U2 to Air 'Innocence' Show, Behind-the-Scenes Doc on HBO - Rolling Stone
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U2 to Air ‘Innocence’ Show, Behind-the-Scenes Doc on HBO

Two new films focusing on band’s Paris concert and ‘Innocence + Experience’ tour will air this November


U2 will be the subject of two HBO specials later this year: a live show from Paris and behind-the-scenes doc on their Innocence + Experience tour

Sam Jones

Two new U2 films, a behind-the-scenes documentary and a live concert, will air on HBO this fall. The doc, premiering November 7th, will focus on how the group’s current Innocence + Experience tour came together, while the concert film will be shot at the band’s Paris gig on November 14th and air the same day. Titles for both films have ye to be revealed.

The documentary will feature interviews with all four members of the group, as well as the people who work backstage and helped conceive the band’s current tour. The trek has found the band using an surround-sound system, expansive lighting rig and other innovative design ideas. Crew members interviewed include Willie Williams, who has provided tour concepts for the group for more than 30 years, designer Es Devlin, production director Jack Berry, audio director Joe O’Herlihy, executive director Gavin Friday and set designer Ric Lipson, among others.

The doc will also chronicle the challenges and travails that beset the tour early on, such as Bono’s debilitating bicycle accident, and how they overcame them. Davis Guggenheim, who directed An Inconvenient Truth, led the production and will direct the film.

The concert film will be shot at the band’s stop at Paris’ Bercy Arena. Fans can expect the group to play a career-spanning set list, with songs dating back to its 1980 debut Boy, as it has since the beginning of the Innocence + Experience run. It will also show how the group employs three stages on the tour and offer a close-up look at the unique design employed on the trek in action. Longtime collaborator Hamish Hamilton, who has worked on several U2 concert films in the past, will helm the film.

Since it launched in Vancouver in May, the tour has found U2 revisiting old songs they hadn’t played in years, welcoming unexepcted guests and other surprises. Recently, the group pulled out “Two Hearts Beat as One” and “October,” both of which it had not played live in over 25 years. The band has also brought Lady Gaga and Jimmy Fallon and the Roots onstage and offered a tribute band and young audience member to play with their idols. The North American leg of the tour ends this week before the group resumes the trek in Europe in September.

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