Secrets Behind U2’s Audio and Video Technology for Innocence + Experience Tour

If you’ve been to see U2 on their current tour, you probably left impressed with the stage set-up and the massive tw0-sided screen that in a hockey rink stretches at least from blue line to blue line. It’s also hollow, which allows the band to perform from inside and interact with the various projections. It’s pretty damn cool.

How to they make it all work? Sounds like a job for a publication like Computer World. U2’s crew is awfully clever and tech-savvy. WARNING: There be serious geekery ahead.

Irish rockers U2 are continuing to innovate in their use of video on the current Innocence + Experience tour, and behind the scenes is some extremely high-performance, all-flash technology.

Video show director Stefaan “Smasher” Desmedt is using an all-flash configuration of a ruggedized EMC VNXe3200 to help run the spectacle, pulling new video projects and archived footage to show on massive specialized displays that hang overhead. He also incorporates live video as it’s being captured for display on the conventional giant screens that are commonly seen in arenas.

The visual centerpiece of the show is an eye-catching tunnel suspended above the catwalk that extends from the main stage, the walls of which are two semi-transparent LED video screens that are 29 meters wide and 7 meters tall. Each screen uses 240 individual V-Thru panels from Saco Technologies. A walkway runs in between the screens, and during parts of the show such as the song “Cedarwood Road,” lead singer Bono climbs up into the assembly and appears to interact with the video and graphics projected on the screens.

Keep reading.

On a slightly different topic, U2 performed the song “October” for the first time in a quarter century at one of their Madison Square Garden shows. Watch. (Via Michael)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37884 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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