Four years after U2’s last tour, 360°, the band hit the road with the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour in 2015. U2’s creative team, led by Creative Director, Willie Williams, and set designers, Es Devlin and Ric Lipson (Stufish), focused on keeping the same approach in design as the 360° production for the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE tour, but with a more intimately-scaled set built for arenas, instead of stadiums, to enhance the U2 fan experience.
The production that played like a narrative rock opera featured PRG Nocturne’s V-Thru LED video wall, a structured panel system that appeared transparent, providing the audience with a show that allowed for more interaction with U2. U2’s Video Director, Stefaan “Smasher” Desmedt, incorporated two 96’ wide by 23’ high V-Thru screens, one on each side of the catwalk stage to create the appearance of an invisible block.
The 66 percent transparency of the V-Thru screens created scrim-like visual effects with the 28 mm LEDs in clear plastic tubes, while the power and data cables were hidden in the V-Thru support rails that were 6’ apart. This enabled the band to be visible through the LED tiles and interact with both the audience and video content.
PRG’s V-Thru system supported the video with a full-range of colors (16-Bit). The V-Thru screens provided the production with a platform to transform the show with a layered effect of vivid imagery with a combination of video content created by Ben Nicholson of Empirical Studio, lighting design by Willie Williams and lighting effects directed by Mark “Sparky” Risk and Alex Murphy.
The lighting package, also supported by PRG, was designed to create an atmosphere of connectedness. Two grandMA2 consoles were used to control the thirty-two PRG Bad Boy Spots, forty-three PRG Best Boy Washes, and fifty-six PRG Best Boy HP Spots. Sixteen of the PRG Best Boys Spots were placed inside the V-Thru screen structure to enhance the video content.
One of the lighting concerns for production was the need for spotlights as “front-of-house” took on a different definition for the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE production set and placing spotlights became an issue. PRG’s solution for production was rigging the arena with PRG Bad Boy Spots on truss manually operated with the PRG Bad Boy Followspot Controller. This lighting solution allowed the stage to be lit efficiently with the added option of color, gobos, dimming, and zoom capabilities from the PRG Bad Boy Spots enriching the overall audience experience of U2’s narrative production.
- Creative Director/Lighting Designer: Willie Williams
- Creative/Set Director: Es Devlin
- Set Director: Ric Lipson (Stufish)
- Executive Director: Gavin Friday
- Video Content: Ben Nicholson (Empirical Studio)
- Video Director: Stefaan “Smasher” Desmedt
- Lighting Director: Mark “Sparky” Risk
- Lighting Director/Show Caller: Alex Murphy
- 38 PRG Bad Boy Spot Luminaire
- 20 PRG Bad Boy HP Spot Luminaire with PRG Followspot Controller
- 66 PRG Best Boy HP Spot Luminaire
- 47 PRG Best Boy Wash Luminaire
- 7 MA Lighting grandMA2 Console
- 2 MA Lighting grandMA
- 2 PRG Nocturne V-Thru LED Screens
- 2 PRG Nocturne VR-7 7mm IMAG Screens
- 2 d3 Technologies d3 4x4 Media Servers
- 1 PRG Nocturne Karrera S-series SD/HD/3G capable Video Flypack System
- 8 Grass Valley HD Cameras, 5 Long Lens, 3 Hand Held
- 12 PRG BAT Truss 8’ 15”x24” Low Profile
- 3 PRG BAT Truss 10’ 15”x24” Low Profile
- 8 PRG BAT Truss 8’ 15”x30” Low Profile
- 28 PRG BAT Truss 8’ 15”x30” Low Profile
- 1 Circle Truss 21’ OD 20”x20”