“It’s either all on, or it’s all over,” jokes Bono in a short clip on u2.com, as excitement builds in Vancouver, British Columbia for tonight’s (Thursday) opening of U2’s hugely-anticipated ‘iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE’ world tour.
With the band based largely in the Canadian city for the last several weeks, fans have been gathering in their numbers in recent days each night at the 19,000-capacity Rogers Arena. The tour kicks off there with two sellout shows, tonight and tomorrow, and U2 have been rehearsing at the arena, after earlier rehearsals at the Pacific Coliseum.
Devotees have caught glimpses of the band as they emerge from the venue, with Adam Clayton pictured above, and Bono below, greeting fans outside.
The tour sees U2 playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade, and tonight marks their return to the city where they completed the North American leg of the U2 360° Tour, at the BC Place Stadium in October 2009. As fans at the Rogers Arena will be the first to witness, the set design for the new tour includes a ramp from the main stage that allows U2 to play right among their audience, with a surround sound effect that’s said to set a new standard in concert audio.
Last Saturday night, on the day before Bono’s 55th birthday, the band convened at the Belgian restaurant Chambar in Vancouver to talk to the city’s Globe and Mail newspaper. There, they confessed to the nervous excitement they still feel, as they go into the new tour.
“I think we as individuals have never fallen into the trap of falling asleep in the comfort of our success,” says The Edge in the resulting article by Marsha Lederman, published today. “In so many ways, and I can’t really quite explain it, the same sense of determination and vulnerability that we had when we went on stage for the first time, we still feel it now.”
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