Feb. 12 [Updated 15:30 EST] -- U2 took to the lingerie department of a K-Mart in the heart of New York's Greenwich Village to announce plans for a suitably extravagant North American "PopMart" tour.
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 a 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 "POP-Mart" tour.
MTV viewers will be able to purchase tickets for U2's tour before they go on sale anywhere else, and can tune in at 8 p.m. Friday, February 14 for more details about tickets. The band will also play the 1997 "MTV Video Music Awards" in September.
The band's last outing, the group's Zoo-TV tour ("Zoo Station" live QuickTime, 1MB) was a spectacle in its own right, but U2 declared their plans for an even more ambitious tour this time out, with Bono boasting that it will be "bigger" than before. And, of course, it will not be cheap. "It costs a fortune to look this trashy," Bono deadpanned.
The "PopMart" tour promises to be equal parts kitsch and content, 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."
Contrary to published reports, the band said it will not hook up with a sponsor for the tour.
The band cleared up months of speculation with its announcement at noon on Wednesday in front of a worldwide audience that tuned in live on MTV as well as radio and the Internet.
If you missed all the fun live, you can catch the action again on MTV at 5 and 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Here's how the tour shapes up:
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, CA @ 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 - New York, NY @ 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 - Boston, MA @ Foxboro Stadium