U2 tour won't exist without some sort of flashy gimmicks* IMO. Great visuals are expected since they did it on Zoo TV, Popmart, Vertigo and 360.
As for being expensive...A few screens can't be more expensive than what they have pulled off in the past. And maybe instead of focusing at least 50% of screen time on the band footage, they could be making custom-made visuals for each song. Live, during the show, improvised visuals especially if they will really dig up the rarities, as was the trend in this decade. Obviously they won't go BIG again right after 360, just go after the newest visual treats available.
*which don't really take away from the music. And they won't do more stripped down than Elevation.
Not True, Elevation had barely any visual props and rocked way harder than either Vertigo or 360. In fact, apart from ZOOTV and Popmart all their previous tours had very little in the way of visual and gimmicks
Emphasis on previous tours. Zoo TV, Popmart, Vertigo and 360 all had strong visuals. 4 guys on stage without visuals ? No way.
Lovetown looked pretty special. If they play smaller venues, then they don't need the visuals as much as when they play gigantic football stadiums because more people can actually see the band perform.
It's debatable that Elevation "rocked harder", to say the least.
Did you attend a show? The Fly and UTEOTW were ROCKED!
NLOTH only had a rubbish single. Stage set and album vere both very good. And 360 became a nostalgia act tour, it played no more hits than previous tours (in fact even less).
I think the album was very good, the new songs from NLOTH translated very well to the live stage and the stage was impressive from an engineering pov, but it didn't really do much in terms of artistry or aesthetics.
They did play more 'hits' from previous albums on 360 than they did on earlier tours.
Why is Lovetown any indication ? Their shortest tour, plus they skipped USA. And they started mixing it up with stadiums on JT - Zoo TV after two legs moved to stadiums, 360 and Popmart all stadiums, Vertigo stadiums except USA. Elevation was the only complete arena tour. Post Zoo TV, the trend is in favour of stadiums; though I expect arenas after 360. They still had a smaller screen even on Elevation.
Attended ? My first show was with 360. But I did hear bootlegs, and UTEOTW rocks every time, and Vertigo/360 versions of The Fly make the Elevation version look like a rehearsal.
They did not play more hits, but that is an old debate.
U2 doesn't approach live shows like Springsteen does, to put it mildly. No comparison at all.
edit: and since when do U2 fans of all people resent massive stadium shows with groundbreaking visuals/stunning stage design ?