U2 has taken up residence at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver for a month of full-scale rehearsal for its Innocence + Experience Tour, according to The New York Times. The tour, promoting the band's album, Songs Of Innocence, will start May 14 at Rogers Arena.
The band's previous tour, 360° from 2009 to 2011, was a massive production. Longtime U2 show director Willie Williams, architect Mark Fisher of Stufish, and production director Jake Berry created a scenic and lighting structure - dubbed The Claw - that was the largest ever designed for a concert tour. Check out a gallery of U2's concert tour designs of the past ten years. Now, the band has scaled back, but Jon Pareles notes in his NY Times article that the band has nonetheless already "sold 98% of its 1.2 million tickets available for its 68 concerts."
Production design for Innocence + Experience Tour is by Es Devlin. Lighting design is, naturally, by Willie Williams. Originally, the NY Times states, the plan was to design two different concerts, but the decision was recently made to break the concert into two halves via an intermission: the first half focusing on innocence and the second on experience.
The stage is a triple platform. Pareles describes that a large rectangular stage has a strip which can light up as an "I" for innocence. A small, round stage can light up an "E" for experience. In between the two stages is a walkway bordered by LED video screens, according to The New York Times. The walkway turns into a barrier that separates the audience completely in the middle of the concert, reflecting upon the overall narrative of the music.
Scaling back from the 360 Tour, the concert begins with a single light bulb, reminiscent of when Bono began to play music in his room on Cedarwood Road (also the name of a U2 song). For the song, "Raised By Wolves," which reflects on the 1974 terrorist car bombing in Dublin that killed 33 people, Gavin Friday was "told to make the song really real," and has thus created an "audio collage of explosions, speeches, and news reports around the 1974 bombing," writes Pareles for the NY Times. The divide comes down for the second half of the concert, symbolizing unity.
For the full article, please visit The New York Times.
Check out our full coverage, sponsored by SHS Global at our Project In Focus on U2's iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour here, and check back often for continuing updates.