Author Topic: 360 vs everything else  (Read 1924 times)

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virgin_prune

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360 vs everything else
« on: August 12, 2010, 03:53:53 AM »
I have a feeling why 360 isn't working - and it goes something like this...

Up until ZOO TV, U2 shows weren't the multi media events they have since become - they were mostly the band playing with the odd visual. ZOO TV was unique and had a very definite concept behind it. The concept was in the visuals and the actual structure of the stage set. It was impressive and intelligent.

POPMART was exactly the same in that regard. It had a particular concept and the stage set reflected that. It too was impressive and intelligent.

Elevation worked because it didn't embrace a visual concept like ZOOTV and POPMART. It was a rock show and it worked well in that regard.

Vertigo worked for the same reason as Elevation. It was a rock show and it worked well in that regard.

On to 360. It seems to me that U2 have created what they perceive to be a grand statement with the claw. However, unlike ZOOTV and POPMART, the stage design has no visual concept behind it. It doesn't reflect the albums themes and ideas - although you could argue that NLOTH lacks a coherent theme or musical approach. It's just a big ugly bit of metal that looks like an octopus. There are no specific visuals that tie in with the NLOTH songs. ZOOTV and POPMART seemed to have very carefully thought out visuals for every song.

Equally, the concept of 360 isn't true and doesn't work. It's more 270. This has been widely discussed and accepted.

So, I believe this tour doesn't have the IDENTITY of other tours and that's why it doesn't work. Equally the choice of songs is compounding this lack of identity and why some have come to see the 360 tour as a kind of greatest hits event. The fact that they're only playing 4 songs off NLOTH now is a real indicator of this. 360 is just big - and that's it. Walmart is big - it doesn't make it good.




Offline pfctsqr

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2010, 06:15:04 AM »
The only way I would buy tickets directly behind a stage was if the stage rotated, and thats not what we have here.  You are right:  the claw has nothing to do with the music.  Because of recent global concerns, there are many bands who are trying to minimize their "carbon footprint" when they tour.  Im not sure how much of a dent that puts in the problem, but it is a nice example.  U2, on the other hand, creates a ridiculously overblown spectacle that leaves about as large a "carbon footprint" as a tour possibly can.  I read this tour requires 120+ tractor trailors.  And the stage doesnt even have a point.  If U2 could ever let go of the "we must be the biggest band on the planet" idea and just focused on making music, they would be a much better band.  Im not sure if its in them to let go of that notion, however.

As a sidenote:  I believe dropping NLOTH songs from the setlist was an improvement.  NLOTH is U2's lowpoint as far as Im concerned.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 06:17:43 AM by pfctsqr »

virgin_prune

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2010, 06:25:39 AM »
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The only way I would buy tickets directly behind a stage was if the stage rotated, and thats not what we have here.  You are right:  the claw has nothing to do with the music.  Because of recent global concerns, there are many bands who are trying to minimize their "carbon footprint" when they tour.  Im not sure how much of a dent that puts in the problem, but it is a nice example.  U2, on the other hand, creates a ridiculously overblown spectacle that leaves about as large a "carbon footprint" as a tour possibly can.  I read this tour requires 120+ tractor trailors.  And the stage doesnt even have a point.  If U2 could ever let go of the "we must be the biggest band on the planet" idea and just focused on making music, they would be a much better band.  Im not sure if its in them to let go of that notion, however.

As a sidenote:  I believe dropping NLOTH songs from the setlist was an improvement.  NLOTH is U2's lowpoint as far as Im concerned.

Yes, I agree with your points. It seems to be big for the sake of being big rather than any intellectual reason.

As for the carbon footprint - I have tried arguing that here - you won't get very far...

Offline stigman

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2010, 09:46:11 AM »
360 works for me it opens up all sides of the stadiums "that means they are playing 360". sat behind the stage twice and it was a great experience plus i regard nloth as one of their best i dont care if there are no hit singles its a quality all round album.

Offline The Unknown Caller

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2010, 09:55:50 AM »
I think it started with a vague concept of space and time which is becoming more and more pronounced as the show continues. Certainly there was much more of a concept to the Torino show than when I saw them in Croke Park last year. And if we're being quite honest, while Zoo TV and PopMart certainly had concepts, they were generally very loose and ignored by large chunks of the setlists.

Offline gnmmet

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2010, 10:06:29 AM »
While it may not be a completely 360 show it is as you have pointed out a 270 show whilst that isn't the case with most rock shows. For Zoo Tv, Popmart and Vertigo outdoors being on the sides wasn't so great because you were looking at the screens at really weird angle. With the claw wherever you are you're facing a screen, which is a huge improvement for those on the sides. You can see the band pretty close and still get cool visual effects.

Offline pfctsqr

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 10:08:18 AM »
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360 works for me it opens up all sides of the stadiums "that means they are playing 360". sat behind the stage twice and it was a great experience plus i regard nloth as one of their best i dont care if there are no hit singles its a quality all round album.


Just to be clear, my measure of a great album has nothing to do with how many hit singles are on it.  I love Zooropa for instance and that album didnt generate very much airplay.  I also love The Black Crowes: Before the Frost and that album generated ZERO airplay.

virgin_prune

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 10:16:55 AM »
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I think it started with a vague concept of space and time which is becoming more and more pronounced as the show continues. Certainly there was much more of a concept to the Torino show than when I saw them in Croke Park last year. And if we're being quite honest, while Zoo TV and PopMart certainly had concepts, they were generally very loose and ignored by large chunks of the setlists.

ZOOTV and POPMART had concepts - the CONCEPTS were reflected in the visual presentation. 360 doesn't do this. In fact the only real visuals come in before the encore when they re hash some of the old Zooropa graphics.

I can (as I'm sure can you) list many examples of how the visual side of ZOOTV and POPMART was reflected in the screen presentations and architecture of those tours.

Can you list ANY examples of how the 360 show visually reflects the themes on NLOTH?

Offline The Unknown Caller

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 10:33:16 AM »
Sure. This idea of space and time is certainly growing as a concept. Thus we have 'Space Oddity' before it starts, the Zoo Baby Spaceship in the encore break and 'Rocket Man' after the closer. We have every performance of Magnificent opening with "What Time Is It In the World?" and the map graphics. We have the astronaut and space travel graphics in In A Little While / Your Blue Room. "Going Up!" before Elevation evokes images of take-off. We have the idea of the "Milky way" when the phones are taken out. The "TIIIIMMME" in City of Blinding Lights. "What time is it in the world?" now appearing before HMTM. North Star. I agree that these are very vague and ill-defined, but they are improving. And while lots of songs don't relate to it, it's worth noting that the same has always been true- the concept of PopMart was essentially gone by the time of the B-Stage set and did not return, and similarly Zoo TV's concept vanished by the middle, although it made a semi-return for the start of the encore.

hurricane hugo

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 10:46:22 AM »
didn't we do this already?

#@!

virgin_prune

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 10:52:12 AM »
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Sure. This idea of space and time is certainly growing as a concept. Thus we have 'Space Oddity' before it starts, the Zoo Baby Spaceship in the encore break and 'Rocket Man' after the closer. We have every performance of Magnificent opening with "What Time Is It In the World?" and the map graphics. We have the astronaut and space travel graphics in In A Little While / Your Blue Room. "Going Up!" before Elevation evokes images of take-off. We have the idea of the "Milky way" when the phones are taken out. The "TIIIIMMME" in City of Blinding Lights. "What time is it in the world?" now appearing before HMTM. North Star. I agree that these are very vague and ill-defined, but they are improving. And while lots of songs don't relate to it, it's worth noting that the same has always been true- the concept of PopMart was essentially gone by the time of the B-Stage set and did not return, and similarly Zoo TV's concept vanished by the middle, although it made a semi-return for the start of the encore.

'Space Oddity' is a song - and not even a U2 song. And it isn't a visual presentation.

The ZOO Baby spaceship is a bit of a cop out because it's a rehash of old graphics and ideas.

'Magnificent map' - fair enough. Although they used a star map on elevation. And ZOOTV.

Saying 'Going up' before elevation is as lame as the song. That said, I think you're clutching at straws if you think this reflects ideas of 'time and space'.

Mobile phones and lighters have been taken out on every tour I've seen. It's a standard (and very effective) way of making a stadium or arena look pretty.

With respect, these ideas are so undefined that they're almost invisible! There is no comparison between the huge industrial stage set of ZOOTV with it's ideas of sending up mass media and the glorious Pop art spectacle of POPMART. Even if it is true that ZOOTV's concept vanished in the middle, it doesn't change the fact that the stage show was bold, well defined and very intelligent. Both shows had highly original and well thought out graphics and visuals.

360 has, what, a re hash of a star map, a re hash of a zooropa graphic and some lighters. And a couple of verbal attempts at space/time analogies. All sponsored by Blackberry!


Offline The Wanderer

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2010, 11:06:46 AM »
I am sorry you feel that way.  I sat behind the stage in Chicago, and I had not probelm enjoying the show.  You actually get the perspective from the bands point of view.

I saw ZooTV, and PoPMart.  Not once during 360 did I think to myself "this concert really could use digi-walls, vidi-walls, CDI, DVE and the miracle of chromakey" or "a mirror ball lemon and a 100 foot arch would really improve things." I am there to see and hear Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam first and foremost.  The means in which they present their ideas are secondary. 

I disagree that there is no connection between the album on the tour from a concept perspective. No Line on the Horizon means there is no end in sight.  The two constant continuums are space and time, and accroding to theory, that will continue on forever. 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 11:09:31 AM by The Wanderer »

virgin_prune

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2010, 11:22:31 AM »
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I am sorry you feel that way.  I sat behind the stage in Chicago, and I had not probelm enjoying the show.  You actually get the perspective from the bands point of view.

I saw ZooTV, and PoPMart.  Not once during 360 did I think to myself "this concert really could use digi-walls, vidi-walls, CDI, DVE and the miracle of chromakey" or "a mirror ball lemon and a 100 foot arch would really improve things." I am there to see and hear Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam first and foremost.  The means in which they present their ideas are secondary. 

I disagree that there is no connection between the album on the tour from a concept perspective. No Line on the Horizon means there is no end in sight.  The two constant continuums are space and time, and accroding to theory, that will continue on forever. 

No! I don't NEED video walls and massive stage sets. I thought Elevation was one of their best tours and that was really simple with virtually no visual presence.

My point is the album is ill-defined. The stage set is big but not much else - it doesn't have the intelligence of their other big tours. Because of these points, the set list has now become ill defined. Something a lot of people here agree on.

Offline street87

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 11:28:09 AM »
Hey guys, good to be back on here after a bit of an absence


Anyway, visuals and themes are always a good aspect to a show (especially if it's U2, who have made a history of using both in their shows) but what people seem to forget is that people go to see the band to hear them play some of their best hits as well as their new material, everything else would be secondary. Go ahead and ask a non-diehard U2 fan.

Offline The Exile

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Re: 360 vs everything else
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2010, 11:34:57 AM »
This discussion kind of dovetails together with previous comments I've made about how nowadays with U2 it is the tour that drives the album rather than the other way around.

It seems pretty clear that a massive tour "in the round" was something that the band has wanted to do for some time now, and they decided that this was the time to do it. But then when you look at NLOTH, and especially at the version they were about to release in 11/08 before they pulled the plug at the last minute, it is clear that that is not the kind of album you can support with a huge tour: it started with Fez - Being Born, it had Winter on it, and probably Every Breaking Wave as well.

So what did they do? They pulled NLOTH under the guise of "hitting a rich songwriting vein" that would be virtually criminal to ignore. And what was the result of that rich vein? The Lillywhite ditties that comprise what is now NLOTH's soft center: Boots, Crazy, and Comedy. Obviously the band felt it couldn't do the tour they wanted unless they released an album that could justify it.

Hence the tail wags the dog, the cart's before the horse, and whatever other clever metaphor you can come up with to describe how things aren't what they should be.