Transformed for U2

It’s the biggest rig Lang Park has seen since Sam Backo.

But this monstrous structure will be well gone by the time the Broncos go around next year.

The centrepiece of U2 360° – the Irish supergroup’s current tour – started being assembled at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium yesterday but anyone could be forgiven for thinking a HG Wells novel had come to life.

The massive stage and “claw” supporting rig weighs about 590 tonnes and takes up almost half the stadium’s playing field.

The four-legged structure boasts 92 speakers as well a 22 metre, 5000 pixel full HD screen, which rises up and down from the height of 30 metres.

The structure takes five days to assemble - one day to lay down the stadium flooring, three days to build the stage and one day to attach the lighting and sound equipment.

Tour director Craig Evans said the size of the production dwarfed any project in which he had been involved.

“The original theory Bono had [of] a show ‘in the round’ the idea was to make it so big that it makes the stadium feel small and creates an intimate feeling in a stadium atmosphere,” he said.

“This show certainly succeeds in doing that. This stage does make the stadium feel small - it will create a feeling of intimacy with the band to the audience.”

With Brisbane suffering through a recent bout of wet weather, stage manager George Reeves said Bono would be pushing ahead with the Suncorp Stadium gigs in spite of any downpour.

“He loves singing in the rain, in fact he loves singing in the rain so much that he sings Singin’ in the Rain every time it rains so even if it’s raining everyone should be prepared to enjoy the show as well,” he said.

That is good news for the small group of U2 fans who began lining up outside Suncorp Stadium as early as Monday morning.

Sydney woman Katie Powell has been to every Australian U2 show since 1993.

She said the band’s recent Melbourne show was very involving and stacked up well against previous tours.

“You are just surrounded all around by it and you see them move around the stage,” she said.

“They don’t stick to one part, everyone in the stadium has a fair view of the show.”