The Null Device


McSweeney's looks at the stage setup for the next round of U2 concerts:

Edge's guitars are transferred out to the IP in two golf carts that run on a track under the stage, and his tech will offload the instruments into a pneumatic tube that uses pressurized air to push each instrument up as it is needed for each song in the five-song Intimacy Pod set. He'll use three guitars per song, switching out for various parts of each tune, so that's fifteen guitars in transit under the ray's "wings" while his other thirty-one guitars remain back in the main abdomen. Larry and Adam are "birthed" from the rear underside of the ray's belly and then swung around to the Intimacy Pod on separate sub-stages that "float" out over the crowd on cables. This approach keeps it simple; like a small rock club, really, giving the fans a chance to experience the band as if they've just walked into a pub or tavern to see their favorite band.
The main stage, just the manta ray's head and wings, rolls out in one hundred and ten, eighteen-wheeler twelve-ton trucks. Those vehicles are our lead roll, so those trucks are first out of the current stadium and first in to the next one. And we've got three sets of those trucks, because we're leapfrogging three manta rays. In other words, while you're watching this show tonight in Hyde Park, we've already got a one hundred and ten truck convey on its way to the Go-Green EarthAid™ festival in Oslo with our second manta ray rig, and another one hundred and ten trucks on convoy to, say, Iceland for The World is Hungry® Global Relief Concert.

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