A cryptic message from U2, a scheduled concert without an attached band at the Rose Bowl and swirling rumors among U2’s biggest fans all seem to suggest the Irish rock band is returning to Pasadena this year.
U2’s frontman Bono revealed the band would perform shows in honor of the 30th anniversary of their album “The Joshua Tree” during a Christmas message on U2’s website. A new album “Songs of Experience” is also slated for 2017.
“Next year is going to be a big year for the U2 group,” Bono said in his message. “We have ‘Songs of Experience’ coming, and to honor 30 years of ‘The Joshua Tree,’ we have some very special shows coming, very special.”
One of those shows may be at the Rose Bowl in May.
Fansite @U2 kicked off the rumors Tuesday, after a source told them Live Nation and U2 would make a major announcement on Jan. 9 that includes a May 20 show at the iconic Rose Bowl stadium.
The date lines up perfectly with an unannounced two-day concert scheduled for May 20-21 at the Rose Bowl. Live Nation is the promoter for that event, according to the Rose Bowl Operating Company, the board in charge of the stadium.
The RBOC approved the concerts in December without any mention of who would play.
Rose Bowl General Manager Darryl Dunn declined to provide the name of the act or to confirm an appearance from U2. Any announcement about the act would come from the promoter, he said.
“The announcement will be made by Live Nation,” he said.
Live Nation did not respond to a request for comment.
The Beverly Hills-based company brought U2 to the Rose Bowl in Oct. 2009 during their 360 Tour. More than 97.000 people piled into the Rose Bowl for the sold out show and another 10 million across 188 countries watched from home through a record breaking live stream on Youtube, according to U2’s website. “The Joshua Tree” was released in 1987 and became U2’s first album to reach the top of the charts in the U.S. U2 won their first two Grammy Awards — Album of the Year and Best Rock Performance — for “The Joshua Tree.”
U2 could kick off a major season for music at the Rose Bowl. The summer of 2017 is the first year for the Arroyo Seco Music and Arts Festival, a two-day event put on by Anschutz Entertainment Group, the parent company of Coachella’s promoter, Goldenvoice.
The family-friendly festival has yet to announce a line-up, but Dunn said he expects details to begin coming out in the “near future.”
On Tuesday, Coachella rolled out its 2017 line-up featuring headliners Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar and Radiohead.
Staff writer Vanessa Franko contributed to this report.