Inside U2's Behemoth 74-Ton 360° LED Concert Screen

Illustration for article titled Inside U2s Behemoth 74-Ton 360° LED Concert Screen

Love them or hate them, there's no denying U2 has a knack for bending light to its will. Their latest creation is no different. At 74 tons, it's an epic, morphing LED centerpiece for an already technology-heavy concert tour.


Based on a Hoberman Sphere, the criss-crossed network of aluminum, 25km of cables, and 888 LED screens is comprised of more than 1 million different pieces and 500,000 RGB pixels. When fully expanded, the seven-story shape swallows up the band with more than 3,800 square feet of space. It is assembled in a mere eight hours, and will be on tour with the band for 18 months.

Illustration for article titled Inside U2s Behemoth 74-Ton 360° LED Concert Screen

The real kudos goes to the design team however, which consists of Willie Williams, Mark Fisher, Frederic Opsomer, and Chuck Hoberman (concept); and the folks at Innovative Design, Barco and Hoberman Associates.

Those large pylons in the larger pic are part of "the Claw," which holds the structure up during the performance. Larger still, and only partially seen in the image, is Bono's ego, whose immense size remains immeasurable. [Live Design via Lucept]

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Ah, the inevitable stream of U2 haters. I say this as someone who's not even a big U2 fan, and as someone who's gotten as good a laugh out of South Park as the next guy - run-of-the-mill U2 bashing became worn out in a fraction of the timespan that U2 itself was a relevant band.

The majority of stereotypical U2 bashing is such a perfect fine example of bandwagon cynicism. Armchair critics who laugh and point and pat each other on the backs for being clever while bagging on people that have achieved so much in their lives and touched others more profoundly than most could ever hope.

Take a peek at this vid:


...look at the movement of that crowd, the energy thrilling through those people at the outset of the song and all the way throughout. Most everyone posting here's lives are ever-so-slightly diminished if they've never tasted that kind of a feeling at a performance at least once in their lifetimes.

Overrated indeed.