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Wednesday, June 22,2011

Getting around U2's '360'' tour

by Rich Tupica

Not since the Rolling Stones brought the “Voodoo Lounge”
tour to Spartan Stadium in 1994 has East Lansing been host to such a
massive rock concert as the U2 show set for Sunday.

Spartan Stadium will fill up with over 65,000 fans who
will witness the record-breaking U2 “360'" tour — which has filled
stadiums across the planet since it commenced in June 2009. The excess
of visuals has helped it become the most successful tour of all time.
East Lansing is in for a night of rock history, all while hearing tunes
from classic albums like “The Joshua Tree,” “Rattle and Hum,” “War,”
“The Unforgettable Fire” and “Achtung Baby,” along with cuts from the
band’s latest, “No Line on the Horizon.” 


The towering stage is in the middle of the stadium, so it
will be completely surrounded by fans. Hovering above the stage is “The
Claw” — a gigantic four-legged steel structure that looks like a mixture
between a robotic spider and a space ship, supporting a mass of
speakers and video screens. The structure is 164 feet tall, double the
size of the stadium set for The Rolling Stones' “A Bigger Bang” tour,
which was previously the highest. It requires a fleet of 120 trucks to
transport it from city to city. The stage itself is surrounded by a
circular ramp, connecting to the stage with revolving bridges. The rig
is so large only a stadium can hold it. 


The show was originally to be held on June 30, 2010, but
had to be postponed after Bono underwent emergency back surgery. One
year later, the wait is over. 


It’s been almost 30 years since U2 was last in East
Lansing. Not since the band played Dooley’s (now Harper’s) in December
1981 has the band been anywhere near Lansing. Obviously, after winning
22 Grammys, U2 has come a long way since its bar-band days.


Lansing is catching “360'" in the nick of time. Now in its
seventh leg, the tour is in its final days: Only 11 shows remain after
the Spartan Stadium performance, with the tour officially ending July 30
in Moncton, Canada. 



Before you get on your boots and head out
for the show, here are some fun facts and tips about this monumental
rock tour and the Spartan Stadium performance.


Who is U2?


Bono (vocals), The Edge (guitar), Adam
Clayton (bass), Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums). U2 has retained all of the
same band members since it formed in 1976 in Dublin, Ireland. Together,
they’ve sold over 150 million records worldwide.


Is it really the most successful tour ever?

Yup. With an average attendance of over 65,000 fans per show, it
was only a matter of time before it became the highest grossing tour of
all time. In April 2011 Billboard Magazine announced “360'” had became
the highest-grossing concert tour to date, with ticket sales totaling
over $700 million. The previous top tour was the Rolling Stones “A
Bigger Bang” (2005-2007), which grossed $558,255,524. It’s projected
that by the end of the tour, U2 “360'” will also hold the record for
highest-attended tour of all time with over 7 million tickets sold,
again beating The Rolling Stones previous record of 6.3 million tickets
sold during its “Voodoo Lounge” tour.


What happened to Bono's back?

In May 2010 Bono sustained an injury to his back
during preparation for the North American third leg of the tour. The
damage included a ligament tear, herniated disc, sciatica & partial
paralysis of his lower leg. The injuries resulted in an emergency spine
surgery in Munich. The band has been back on the road since May 11. 


Spartan Stadium Tips & Tricks


Tickets for Spartan Stadium:
General admission (standing room on the field) is sold out. However,
there are seats in many other locations. Check Ticketmaster for the best
seats available in your price range. Ticket prices vary from $38.85 to
$273.45. 


Who is opening the East Lansing show?: Florence & the Machine, a soulful indie rock band from London. They are on Island Records, U2’s label.


Is beer allowed at Spartan Stadium?:
Nope. Due to a Michigan State University ordinance, no open alcohol is
allowed on campus. There is a separate ordinance that makes an exception
on football Saturdays, but that doesn’t apply to this. Perhaps people
can congregate at the East Lansing bars before and after the show.


Can I bring a bag or purse?: There
is a strict “no bag policy.” Bags such as purses, diaper bags, camera
and binocular cases and other similar bags are prohibited. The only
exception will be for patrons with a medical or family need. They will
be allowed to bring in items in a clear, one-gallon Ziploc bag.


How many songs?: 
Each concert of the U2 “360'” tour contains between 22 and 24 songs.
The band will play many of its hit singles, including “With or Without
You,” “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “One,” but will also treat
fans to a few new songs and rarities. 


GETTING THERE


When to show up:


Traffic access to the university and campus parking areas will open at 3 p.m.  Guests
holding field tickets can only enter/exit through the north tunnel and
can line up outside the stadium entrance after 7 a.m. the day of the
concert. Access to the stadium will begin at 5:30 p.m. The concert
begins at 7 p.m.


Parking before the concert:


Expect downtown East Lansing’s parking
ramps and lots to be busy. However, the city expects to have sufficient
space for all U2 fans. Parking downtown will only be $1.50 an hour and
will cap out at $15 per day.


Special Event Parking:


The City of East Lansing Parks,
Recreation and Arts Department will sell special event parking for U2
fans at the following locations: Bailey Community Center ($10), and
Valley Court Community Center ($10). Other parking options can be found
here: www.cityofeastlansing.com/u2.


Harrison Ave. Closed


It is important for concert goers to note
that Harrison Avenue will be closed to traffic from Trowbridge Road to
Shaw Lane for a reconstruction project. Traffic detours will be in
place; however, drivers are encouraged to seek other routes.


U2 '360'' Tour
7 p.m. Sunday, June 26
Spartan Stadium, Michigan State University
$38.85 to $273.45
(800) 745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com


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