Over 160,000 fans are expected to show up tomorrow to U2’s massive self-constructed venue at the Hippodrome at Decarie and Jean Talon, formerly the Blue Bonnets racetrack. Hundreds, in fact, are already there right now, camping out in the streets overnight to catch first glimpse of Bono and his crew tomorrow night. U2 plays two full shows Friday and Saturday night (July 8th and 9th), as part of their massive world tour, U2 360.
The much-discussed 360 stage gives U2’s tour its name. A rotating stage will slowly turn throughout the concert, leaving the stage and band totally surrounded by countless thousands of concertgoers. It’s been done before, but never to this scale – U2’s attempt is the largest stage of its kind ever built. Depending on your point of view, this enormous and expensive spectacle is either an audacious move to accommodate the needs of an enormous fanbase, or an over-hyped publicity stunt cooked up in typical fashion by the world’s most pretentious Adult Contemporary band. Both views are common in the media at the moment – we’ll let you make up your own mind.
One positive of the stunt? The enormous stage means there’s an enormous amount of space, which means tickets are still available!
You can thank U2 for that one. Maybe Prince ought to take some pointers.
Incidentally, the number 360 also has added meaning for hardcore U2 lovers. U2’s Montreal stopover comes almost a full year late – fans will recall that a back injury sustained by Bono cut U2’s 2010 tour short before it ever reached Montreal. Tomorrow should wash away 360 days of anticipation.