More than 90,000 fans have piled into Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium tonight for the kick off of U2's 360° Tour. The biggest stadium in all of Europe is bearing witness to the Irish rockers' first gig performing songs off their latest album, No Line on the Horizon, as well as getting a look at the band's massive new stage set-up first-hand. Lovingly dubbed the Claw by the band and the army of crew members needed to erect it on a nightly basis, the stage — anchored in the middle of the field — features a giant 360 video screen, flowing silk screens and a light show that would make Pink Floyd jealous. (Take the interactive tour of the Claw at U2's official Website — and attempt to watch the show via live stream here.)
"We have here a huge production, there's no denying that. It's likely the largest rock & roll touring stage production that's ever been put together," said design architect Mark Fisher in an EPK showing the construction of the set. "The inspiration was to make a set that was intimate as you can make it in a stadium. So everybody in the stadium feels like they are real close to the band and the band feel like they're real close to everybody in the stadium."
As Bono told Rolling Stone when news of the tour first emerged, the stage set up is "an engineering feat that creates this real physical proximity to the crowd." While the tour launches tonight, American fans will have to wait until autumn before feasting their eyes on the Claw, as the U2 360° tour arrives at Chicago's Soldier Field on September 12th. Snow Patrol (who will open tonight's Barcelona show), Muse, Kaiser Chiefs, the Black Eyed Peas and Glasvegas are among the opening acts for the trek. For much more from tonight's Barcelona kickoff show, be sure to check Rock Daily tomorrow for photos and more.