U2 Will Split Tour Into Two Legs

Feb. 13 [Updated 14:00 EST] -- U2's "bigger, better, taller, wider" PopMart tour will hit North America twice in 1997.

The first leg will kick off April 25 in Las Vegas, and after three months of European dates it will return on October 26 in Toronto.

The band took over the lingerie section of downtown Manhattan's only K-Mart (QuickTime, 3MB) to announce details of its upcoming tour, which it described as a "giant, sci-fi disco supermarket."

The scene was every bit as surreal as it sounds, with the band performing "Holy Joe" (Live QuickTime, 3MB) under a K-Mart section sign that read "Pop Group" while the retail chain's trademark blue light flashed in the background.

But after the music was over, Bono pointed out "We're here on business."

With that, the band discussed details about their new album, "POP" (due March 4), and their eagerly awaited "PopMart" tour.

The international itinerary will take U2 to South America and war-torn Sarajevo for the first time, and will hit 20 countries before the end of the year.

The "PopMart" tour promises to be equal parts kitsch and content (QuickTime, 1.8MB), Bono conceded.

"We just figured out, I mean, we're still the bleeding heart's club, is the truth. Our music is painfully, insufferably earnest. We've just got really smart at disguising it and throwing people off that trail."

The band's last outing, the group's Zoo-TV tour, was a spectacle in its own right, but U2 declared their plans for an even more ambitious tour this time out. The elaborate high-tech, pop art take on consumerism will feature the worldºs largest video screen (150 ft. by 50 ft.), as well as giant stage props like a mirrorball lemon , a stuffed olive, and a golden arch.

And, of course, it will not

be cheap. "It costs a fortune to look this trashy," Bono deadpanned.

Still, the band said it will not hook up with a sponsor for the tour.

"We've no sponsor on this tour. And it's not like we're taking this huge high and mighty position on this. I mean, if we could get someone to give us a load of money and not have to kiss ass, we probably would take it," Bono said.

However, as a co-presenter of the U2 tour, MTV will give you a chance to buy tickets before they go on sale, with live specials each Friday night at 8 for the next month. This Friday, we'll have tickets for the first six shows which will be available elsewhere on Saturday.

Tickets will be available this Friday for May 26 in Washington D.C., May 31 at the New Jersey Meadowlands, June 8 in Philadelphia, June 21 in Los Angeles, June 27 in Chicago, and July first in Foxboro, Massachussettes.

The band will also play the 1997 "MTV Video Music Awards" in September.

Here's how the tour shapes

up...

First Leg:

4/25 - Las Vegas, NV @ Sam Boyd Stadium 4/28 - San Diego, CA @ Jack Murphy Stadium 5/1 - Denver, CO @ Mile High Stadium 5/3 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Rice Stadium 5/6 - Eugene, OR @ Autzen Stadium 5/9 - Phoenix, AZ @ Sun Devil Stadium 5/12 - Dallas, TX @ Cotton Bowl 5/14 - Memphis, TN @ Liberty Bowl 5/16 - Clemson, SC @ Death Valley Stadium 5/19 - Kansas City, MO @ Arrowhead Stadium 5/22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Three Rivers Stadium 5/24 - Columbus, OH @ Ohio Stadium 5/26 - Washington, D.C. @ R.F.K. Stadium 5/29 - Raleigh, NC @ Carter Finley Stadium 5/31 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Giants Stadium 6/8 - Philadelphia, PA @ Franklin Field 6/12 - Winnipeg, MAN @ Winnepeg Stadium 6/14 - Edmonton, ALB @ Commonwealth Stadium 6/18 - Oakland, CA @ Oakland Coliseum 6/21 - Los Angeles, CA @ L.A. Memorial Coliseum 6/25 - Madison, WI @ Randall Stadium 6/27 - Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field 7/1 - Foxboro, MA @ Foxboro Stadium

Second Leg:

10/26 - Toronto, ONT

@ Toronto Skydome 10/29 - Minneapolis, MN @ HHH Metrodome 10/31 - Pontiac, MI @ Pontiac Silverdome 11/2 - Montreal, QUE @ Olympic Stadium 11/8 - St. Louis, MO @ Trans World Dome 11/10 - Tampa, FL @ Tampa Stadium 11/12 - Jacksonville, FL @ Municipal Stadium 11/14 - Miami, FL @ Pro Player Stadium 11/19 - Indianapolis, IN @ Hoosier Dome 11/21 - New Orleans, LA @ Louisiana Superdome 11/23 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome 11/26 - Atlanta, GA @ Georgia Dome 11/29 - Houston, TX @ Astrodome U.S.A. 12/2 - Mexico City, MEX @ Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez 12/9 - Vancouver, BC @ B.C. Place Stadium 12/12 - Seattle, WA @ Kingdome