U2 kick off world tour on vast stage in Barcelona


June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 12, 2010 at 5:07 PM EDT

Irish rock megastars U2 launched their new world tour on a vast stage in Barcelona before some 90,000 fans with a show that included a live linkup with the International Space Station.

Lead singer Bono also dedicated their song "Angel of Harlem" to the late Michael Jackson.

The veteran band took the stage in the Camp Nou stadium, home to the Barcelona football club, at around 10 pm (2000 GMT) to kick off its "360 degrees" tour, linked to its new album "No Line on the Horizon".

The show was held on an immense stage that takes up half the stadium's field. Above it is a massive metal structure, nicknamed "The Claw" by the fans and which resembles a giant four-legged spider, 50 metres (150 feet) across and weighing 390 tonnes.

"We want to do something which has never been done before," Bono said recently of the innovative stage.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first moon landings, Bono held a live video linkup with the International Space Station during the two-hour performance.

The 90,000 tickets for the concert sold out in just 54 minutes on March 25, for between 30 and 150 euros (40 and 200 dollars) each. A second concert is scheduled in Barcelona for Thursday.

A few hundred of the fans had even spent Monday night outside the stadium to ensure a good spot on the grass.

After Barcelona, the tour moves to Milan's San Siro stadium on July 7 and then to France, Germany and the Netherlands.

The band returns home on July 24 to play Croke Park in Dublin before heading for Sweden, Poland and Croatia and then five gigs in Britain.

They then head over the Atlantic, with their first show in the US and Canada leg of the tour at Chicago's Soldier Field on September 12.

Their last tour in 2005 and 2006 drew some 4.5 million fans at 127 shows, all sold out.

U2, founded in Dublin in 1978, has sold around 100 million albums.

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