PRG Sets U2’s Stage

U2 has officially kicked off its “Joshua Tree Tour” in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 12 and, besides the band’s showmanship and music, a notable element of the show is once again the stage design.

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP
– U2 LED
U2 stands in front of its massive LED stage featuring new technology from PRG, during its Joshua Tree Tour kickoff in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 12.

For an act that has made its name with spectacular live setups, this tour does not seem to disappoint. The stage features a 200-foot-wide screen panel and a high-quality broadcast camera system, both of which incorporate technology from Production Resource Group.

The LED panels utilize lightweight, SPACEFRAME, technology that makes for collapsible and sturdy units that are billed as lighter, stronger and better braced for wind than conventional fabrication.

“U2 tours are always a nice platform to introduce new technology,” Frederic Opsomer of PRG, who helped develop the SPACEFRAME technology, told Pollstar. “U2 as a band has always been open to accepting new technologies.”

The panels save a lot in terms of weight and space and make setup easier, Opsomer said, but also open up creative possibilities in terms of setup, as the panels have their own structural integrity.

Opsomer gave a shout out to Atelier One of the U.K., which helped engineer the technology.

The other new technology being implemented by PRG on the tour is the 4K Broadcast Camera System which interconnects cameras and LED wall processors to get a high-quality image. This system, according to PRG, can be set up within an hour and only needs one video engineer on site to operate.

“PRG has been a part of every U2 tour since 1992 and the band always challenges us with pushing technology to its limits,” Wolfgang Schram, PRG director of video engineering said in a press release. “We have to be creative and that is the fun part.”

PRG was the spectacular highlight of U2’s last tour, which featured a giant mesh screen that stretched across the floor of the arena and that the band played inside. That technology was soon implemented in other tours, including those of Paul McCartney and Garth Brooks, and was used extensively at the Desert Trip festival.