U2 concert tour of States to skip this neck of the woods


Et tu, U2?

When the Irish rock act U2 announced the schedule for its first U.S. tour in five years late Monday evening, local fans may have noticed that Baltimore and Washington were not among the band's destinations.

Albany, N.Y., Austin, Texas, and Hartford, Conn., are included on the itinerary, as well as two shows in Los Angeles, two in the Boston area and three in or around New York City. But the 32-concert tour -- which begins Feb. 29 in Lakeland, Fla. -- gets no closer to our neck of the woods than a March 7 show at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton Roads, Va., and a March 10 date at the Philadelphia Spectrum.

What happened? "The dates that they needed in Washington weren't available," says concert promoter Dave Williams, the president of Cellar Door productions. "They're only doing a limited number of indoor dates, and they would have been backtracking to come back to Washington."

The Capital Centre confirmed that the arena was booked March 5-9, the dates that would have most easily fit the U2 itinerary. According to Capital Centre vice president Pat Darr, there's a Bullets game on the 5th, ice hockey on the 6th and 7th, and the Grateful Dead on the 8th and 9th.

Besides, adds Darr, "Just because they show up on a routing book doesn't mean they're available. We rely on Dave and Cellar Door to match us up."

Don't despair, though -- U2 will return. "They're coming back," says Williams, "and they'll probably be playing RFK Stadium this summer."

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