Monday, October 05, 2009
I know it's about the music, but sometimes you have to mention the engineering. U2 are touring to support their new album, No Line on the Horizon. The music was great, especially when they dipped into Joshua Tree, but what stole the show was the visual experience. The show was opened by Muse, and during their set the huge cylindrical screen meant we could get a close up of the band from way up on the hill. But when U2 took to the stage they really opened up all the stops. Being cylindrical, the width of the screen is essentially infinite, but somehow every member of the band could be seen all at one time without any obvious breaks in the image. Then, almost imperceptible, the bottom of the screen begins to extend downwards. After a few minutes the hexagonal units have completely separated and the screen displays full length images of an aging Bono, rocking out. In the center of the stage is a tower, the lights of which stream through the gaps in the screen creating the most awesome effect. Just when you thought it could get any more staggering, the screen begins to contract, from the top! Once the pieces have come back together again, the cylinder hangs just a few feet about the heads of the band. Did I mention the music was good?