Chart-toppers U2 look set to bring their Joshua Tree tour - marking the 30th anniverasary of the release of the Grammy-winning album - to New Zealand next year.

Former Whanganui musician Tony Johns has told the Wanganui Chronicle that the band, currently touring in North America, is coming to New Zealand. The news has not been formally announced on their website yet.

While no official announcement has been made by U2, the band's management has indicated they will take the tour widely around the globe.

Johns said he had been contacted by U2's management seeking information about the band's late employee and friend, Whanganui man Greg Carroll.


During the conversation he said management had dropped the bombshell that the band would tour here.

"They're doing The Joshua Tree and they're coming here next year."

U2 frontman Bono works the crowd on stage during one of their Auckland shows in 2010. Photo / NZPA - Wayne Drought
U2 frontman Bono works the crowd on stage during one of their Auckland shows in 2010. Photo / NZPA - Wayne Drought

Johns is convinced they're coming to do a tribute to Carroll, who became U2's stage manager, "roadie" and dear friend of Bono, the band's famous lead singer.

Carroll was killed in a motorcycle accident in Dublin in 1986.

The Joshua Tree album released in New Zealand (and Australia) contained an extra track: One Tree Hill - a song written by Bono in Carroll's memory. Now one of U2's iconic tracks, it is rarely performed live as Bono said the emotion is still too raw.

Johns was not sure what U2 has planned but tributes will be paid to Carroll in some way during many of the band's anniversary concerts which began in Vancouver this month.

"I'm pretty sure it's going to be in memory of Greg. They phoned me up asking for information about him - basically interviewed me - and asked if I had any photos of him."

Frequently featured on critics' lists of the greatest records, The Joshua Tree is one of the world's best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold.


The set list published on Wikipedia revealed 22 songs that split the concert into three acts - the band's greatest hits are followed by the entire The Joshua Tree album before ending on more of their well known numbers.

U2 has performed 14 concerts in New Zealand.

The band's last Kiwi concert on November 26, 2010 came just days after the Pike River mine disaster. They acknowledged the sombre mood of the nation. U2's Bono said the band felt privileged to be there, especially at a time when hearts were aching and so raw.

Struggling for the right words to convey his condolences for the people of Greymouth, he said: "People deal with grief in all sorts of ways. In Ireland, we sing".

See the full Wanganui Chronicle story here.