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U2 tour postpones North American concerts until 2011 as Bono continues recovery
A few days after U2 postponed the scheduled June 3 launch of its latest North American tour leg, the renowned Irish rockers have postponed the remainder of the trek. Affected dates stretch from the opening show at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT, through the July 19 closing date at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Tour producer Live Nation made the announcement today, May 25. The North American tour will relaunch in 2011, but rescheduled dates have not been announced. Fans are encouraged to hold onto their tickets while they await further details from U2's official Web site.
Frontman Bono underwent emergency back surgery on May 21, leading to the initial postponement of U2's June 3 performance. According to his doctors, the rock veteran's post-surgery prognosis is excellent, but he requires a period of rehabilitation before resuming the on-going 360° Tour.
“Bono suffered severe compression of the sciatic nerve. On review of his MRI scan, I realized there was a serious tear in the ligament and a herniated disc, and that conservative treatment would not suffice," Dr. Muller Wohlfahrt said in a statement. "I recommended Bono have emergency spine surgery with Professor Tonn at Munich’s LMU University Hospital on Friday [May 21].”
In the statement, Professor Tonn commented that the surgery referral came as the result of a "sudden onset disease." Tonn, who performed the surgery, added, "He was already in severe pain with partial paralysis in the lower leg... This surgery was the only course of treatment for full recovery and to avoid further paralysis."
At this time, only U2's North American tour leg has been affected, as Bono undergoes a minimum of eight weeks' rehabilitation. It is unknown whether the band's late summer tour of Europe will also be delayed beyond that point.
More than 20 concerts are scheduled overseas, from August 6 at Stadio Olimpico in Turin, Italy, through October 8 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.
"Our biggest and I believe best tour has been interrupted and we're all devastated," U2's longtime band manager Paul McGuinness said in a statement. "For a performer who lives to be on stage, this is more than a blow. He feels robbed of the chance to do what he does best and feels like he has badly let down the band and their audience. Which is of course nonsense."
McGuiness added,"[Bono's] concerns about more than a million ticket buyers whose plans have been turned upside down, we all share, but the most important thing right now is that Bono make a full recovery. We're working as fast as we can with Live Nation to reschedule these dates."