 2009 Phoenix AZ US Univ. of Phoenix Stadium Black Eyed Peas
23 October, 2009 Las Vegas NV US Sam Boyd Stadium Black Eyed Peas
25 October, 2009 Los Angeles CA US Rose Bowl Black Eyed Peas
28 October, 2009 Vancouver BC CA BC Place Stadium Black Eyed Peas