U2 is bringing The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 to Tokyo

Written by
Taryn Siegel

[Update, June 14] The first round of pre-sale has started. It's based on a lottery system and application ends June 23 at 23.59pm. Ticket prices range from ¥15,800 to ¥60,000. More information here (though the site is only available in Japanese).


New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, South Korea and, yes, Japan are the lucky recipients of U2's Joshua Tree Tour 2019. Tokyo (or rather, the neighbouring Saitama) will be hosting two shows, on Wednesday December 4 and Thursday December 5.

'The Joshua Tree', U2's fifth studio album, includes some of the band's greatest hits like 'Where the Streets Have No Name' and 'With or Without You'. It is not only widely considered the group's best work, but also one of the greatest records of all time. It became the fastest-selling record in British history, topped the charts in 20 different countries and really propelled the group into the worldwide fame it's enjoyed since.

In 2014 it was deemed 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant' by the US Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry. Some other titles sharing the registry include Eisenhower's D-day radio address and Thomas Edition's 1988 exhibitions, to give you an idea. 

The Joshua Tree album cover
The Joshua Tree

The band kicked off the first Joshua Tree full album tour in 2017 to celebrate the album's 30th anniversary, hitting North America, Europe and Latin America. At each show, U2 played 'Joshua Tree' in its entirety. It was the first time the band had organised a tour to commemorate a previous album instead of promoting a new release. A commemorative reissue of the 1987 album was also released that year, which included special remixes of the tracks, rare B-sides and concert footage from the 1987 show at Madison Square Garden. 

With a 20th anniversary remastering and 30th anniversary reissue doing their parts to commemorate the album, some people wondered if a commemorative tour was really necessary too. In response to this, guitarist the Edge cited the 2016 US Presidential election and other world events that he said gave new resonance to a lot of the issues raised in the album's songs. As Edge explained in a Rolling Stone interview, 'That record was written in the mid-80s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and US politics. It was a period when there was a lot of unrest. Thatcher was in the throes of trying to put down the miners' strike; there was all kinds of shenanigans going on in Central America. It feels like we're right back there in a way... it just felt like, "Wow, these songs have a new meaning and a new resonance today that they didn't have three years ago, four years ago."'

Whatever the rationale, the appeal of the tour was not over-estimated. Over 2.7 million tickets were sold, making it the highest-grossing tour of any artist that year.

U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017
Joshua Tree Tour 2017 - Bonnaroo

How to get tickets to The Joshua Tree full album tour 2019 in Tokyo

The 2019 tour is already generating just as much joy and enthusiasm from U2 fans across Asia. The Japan leg of the tour features two shows on December 4 and 5 at Saitama Super Arena (about 45 min from central Tokyo).

If you want to get in on the action, pre-sale tickets open to the general public from Friday June 14 until Sunday June 23. Following this is a second pre-sale from Monday July 1 until Saturday July 13

But they're not going to make it quite that easy. All the advanced tickets are distributed based on a lottery system. Check the site here when pre-sale opens and follow the links under the 'プレイガイド最速先行抽選予約' (Pre-sale lottery reservation) section. Regular ticket sales open July 20.

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