U2 plans tour to mark 30 years since The Joshua Tree album

 Irish singer Bono (right) and guitarist The Edge perform with their band U2 in Sao Paulo in 2011, as part of their 360 Tour.
Irish singer Bono (right) and guitarist The Edge perform with their band U2 in Sao Paulo in 2011, as part of their 360 Tour. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - U2 on Monday announced a stadium tour of North America and Europe to mark 30 years since The Joshua Tree, the Irish group's seminal album.

U2 will start the 25 shows on May 12 in Vancouver - the second straight tour that the band has opened in the western Canadian city - and end on August 1 in Brussels.

The tour will mark the first stadium-size shows by U2 since the group's 2009-2011 "360" concerts, which remain the highest-grossing tour in music history.

Released in March 1987, The Joshua Tree reached into the roots of Irish and American music and produced classic hits With or Without You, Where the Streets Have No Name and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

Frontman Bono brought a political edge to the lyrics, taking on violent conflict and US support for Latin American dictatorships under Ronald Reagan.

Guitarist The Edge said that the album, which sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, seemed "relevant and prescient" three decades later.

"It seems like we have come full circle from when The Joshua Tree songs were originally written, with global upheaval, extreme right-wing politics and some fundamental human rights at risk," he said in a statement.

The band plans to play The Joshua Tree in its entirety at each concert. Opening acts will include folk revivalists Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers as well as Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.

The tour will include the first-ever US festival show by U2 - at Bonnaroo, a hippie-inspired communal concert that takes place each June in rural Tennessee.

U2's appearance marks a coup in the increasingly competitive world of festival bookings after Bonnaroo's attendance slipped in 2016.

Concert giant Live Nation, which is presenting U2's latest tour, bought Bonnaroo in 2015.