Reportedly, U2’s 360 tour requires anywhere from 120 to 189 trucks and busses to haul its giantclaw-like stage and the 500-strong crew needed for the production around North America.
Add to that the bands private jet and its 70,000 miles logged over the course of the two-year, worldwide tour and, well, thats a pretty substantial carbon footprint.
However, if we’re to believe the spin from a certain American music rag, the timing for such a colossal greenhouse fart couldn’t be better.
After all, with the world mired in its various crises, they argue, what better time to tour with such an audacious, irresponsible rock spectacular?
And that’s probably true, if yo’ure they type of person who thinks its kosher for a company to throw a lavish Christmas party for its management the day after laying off 90 per cent of its staff.
Then again, this is U2. The biggest band on the planet, in case you havent heard. And, frankly, whatever irrevocable damage to the environment a giant, upside-down claw in the midst of an elaborate goliath of a live show causes, it’s at least less annoying than some of the hot air frontman Bono has spewed into the atmosphere over the years.
Besides, the band promised to buy carbon offsets. They even hired a company to help. And thats almost as responsible as personally planting the 20,118 trees environmental activist Helen Roberts claimed were necessary to neutralize the tour.
The logic behind the scale and timing of such a production can be argued until Bono wears his patented shades to the grave after all, U2 certainly doesnt require it to fill seats.
But no one in the 60,000-strong crowd was debating the entertainment value added by it Wednesday night at BC Place.
Forget Swine Flu, because more than a few dudes filing into BC place early to catch the Black Eyed Peas have Bono Fever. Symptoms include wearing tight t-shirts and sunglasses at night. Regardless, the stage - which resembles a giant alien ship - is ridiculously massive, the Pointed top almost touching BC Place’s fabric roof. The stadium’s not even half full yet and the Black Eyed Peas have just taken the stage, with will.i.am greeting the crowd with a drawn out “Vancooooooouver…”
There’s an army of dancers onstage dressed as robot/speaker hybrids and the whole thing is quite silly. The Black Eyed Peas don’t sound too bad, but the cavern that is BC Place just isn’t a hospitable evironment for musicians. They are making the most of it, however, and will.i.am is playing a keytar. A keytar! That’s what I would play, if I was a musician. And the cowbell.
Inherent acoustic challenges aside, Fergie sounds pretty good as she works her way through Big Girls Don’t Cry. She’s wearing some serious spikes on her feet and her disco-ball top is shimmering as she prances about the stage. The crowd is on its feet for the familar guitar riff behind Pump It. So far none of the Peas are utilizing the 360-degree ramp that wraps around the in-the-round setup. Perhaps it’s reserved for Bono.