U2: Stage director outlines their 2018 tour
Anyone itching to know in advance what U2's Experience + Innocence Tour might look like when it kicks off on Wednesday in Tulsa might want to check out an interview on RollingStone.com with the band's stage director, Willie Williams.
In the lengthy chat, Williams explains how the tour is actually the last of three treks the band started planning for five years ago. At first, the idea was to do just two -- the first based on Innocence, the second on Experience-- but that The Joshua Tree 30th anniversary slipped in between them. He says that if they had gone out in 2016 with Experience, he's sure they "would have used exactly the same staging and just told the second part of the story. But as time goes by the technology develops at such an extraordinary rate," so they can do more things now. And since they're coming back after three years, they felt it "couldn't be exactly the same [as Innocence]."
Williams says that while "at first glance, it looks exactly the same as The Joshua Tree stage, "everything is much cleverer than it was." Even the resolution on the huge video screens is now 10 times what it was last time around. He calls the augmented reality app that will be used during the opening number "another tool for the storytelling" and says it's meant to enhance the "communal experience." He says he feels it's "very much a detail," but one that adds to the storytelling in a way that nothing else would have.
As for the setlist, he says that U2 has rehearsed songs it has never done before, which he finds "really exciting." He says the show is designed around "these amazing set pieces which are completely locked down and there are certain portions of the show between these pieces where anything can happen."