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"I think the opposite of love is not hate. It's apathy. You only get angry about things you really care about." — Bono

U2 postpones Utah show

Irish band's lead singer Bono forced to have emergency back surgery, prompting concert postponement.
Salt Lake Tribune

U2 has postponed its June 3 concert at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium because of emergency back surgery lead singer Bono underwent Friday in Germany. The date of the Utah concert hasn't been set.

The Salt Lake City concert was to kick off the next tour leg of the band's massive "360" tour, with band rehearsals scheduled to begin here on Tuesday, May 25.

Utah fans with tickets should wait for future announcements from concert promoter United Concerts.

Following the postponement, the set building that began earlier this week at the stadium had to be suspended and torn down. The band's 164-foot-tall "Claw," is said to be the largest stadium set in rock music history, and requires 120 trucks to carry it from show to show.

"The band were really looking forward to getting back out on the road until the emergency surgery on Bono's back, which took place in Munich today," U2 manager Paul McGuinness posted on the band's website Friday morning. "We were due to start rehearsals on Tuesday in Salt Lake City and get the show ready for the next leg. There were gonna be some changes and some new material. It's unfortunate that we're inconveniencing fans. We will make plans to reinstate these dates as soon as possible."

McGuinness added that more than 400 crew members had been in Utah or had been planning to come to Salt Lake City. Crew members who had not yet arrived in Utah were told to stay at home and await further news. Salt Lake City's Oasis Stage Werks is one of the local companies helping with tour set-up.

After Salt Lake City, the band was scheduled to perform at Anaheim's Angels Stadium on June 6 in a sold-out show. (The band's June 3 tour date in Utah hadn't sold out.) On Friday afternoon, Angels spokesman Adam Chodzko said they had't been notified of any postponement of the Anaheim date.

The band's website reported that Bono underwent back surgery for an injury he suffered during tour preparation training. He was admitted to a specialist in neurosurgery in a Munich hospital and was under the care of two neurosurgeons, and will spend several days recuperating.

Bono had been having back trouble for several years now, said Matt McGee, a writer for the U2 fan website, www.atu2.com, listing repeated instances in 2003 of the singer bowing out of appearances because of the pain he had been undergoing. In 2005, McGee said, Bono stopped at a New York doctor's office to seek advice on how to treat his back non-surgically.

U2's North American tour leg was to end on July 19 in New York City, with the band set to begin European dates on Aug. 6 in Italy. The European tour doesn't end until Oct. 8 in Rome.

U2 360 tour designer Willie Williams recently told a Cleveland radio station that the band was planning a different opening sequence to keep things fresh, fan website www.u2Tours.com reported. The idea was to post videos of fans' memories about prior U2 shows.

Utah fans will another opportunity, however, to see U2 live on June 3. The band will release a live DVD titled "U2 -- 360° AT THE ROSE BOWL," with a suggested retail price of $19.99. The deluxe edition will retail at $124.98.

(c) Salt Lake Tribune, 2010.