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U2 360°: Redefining Stadium Sound In The Round On Current Tour

“Part insect, part spacecraft, part cathedral...”

By Greg DeTogne August 4, 2011

"The Claw" is at the heart of the U2 360° tour production, supporting huge line arrays as well as lighting and video. (All photos by Steve Jennings)

On stage, Sennheiser G2 hardware is paired with Future Sonics in-ear monitors for the band, along with a selection of Clair 12AMII “Stealth” wedges kept out front.

A team of five keep monitors running. Alistair McMillan and Richard Rainey build their mixes on DiGiCo SD7s, with one assigned to Bono, and another to The Edge.

CJ Eiriksson stands at the helm of an Avid D-Show used for bassist Adam Clayton, drummer Larry Mullen Jr., and an offstage keyboard player.

Jason Brace and Chris Holland serve as monitor system engineers, with the former also performing RF coordination duties.

Multi-tasking extends into McMillan’s work schedule as well in the form of recording each show directly to ProTools, a task done for archival purposes only performed in conjunction with assistant systems engineer Vincent Perreux.

CJ Eiriksson manages monitoring for bassist Adam Clayton, drummer Larry Mullen Jr., and an offstage keyboard player with an Avid D-Show. (click to enlarge)

Many Parts
As within the industry itself, mainstream media have remained upbeat in their coverage of the tour. Rolling Stone magazine maintained that the production was a cross between the Zoo TV and Elevation tours, and added that the design elements, despite their looming presence, remained transparent from the band’s perspective onstage.

In describing the staging, The New York Times dubbed it “part insect, part spacecraft, part cathedral,” and noted that the band was more visible than on earlier tours. The Washington Post called the show an “orgy of light and sound.” The latter should be taken as a compliment, especially by O’Herlihy.

“A project of this scale would probably not have been attempted 10, or even five years ago,” he concludes. “But thanks to lighter weight, low-profile loudspeaker cabinets and digital mixing consoles, even shows of this magnitude can be set up, run, and loaded-out in a timely manner. Technology has caught up to the concept. Now it’s just all in a day’s work, 48 hours a day, eight days a week…”

Gregory A. DeTogne is a free-lance writer and publicist who has served the pro audio industry for the past 30 years.


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About Greg

Greg DeTogne
Greg DeTogne

Gregory is a writer and editor who has served the pro audio industry for the past 32 years.

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