Here’s How U2 is Smoothly Mixing Music and Technology
At U2’s recent eight-show run at Madison Square Garden, Bono pulled up a woman onstage, handed her a smartphone and announced that they were live streaming the performance onto the internet. The stream was then displayed off a huge feed from U2’s Meerkut account.
At this particular concert, famous talk show host, Jimmy Fallon made a surprise appearance for a duet of “Desire”. This tour also includes messages condemning the 1974 car bombings of Ireland, a call to fight AIDS, Stephen Hawking’s voice, high-tech gimmicks and more than two hours of music that included songs from U2’s 2014 album, “Songs of Innocence”.
U2 packs technology into its Innocence and Experience tour by incorporating the smartphone spectacle each night for at least one song. Yet, this isn’t the first of U2’s tech savvy performances. One can recall a stage they had built in the shape of a four-legged spaceship, and now, they have designed a two-sided display that hangs over the arena, providing a good view to each and every person.
The band also used a new form of musical storytelling, they climb up to perform within the display while Bono walks along the base, with displays showing visuals and animation to help create an analogy of him akin to that of walking the street on which he grew up.
But, it is said that the most creative way U2 used technology for this tour is one that cannot be seen. Most touring production companies store visuals directly on the systems they use for running the video screens. The problem with that is, if something needs to be changed, the entire thing would need to be copied to the show system with a pen drive, which might even delay the show.
U2, is now, using a modern technique for its tour with the help of a cloud storage company called EMC. Therefore, if they need to switch setlists or songs, the team is able to update visuals and deliver them on time. But, because cloud relies on the internet, which may not be available at major venues for security reasons, U2 uses an on-premise tech unit so that they have access to the data even without a web connection. EMC is said to be archiving the HD video streams with their cameras used during the show.
While previously, tours were held to promote music so that an album was successful, nowadays monetizing concerts and merchandise have become more important, as we have seen in Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, which has an entire line of clothes created with the album’s theme kept in mind. This is said to be done, so that later on, the band can use the footage and decide how to monetize those archives.
The Innocence And Experience tour is definitely said to be a high-tech futuristic event that has been created, not just for fans but anybody who wants to be entertained.
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