South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 24, 2011 · 67
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South Florida Sun Sentinel from Fort Lauderdale, Florida · 67

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, June 24, 2011
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ft oauLl REVIEW Band hopes huge stage U2 fans in L.A. found exactly what they were looking for in 360 Tour, 'disappears' Woooo-ooon mdr ma v- n. " v w at ,v w By Randall Roberts LOS ANGELES TIMES The U2 stage rig, nicknamed "The Claw," l(xks better after dark. At dusk, as thousands of fans filed into a sold-out Angel Stadium in Anaheim last week, it was apparent that the orange spots extending up the hulking four-legged structure, within which U2 has per-fi rmed since it launched its 360 Tour in 2009, were stalling to fade. A few scuffs along the skin like tarp covering the mechanical creature, tx), offered evidence of many times being loaded on and off 18-wheelers with the biggest rock band on Earth. U2, birthed in Dublin, Ire-land, in 1976, was back on the road with the 360 Tour doing makeup dates it was forced to cancel when singer Bono, 51, injured his back during rehearsals in the spring of 2010. The question for many was, could U2 still bring it? At the beginning of the concert, not really Starting with "Even Hotter Than the Real Thing," the band sounded muddled,, the engine of the masic not yet warm, the fans experiencing the initial adrenaline rush but not yet burid inside the rhythms. And "I Will Eullow," the first cut on the band's first album, "Hoy" (l!tf)0), hasn't aged well, even if it pulls at the nostalgia strings for many " And when, during the propulsive "Got on Your Ikxto," two rolling bridges that connect different parts of the circular stage first rolM into place and the Edge and bassist Adam Clayton played alxve the crowd, the maneuver felt t(x staged, too pc istured. Hut something magical happened about 20 minutes in, during "Elevation." Maybe it was the overjoyed crowd lx-1-lowing the song's "Wcxxx- JUAN MABROMATAAFP U2's massive stage becomes part of the show In the group's 360 Tour, which comes to Sun Life Stadium on Wednesday. xx xi!" chorus, or the way the lights reflected off the masses down on the pitch. Whatever it was rushed across the stadium like a cold front, leaving in its wake the sacred sensation that all masic lovers seek. The sound and vision clicked, the world started spaiWing, the audience moving and singing as one. The moment didn't happen exactly the same for everyone, or at the same tune, but you amid see it all around: A few rows up, a seventysomothing Gloria Swanson kx)king lady mouthed the closing words to "Until the End of the World." "Waves of regret, waves of j yI reached out for the one I tried to destroy" A few seats over, a thlrtysomothing frat dude air-guitarod the Edge's classic riffs. Ihr me, It was "Bcauttnil Day," and it always is, a brilliant piece of aural 1 Yozac. Kbr others, it was "lVide (In the Name of Ive)." Or "Vertigo," or "Walk On," which they closed the set with before re- If you go PAULO WHITAKERREUTERS Bono's back Injury forced U2 to cancel last year's South Florida stop on the 360 tour. turning for two encores. U2 kn( ws how to create huge moments filled with truth, with meaning, with ho)x but with honesty and insight Yes. at times the truths seem painfully obvious if you've read the news, or if you're a hopeless cynic. This big-ogix-d dude roaming the stage In leather and rocking sunglasses at night lixks a little ridicu- U2 performs with opening act Florence and the Machine, 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sun Life Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd. (NW 199th St.). Miami Gardens. Tickets: $42.25-$287.25at Tlcketmaster outlets. lous. He wary Rut then recall he did write "Moment of Surrender," which the band ended the show with. A song alxnit the most personal kind of submission, the loss of wlf, the singer in the leather had a message that rang true for many at least according to the roars of the crowd as the band floated toward conclusion: "At the moment of surrender1 folded to my kneosI did not notice the passersliyAnd they did not notice me." A mirror ball rotated amid the fog at the top of The Claw. That kind of light 'shouting tnto the darkness never gets old By MikaelWood LOS ANGELES TIMES The man who designed the stage for U2's current 360 Tour, which stops Wednesday at Sun Life Stadium, knows that the size of his creation is cause for attention. "Mow many miles of cable, how many trucks it's all very easy to pick up on," said Willie Williams, who has been working with the Irish rock band since 1982. Still, Will iams insists that the scale of it is "absolutely the least interesting thing about it," he said. "Even though it's very tall and very wide, the magic trick is that when you stand onstage, the whole thing disappears. The reason it's so big is to make it invisible." How, exactly, does that work? Hy removing the hulking backdrop that usually defines a stadiiun show and relocating ail those tons of gear above the band's playing area, the designer said he's been abie to create the illusion that the gear isn't there at all. An early inspiration was the Theme Building at LAX airport in Los Angeles, a favorite of U2 frontman Bono's. "My pitch to him was, 'Imagine the Theme Building straddling a football field with a little stage underneath,' " Williams said. "Erom that moment on we knew what we were doing, and over two years of work the intent never changed." According to U2 manager Paul McGuin-ness, the structure has practical advantages: It allowed the band to expand the seat ing capacity at most venues by about 20 percent. "We've broken a lot of attendance records usually ones we've set ourselves," McGuinnesssaid, "Where U2 came from conceptually was this culture that was alxnit everyone having access to the stage." said the group's bassist, Adam Clayton, "Somt forward to the current toui and that's what we've created here, just bigger." Backstage pass Find tour photos and reviews, plus take an Interactive look at the Immense stage being erected for U2's tour stop at Sun Life Stadium at SunSentlnel.comU2. See a graphic Illustration of It on Page 24. re 70 X O c z o c z z m o 2 c z () m z z m r

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