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U2's Bono Previews Innovative "No Line on the Horizon" Tour

February 27, 2009 3:05 PM ET

After selling out countless arenas this decade, U2 are heading outdoors this year with their first U.S. stadium tour since 1997's PopMart Tour. The band members, who release No Line on the Horizon on March 3rd, haven't yet announced dates for the tour or details about what they'll play. But they hope to keep ticket prices unusually low, and they're already planning an innovative setup that will allow for 360-degree seating around the stage, which will be moved closer to the center of the field than in any other stadium show. "It's an engineering feat that creates this real physical proximity to the crowd," Bono tells Rolling Stone, adding that the band wants to maximize space in the enormous venues to accommodate the many young fans it has made this decade with hits such as "Vertigo." "We're going outdoors to try to meet that audience.

"We want to play for each other as much as we want to play for the crowd this time," Bono adds. "You just don't know how long you will be going to be doing this. I just sat everyone down the other day, because some concerns about the tour had come up, and nobody wants to be away from their families. I just said, 'This is an unbelievable and rare opportunity to be in this band and to play at this level. You don't know what is around the corner, you don't know if you will be up for it or the audience will be up for it. Right now, we are perfectly riding across those two thoughts and every single night should be the best night of your life. If not, then we are just the worst of those Seventies dinosaur bands that felt it was enough to just turn up and play and that people were lucky to be in their presence.' "

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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