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U2 'PopMart' Ticket Sales Off to Sluggish Start in L.A.

February 17, 1997|STEVE HOCHMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

U2's "PopMart" concert at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum June 21 is off to an unspectacular start in terms of ticket sales.

The tickets went on sale Saturday morning, and as of midday Sunday, Ticketmaster telephone operators reported high availability in both price ranges ($52.50 and $37.50) as calls came in "slowly." The Irish band's last tour, in 1993, sold out Dodger Stadium twice as well as Anaheim Stadium. At this time, there are no plans to add a second L.A. date or any Orange County dates.

The tepid start may be in part because the group's new album, "Pop," won't be in stores until March 4. In any case, sales for "PopMart" tour stops at Giants Stadium in the New York area, Soldiers Field in Chicago and the Foxboro Stadium near Boston--all of which also went on sale Saturday--were much stronger, and second dates have been added at each venue.

The tour--which opens April 25 at the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl in Las Vegas and includes a stop at the Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego on April 28, will be a massive production celebrating/spoofing kitsch and commercialism, with such props as a giant lemon mirror ball, a towering McDonald's-like arch and a huge olive perched atop a 100 foot-tall toothpick. Both the tour and the album will be monitored closely by music executives to see if this superstar act can break through the stagnation that has plagued the concert and record businesses recently, as manifest in diminished sales for new albums last year from such supposed "sure things" as R.E.M. and Pearl Jam.

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