U2's Experience + Innocence Tour is the second part of a journey which began with the Innocence + Experience Tour in 2015. The two shows are grounded in the 2014 Songs of Innocence Album and 2017 Songs of Experience album.
The direction and design of the show continues the collaboration between U2, Willie Williams, STUFISH and Es Devlin. The collaboration began in 2014 with Innocence + Experience Tour, continued through 2017 with the Joshua Tree Tour and then the Experience + Innocence Tour 2018.
Other key members of the team are Gavin Friday, Morleigh Steinberg, Sharon Blankson, Joe O’Herlihy, & Jake Berry.
In 2015, the ‘Innocence' stage was created. It divided the arena into 2 and connected the Main stage (I-Stage) to the b stage (e-Stage) through a long catwalk. This denoted the narrative of the journey of the band from the home out into the world. The ‘Barricage video structure' was created as a device to express this divide and also create a way to deliver the video graphics and the band to the audience in a way that they have not been seen before. This allowed the band to get even closer throughout the show to more audience. With see-through video screens on both sides and 100ft long, the show created imagery equally close to all the audience.
In the 2018 show we go even further. The Barricage has been reconstructed to feature a flying catwalk ‘the beam’ that allows the band to be revealed at the beginning of the show and create even more spectacular moments to connect with the audience not only at floor level but also higher up the arena elevating the performance. Additional small satellite stages have been added for 'Pride' to allow all 4 members of the band to spread out across the whole length and width of the room allowing more connection to more fans.
The new structure is more transparent and much higher resulotion (nearly 9 times more pixels than the 2015 version)
There are other scenic and prop updates, including a video surface on the e-stage, a 60ft wide patchwork American Flag, a magic mirror for Macphisto to name a few.
The show also features Augmented reality. The U2 Experience App, created by Willie Williams and Treatment Studios, brings an AR experience to the preshow and opening song. The audience are connected in a single moment where emotion, technology and storytelling do something that is a first in a live touring show. By embracing the small screen of the phone, the AR allows all the audience to have an intimate moment with a digital Bono appearing as an avatar looming over the over the audience echoing the singer’s movements while singing the first song.
We have also worked with Facebook live to develop a specific filter to allow Macphisto to be recreated after 30 years. This moment in the show becomes the climax of act 2, leading into Acrobat (a song that has never been played live).
The show is now touring North America and will arrive in Europe at the end of August.