YouTube, Island Records, Interscope, UMe and UMC have annlounced 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.
U2: The Virtual Road also 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 in 2001 for their first performance on the banks of the River Boyne in over 20 years. 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 in 1983 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, United States on the band’s War Tour. Grammy-nominated Dublin band Fontaines DC will open the show with a performance recorded in their hometown last year.
On April 1, Carla Morrison open for the band on YouTube for a 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. On April 10, YouTube will broadcast the show for the very first time, with French band Feu! Chatterton on support.
In a statement, 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 travellers in Dermot Kennedy, Fontaines DC, 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 YouTube channel with weekly releases of music videos and never-before-seen content, all remastered at the highest possible standard. The coming year will see the band’s music video catalogue remastered in HD and launched exclusively on YouTube.
PHOTO CREDIT: Sam Jones