The SFX-produced U2 Elevation Tour 2001 is scheduled to stop in 33 arenas in the U.S. and Canada in a marked departure from the Irish supergroup’s many stadium outings during the 1980s and ‘90s.

As expected, U.K. rockers PJ Harvey will open the North American tour, which will likely expand in coming weeks.

Tickets for concerts in Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Toronto and Philadelphia go on sale January 13. Other onsale dates – including those for Atlanta, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Washington, D.C.; and New York City – will be announced shortly.

To accommodate an anticipated high ticket demand, additional dates may be scheduled in some cities.

U2 is expected to add approximately 30 European dates in coming months, including visits to the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, France, Denmark, Ireland and England.

The group’s last tour was 1997’s Pop Mart extravaganza, a worldwide stadium caravan.

Results were mixed as the marathon outing was one of the highest grossing tours of the year yet failed to sell out consistently, particularly in U.S. markets. Critics took aim at everything from a commercial tie-in with K-Mart to the extravagance of the show’s staging.

Perhaps bigger isn’t always better. The band has apparently decided to scale down the excess somewhat and settle for the “intimacy” of arenas.

U2 may be shedding some of its onstage indulgence, but that’s not to say the show won’t have its blockbuster elements. Published reports indicate U2 hasn’t totally given up its devotion to incorporating the latest technology in its live performance, so fans can still expect plenty of eye-popping visuals and other gimmicks.

Perhaps the best news for fans, though, will be the 360-degree end-stage configuration and a $45 general admission ticket price for more than half the seats.

Some sections will be priced at $85, with a small number of prime “gold circle” seats on either side of the stage going for $130 per ducat.

While the group has reinvented itself over the years from purveyors of post-punk rock to embracing techno-pop and dance music, U2 has gone back to its roots somewhat, reuniting last year with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois for All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

Eno and Lanois teamed with the band for arguably its best record, The Joshua Tree, in 1987.