Before U2 took the stage in Tokyo during a stop on their Joshua Tree Tour, the 200x40 ft screen at the back of the stage lit up with an outline of a Joshua tree along with the text, “I think of radio as air you can be on. I think of radio as bringing me to song.” The hat-tip to radio dissolved into a logo for the new U2X Radio on SiriusXM.
The band walked on stage as Bono said to the crowd, “They can hear you in New York City” as the intro was broadcast on the Howard Stern Channel on SiriusXM and also on Facebook Live. “Howard Stern can you hear us?” Bono said before the band broke into “Elevation” to open the concert.
U2X Radio will launch in 2020, with the band themselves taking to the airwaves, and will feature music from U2’s acclaimed decades-long career; never before heard interviews and live concert recordings; favorites and surprises from the archive; band-curated playlists sharing personal influences both new and old; plus, content celebrating their Dublin roots. Some content from U2X Radio will also be carried on Pandora.
“U2 has unparalleled influence as musicians, social activists and global cultural icons. The band's ability to evolve has enabled it to create a large and diverse library of hit songs, as well as four-plus decades' worth of renowned live performances,” President/Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein said in a release. “U2X Radio and the offering on Pandora will provide listeners new access and insights into one of the world's most accomplished bands.”
It’s one of the first artist-radio collaborations since SiriusXM absorbed Pandora, and follows recent partnerships with Drake, LeBron James and Marvel entertainment. U2X Radio joins other artist-themed channels, including Phish, Garth Brooks, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.