With U2 kicking off a North American tour this week, the group has released a short video offering a glimpse of what fans can expect. The 45-second clip opens with an illustration of the staging, shots of the band backstage and the Edge warming up. But it really kicks into gear when Bono steps onstage – showing off the group’s lighting, drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. walking a catwalk with a marching-band snare and more impressive views of the stage. It ends with Bono’s arms outstretched.
Late last month, the group detailed how they intended to begin touring arenas after hitting stadiums on their last jaunt. They told The New York Times that they had crafted a three-part stage with a capital I to represent “innocence” (their latest record was titled Songs of Innocence) a lower-case “e” (they’ve teased a new album titled Songs of Experience) and a catwalk to symbolize the “passage from innocence to experience.”
The band also revealed that they were using a special sound system that would evenly distribute sound throughout the audience. Instead of having two giant speakers on either side of a stage, like most arena concerts, the band plan on hanging speakers from the ceiling.
They told the Times that, since they were playing multi-night residencies in every city of the tour, they would be varying the set lists by night. The first half of each concert would be “relatively fixed,” whereas the second would highlight a more diverse and unpredictable set.
Beyond the tour, U2 are also recording new material on the road. “We’re keeping the discipline on songs and pushing out the parameters of the sound,” Bono told The Times of the new songs. “They’re very basic earthy things, irreverent. They’re not lofty themes. One of the things that experience has taught us is to be fully in the moment. What’s the moment? Pop music.”
The group will play its first Innocence and Experience Tour date on Thursday in Vancouver. The tour will find U2 playing lengthy residencies in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and New York City before bringing the tour to Europe.