U2 would very much like for you to hear their new album. If you weren’t one of the 500 million iTunes subscribers who received an automatic download of Songs of Innocence on Sept. 9, or if you missed their live performance atop 30 Rock on the opening night of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, you can catch them performing on Fallon every night during the week of Nov. 17.
In addition to serving as musical guests all five nights, U2 will also appear with Fallon in comedy bits. Luckily for all his guests, Fallon seems to have the gift of funny dust, consistently making his guests appear charming by proxy. (But Bono’s no humorless drone, as he demonstrated with a spot-on impersonation of pal Bill Clinton at last year’s Clinton Global Initiative.)
The late-night residency appears to be something of a trend, with the Foo Fighters promoting a new album during an October residency on Letterman, and Metallica playing every night on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the same week that U2 will be on Fallon. The residency is probably a nice break for the shows’ booking managers and a music publicist’s dream, but regular viewers who don’t count themselves superfans will likely tire quickly of the repeat performances.
And the announcement of U2’s Fallon residency comes on the heels of substantial criticism — even, in some cases, vitriol — directed at the way in which U2 and Apple forced Songs of Innocence on anyone with an iTunes library, whether they wanted it or not. Labeled “devious,” “creepy,” and “worse than spam,” the move prompted Bono to apologize for what he admitted might look like megalomania, but at its heart was an attempt to reach as many people as possible with the band’s music.
So it feels a little soon, in the wake of what many deemed to be a total U2 overload, to receive news of another inescapable week of coverage of the band. (Not to mention that this publicity stunt comes a full two months after the album was released.) As of last month, the album had been downloaded by 26 million people, which is just shy of double the number of customers who have purchased music from U2 since the iTunes store launched a decade ago. Given this success, another major push seems, in a word, unnecessary.
To be fair, as TIME reported in September, every negative tweet was matched by one that praised the band, and the members took their moment in the spotlight to discuss a secret initiative they’re working on with Apple: A project that aims to address the problems musicians face in receiving sufficient compensation in an era in which listeners have come to expect to hear music for free. (The band, it should be noted, did receive compensation for Songs of Innocence from Apple, although the music was provided to listeners at no cost.)
So they managed to turn a publicity blunder, at least somewhat successfully, into some positive PR. But if you find yourself tiring of the extended spectacle that is U2, come 11:35 pm on Nov. 17, you are free to change the channel.