Wednesday, July 1, 2009

U2 launches 360° world tour in Barcelona with some space oddities

Irish rock band U2 kicked off their 360° world tour on June 30th before a crowd of 90,000 rabid fans in Barcelona, Spain. Performing inside Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona and Europe’s largest stadium, U2 played on a space-age circular stage, dubbed “The Claw,” which is designed to provide fans with an unobstructed line of sight from any seat in the stadium.

According to the Irish Times, when Bono and the boys walked onto the stage at the beginning of the concert, they were greeted by David Bowie’s famous line “Ground Control to Major Tom.” Addressing the crowd, Bono welcomed fans to “our space station,” saying “it looks like it was designed by Gaudi, but then this is Barcelona -- the capital of surrealism.” Later in the show, Bono mentioned the fortieth anniversary of the first moon landing and established a live video linkup with the astronauts on the International Space Station. Band members asked the astronauts questions and Bono even convinced one of the astronauts to signup -- from space -- to his charitable
ONE Campaign.

According to The Independent, a British newspaper, “the stage for U2's 360° tour looks like a spaceship or a supersized version of HG Wells' War of the Worlds tripod Martian fighting machines with a dash of Catalan visionary architect Antoni Gaudi thrown in for good measure. [...] What looks like four huge tentacles sprout from a central structure wrapped up in video screens and speakers with a radio transmitter on top. The Irish group look like they're about to be squashed like ants.”

Somewhat related: If you've never seen the vintage U2 concert film Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky (1984), pay a visit to your local video store. It's awesome!

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