AWSI: Bono, the Light Bulb and More…

We are always a “wee bit” behind in our reading. There’s so much good stuff out there that we have to sort by what’s time sensitive. This post addresses something we saw in the Sunday NY Times from May 3.

Datelined VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, which is always an attention getter because we feel that it is one of the most beautiful and zen places on earth, we read on.

Sunday NYT U2 Piece

Sunday NYT U2 Piece

It was a story about the band Irish band, U2 and how they are about to embark their “Innocence and Experience” tour which is supposed to be a “wee bit” different from the other times they’ve hit the road.

U2 hits the Road.

U2 hits the Road.

Subtle to some, we noticed that this tour is slated to take place in various arenas throughout the country rather than the usual stadium venues. The story also stated U2 is taking “a radical new approach” to arena sound.

…it’s technologically savvy and determined to be intimate…

A lot of the piece focused on the preparations for the tour — testing the new approach.

Sound from the Ceiling:

For this tour, they’ve are using an oval of 12 speaker arrays up on the arena’s ceiling that send the music downward –evenly and everywhere.

When I walked all around the coliseum as the band played, the music was uniformly transparent and strong, the volume constant from front to back. “If you’re trying to blast sound the length of the venue from the stage, the venue sometimes wins and you get mud,” the Edge said. “With this, you don’t have to have it so loud — you’re getting good quality sound from something that’s much closer to you than normal.”

So clearly, the band wants to create an immersive experience as opposed to the usual “blast at you” experience.

It all fits when the band describes the storytelling aspects of their performance.

“The songs are the boss. They tell us what to do and they tell everyone in this building what to do,” the Edge said during a dinner meeting. “We’ve just got to unlock what the songs are asking and telling us what to do.”

From the description in the Times piece, the concert seems to have “Acts” like a play.

…At the intermission, Bono said, half-seriously, “people will walk out into the aisles not buying T-shirts but having counseling, and wondering, ‘Where did the fun go?’ ” The second half of the concert breaks down the divide and, true to U2’s past, promises healing and love. “When we undo that division, we’ve got to really glue them together,” Bono said.

So it isn’t really a U2 concert, it is a U2-led journey.


Wow! Idea, Energy, Power…

Wonder what impact it will have on the audience?

We love these guys!

Closing Notable Quotable – Being Fully in the Moment:

“We’re keeping the discipline on songs and pushing out the parameters of the sound,” Bono said. “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.”

About the Bulb & More:

An Irish Times article (Bono’s injury and U2’s shrinking tour) that we found also focused on the light bulb — providing a wee bit more context.

The band’s most stripped-down show yet begins by taking audiences inside Bono’s bedroom at 10 Cedarwood Road in Finglas.

Under that bulb a teenage Bono listens to the music that made him want to be in a band: songs by The Ramones and The Clash. As the narrative-driven show progresses, the audience see them play their first shows in London and make their first trip to the US.

The first half of what sounds like something approaching an autobiographical musical will focus on their “innocence”. In the second half – this is the band’s first show with an interval – U2 move from the main stage via a giant walkway to the opposite end of the arena, to play on a second, “experience” stage.

We may never get a chance to experience the U2 Journey ourselves — but we do plan on following its impact online.


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