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Old 03-09-2003, 05:08 PM   #1
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About U2 : Staging/Production - Elevation Tour *


By: David Yanks


The beginning of a rock ‘n’ roll band’s touring career is pretty standard. The singer has a homegrown PA system, the guitarist has an electric guitar and maybe an acoustic, the bassist his own beat-up wooden bass, and the drummer owns a kit that has paint chips and is probably in need of new heads. This equipment is then loaded into the back of a beat up old van that needs repair, and the band heads out on the road. If they are lucky, they get booked at a club or theatre that supplies a stage, lights, and PA. Otherwise the band makes do with what they have. This is how thousands of bands -including U2- started touring.

The making of a U2 tour can be seen more like roving architectural project than a simple live music show. Architects, engineers, lighting designers, sound designers, video designers, and a host of other specialists contribute to what becomes a spectacle in the art of the live show. Many of these designers have worked with U2 for over 15 years and are now recognized as industry leaders in the development of ideas and products that many other bands use in their live tours. Names like Mark Fisher, Peter “Willie” Williams, Bruce Ramus, and Joe O’Herlihy are now well known in the touring world due to their extensive work with U2. Many of U2’s ‘permanent crew’ are also the stage, sound, lighting, and video designers for such bands as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and REM. These people are considered part of U2’s immediate technical family and they arrive early on the scene when it is time to invent a new tour.

The following is a technical summary of U2’s last tour dubbed, the Elevation Tour.

The Elevation tour (March 2001 - December 2001) was grouped into two U.S. legs and one European leg. Initial planning for the show started during the recording of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Usually, during the recording of an album, U2 reunites with Willie Williams to discuss ideas about their feel for the upcoming tour. Willie responds with thoughts of his own, including his knowledge of what technologies have emerged since the last tour, and how he would like to implement them in the new tour. Planning begins and Willie gets to work. Williams is the show designer and he puts together the broad strokes for the preliminary designs for the show.

Before the Elevation tour kicked off, the band did a limited number of club dates in New York, Paris, and London to warm-up the new songs. They were so well received in the smaller venues, U2 wanted to bring that intimate feeling to the upcoming world tour. The band decided to play strictly indoor arenas and forgo the monstrous stadiums they had played in the past. This was going to be a “back-to-basics” tour, and the show was to focus more on the music and less on the props. The idea to have a “show within the show” emerged and Williams’ idea to implement it was to have the band play in the round, have audience members within the stage confines, and to have general admission on the floor.

Set Design

A U2 concert is a complete design with the stage, lights, sound, and video forming a seamless entity. Williams gets the designers on board early in the process. The first of three visual aspects of the show is that of stage and scenery design. Mark Fisher, a London based architect who primarily designs for entertainment, is responsible for the design of the stage from development, through schematics, and into construction and/or technical documents.

For the Elevation tour, Fisher devised a stage that would fit with Williams’ idea of having a “show within a show.” Gone would be the second B-stage the band had used in the past. Instead the base stage would extend into, and surrounding, the crowd. One of the symbols on the Popmart tour was a heart, and this logo found its way into the graphics for the new album - this time inside a suitcase. Fisher took this symbol and literally formed the stage into the shape of a heart. The stage’s shape resembled a rectangle with two wings (reminiscent of the indoor Joshua Tree stage) with a red heart that started at the back of the stage with its point extended out into the audience, reaching about halfway to the back of the arena.

The set was a 5-foot tall stage fabricated by Tait Towers out of Lititz Pennsylvania, with two 7-foot tall wings and back apron that rolled into place and snapped together under the lighting and sound rigs. The heart was painted red and along the inside and outside edges of the extended heart shape, were 6-inch troughs used for in-stage lighting with grilles to enclose the troughs. The area under the heart was known as the “Underworld.” It was here that the band’s technicians worked tuning the instruments and mixing the sounds. Under the wing on stage left, were the on-stage sound monitor, and in-ear monitor mixing position manned by U2 veterans Don Garber and Dave Skaff. Under the wing on stage right was Edge’s guitar technician Dallas Schoo.

One of the trickiest assignments of Fisher on this tour was to have the ramps of the heart at an angle that was easily manageable for Bono, but also gave the greatest sight lines for the audience. Having a stage built in the middle of the arena meant that the design was going to block the view of some, but hopefully not many. The first 300 or so fans in line to get into the arenas were given bracelets and were allowed to stand inside the heart. Due to fire requirements, the stage had to be outfitted with something not usually seen on a rock ‘n’ roll stage, bright red EXIT signs. There was one on each side of the heart so in case of an emergency the audience would know where to go. Around the perimeter of the heart were the typical steel barriers seen at any of today’s rock shows. Mojo Barriers, a company based in the Netherlands, who has done extensive work with many rock tours, fabricated the crowd control barriers. The barriers were fitted with a number of cantilevered surfaces that Bono could stand on to gain further access to the crowd. Fisher’s Web site lists his scenery suppliers as Tait Towers, Brilliant Stages, and Tomcat USA.

The Elevation Tour was planned to play only arenas to give the feeling of a smaller venue, while satisfying the greatest number of fans. However, there were a few special shows that required the stage be modified, or an entirely different stage had to be used. Turin in Italy, and the Slane Castle shows in Ireland, required a bigger stage be constructed as the shows were outdoors. Fisher and Williams were able to keep the same aesthetic with this stage as the smaller indoor version utilizing a bigger heart, bigger video screens, and a larger sound system to satisfy the venue.

The final design change for the tour came when the band was asked to play during halftime at Super Bowl XXXVI. The heart-shaped stage had to be rolled out onto the football field and erected in four minutes and 30 seconds. The band played three songs, and during the second song, a large scrim fell from the lighting rig. The names of lives lost on September 11 were scrolled vertically on the screen. The heart-shaped stage was duplicated in design approach, and it was built on rolling carts with additional lighting for the television production.


Willie Williams and Bruce Ramus designed the second of three visual aspects of the show, the lighting. In today’s world of high-tech concert lighting and computer driven automated lights, the role of the lighting designer (Williams) and lighting director (Ramus) starts before the first light is hung from the rafters. Williams and Ramus met at the prelite lighting studio in San Francisco to develop some schemes for what would eventually become the Elevation palette. A mock stage and truss rig is drawn in a CAD (Computer aided design) program, and virtual lights are added in software called WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). The lights in this program can be automated, and the colors and intensities can be controlled. Using songs the band planned to play on tour, the two were able to get some basic schemes set up and saved into lighting consoles. Later in the design phase of the lighting rig, they were able to go back to these original schemes and use them to program the lights they decided to use.

The same theory went into the design of the lighting rig as was used for the stage; less is more. The designers did not want the rig to look naked, but they did want to maximize the technology they had and use minimal pieces to do so. Typical big name tours use large amounts of steel trusses hung over the stage to make the lighting rig look massive and impressive. On Elevation, Ramus used simple straight trusses over the bulk of the stage and a circular truss suspended over the heart. The straight truss system consisted of four trusses, two measuring 48 feet and two measuring 54 feet.

The trusses were controlled by ChainMaster Vario-Lift motors. The motors allowed Ramus to keep the trusses at a trim height of 50 feet above the stage and to drop them 12 feet above the stage during the show. They were also used to make the simple truss system move and create different schemes for different songs without having to add a multitude of lights. The circular truss measured 20 feet in diameter and did not move from its position over the heart.

Next came selection of lighting. The design team in keeping with their simple design plan selected one type of moving light to be used on the tour.

The fixture selected was the Vari-Lite VL2416

(commonly known as the VL8.) The Vl8’s were hung on the straight and circular trusses and were primarily used as wash lights, which mean they were basically used to “wash” different parts of the stage with a specific color versus using the fixture to create patterns, or images on the stage. This was done with other specifically selected equipment. To be fitted into the 6-inch gutter that Fisher supplied in his stage, Williams selected 300 T3 quartz lights to be used as footlights as well as 400 Egg and Star Strobes to be used on specific songs like Until the End of the World. This is a clear example of how the architectural details of the stage and the lighting design fit together. The crowd did not know there were lights built into the heart, but when the heart’s T3 footlights, or the strobes went off, the crowd was awestruck.

There were fixtures designed and used for specific songs in the sets, and this is an aspect that sets U2 apart from many of today’s touring bands. They have the flexibility and the creativity to be able to come up with a product to be used specifically for one song they plan to play during the night. Days before opening night in Florida, the band had the wild idea of simply walking out onto the stage for the opening song with all the house lights on. They tried it, and the idea was such a hit, and it got the crowd into such an uproar, they did it for every show on the tour.

To make this happen, the arena staff left the house lights on and the stage was augmented by some standard gymnasium high powered lights in the rig to make the stage bright white. During Elevation the band ripped into the song while the intro music cued and halfway through the song the house lights went down and the show “began.” During the first couple of shows, the design team used lights that came straight out of the warm-up club shows. The crew placed 24 fresnel lights on stands around the perimeter of the back of the stage. The lights came on as the house lights went down during Elevation and the lights gave a sepia brown hue to the stage. The lights were only powered 50% and were painted gold to give a very warm feel to the second half of the song, but in the end Bono and the crew felt they were the wrong fixture for this tour. Williams went back to the lighting fabricator (Light & Sound Design/Fourth Phase in Los Angeles) and had a fixture created they dubbed the “fornow.” It was a four-DWE Mole Striplight housed in a deep black wedge-shaped box. It was a more modern look than the fresnels and some dubbed it the “Darth Vadar lights.”

For Where the Streets Have No Name an effect was created in the rig that could only be described as stunning. When the motors lowered the four trusses to different trims during the intro to the song, modified police beacon lights mounted vertically inside the truss members started to spin and only emitted white light. The motors of the beacons spun the lights in the same direction, but they were set out of sync, so a rain effect was produced with the lights.

For Bad the designers had some custom-made lights in their arsenal to use. Basically the fixture was a handmade design using a revolving trashcan and a bright light. It was known as the ‘ripple drum’ and it consisted of a naked 5kW fixture surrounded by a black painted trashcan with holes punched in it. The can revolves and throws random beams of light on the audience. The team used four of these mounted on the surface of the stage. The lighting rig also contained some DWE’s (the bright circular lights used to light the audience), some ETC Source Four lights and some Lowel-Light Omni and Tota Lights. For controls Williams used an Avolites Pearl console and Ramus used a Jands console.


The third of the three visual aspects of a U2 show were the video stills and lips shown throughout the show. Aside from traditional lighting fixtures, the design team used visual media in the show at different times and on different surfaces. Williams used PIGI Projectors (from Fourth Phase New Jersey) to project images and light on the audience and arena roof. He customized the projector by mounting it on its back, so the light comes out its top. He then mounted a mirror on top that is controlled automatically by a crew person to beam the image of light wherever they wanted it. The projectors had an aperture size of 7 inches and scrolled film that was 7 inches wide. Each projector had two scrolls and was able to scroll two films on top of each other. Stephan Desmit controlled the video system and Irish artist Catherine Owens and a team of fellow artists from England produced the images projected from the PIGIs. The projections showed lyrics to songs, graphics from the cover art, as well as original linear and organic art projected on the audience and on screens that dropped down from the lighting rig surrounding the stage.

Also used on tour was a video wall (supplied by XL Video/Nocturne Europe) that was located at the back of the stage and rose up to different heights during different songs. The video wall’s maximum height was 8 feet and it was used to project graphics, video, and was also simply used as a very bright light source (red for the intro to Streets.) Brilliant Stages fabricated the lifting system and the LED system was pre-programmed and controlled by an Apple Mac G3 laptop.

Above the stage were 10 video screens (dubbed the ‘Whales’ by the crew) used to simply project the band members and the stage during the show. Four of the screens were hung in front of the lighting rig over the front of the stage. Throughout the show, each of the four would broadcast one of the band members up close. There were four long-lens regular broadcast cameras in the arena and they were directly linked to the four screens above the stage and projected mostly in black and white.


When it comes to making U2 sound great live it takes three very important ingredients: a massive sound system by Clair Bros Audio, an enthusiastic audience, and a little bearded Irish man named Joe O’Herlihy. Joe has been mixing the band’s sound for as long as he can remember, and as long as he can remember means their first show. Joe is on hand during almost every note that comes off of the Edge’s guitar and every word that Bono cries. He is involved in the studio and on the road and when it comes to putting a tour together, he is the ears of the audience as Willie Williams is the eyes. Joe has an intimate relationship with the Clair family, and for most of U2’s major tours the company has designed a custom system for the band. From the massive black walls of sound from ZOO TV to the flying orange mono system from POPMART, Clair Bros has delivered U2’s sounds crisp, clear, and most importantly, loud.

For the Elevation Tour, the requirements for the sound primarily came from the seating arrangement. Fans seated behind the stage needed to hear the band with the same quality as those seated in front. As the floor was general admission, the band wanted the crowd to be blasted by sound from above and below. And of course the guy in the last row of the upper tier of the arena had to hear just as well as the girl in the front row. This all had to be done by keeping the quality of sound as high as possible for both the crowd and the band on stage. Since the band decided to forgo stadiums, the need for sound delay speakers at the back of the house was not necessary, and Clair Bros came through with a design that was indeed crisp, clear, and most importantly, loud.

The audio system consisted of a Clair Bros I-4 line array system flown above the stage by engineer Tom “Duds” Ford. Two arrays of six enclosures, arranged in ten-degree increments covered the back of the stage. Each side of the arena was covered by an eight cabinet deep column and the main left and right system was a 14-box “banana” arrangement with cabinets angled at two, five and ten degrees covering the long medium and short ranges. O’Herlihy used two-dozen supplemental I-4B bass cabinets that were vented single-18 enclosures that were flown immediately adjacent to the array on one side. This made the flying array a “chubby banana” as known in the industry, by putting the entire low end in the air with the rest of the rig. The rest of the sound system used Crest Audio 10004 amps while QSC 9.0 amps powered the I-4Bs. This amp was chosen, as it is able to drive multiple low-end drivers cleanly. The three zones of the main I-4 arrays each had their own XTA DP 226 processor as well as TC Electronic 1128 programmable Equalizers.

Sound like a lot? It was, and that was only the system hung above the stage. As the general admission crowd stood inside and outside the ramps of the heart, the band decided they needed extra sound to really elevate them off of their feet. This was done with P-2 speakers on top of ML18 subwoofers under the front of the stage, as well as a flown three cabinet P-4 center cluster that was hung above the heart. For the band members, there was a system designed to each member’s specifications. Adam Clayton prefers wedge monitors on stage as he rarely moves from his spot on stage left. A single Clair Bros 12-AM wedge was used for him near Larry’s drum riser, as well as a pair of Clair Bros double-12s on the front of the stage. Bono utilizes a pair of 12-AM’s; the Edge used a pair of newer Series II wedges and behind Larry’s head stood a pair of Clair Bros ML18 single-18 subwoofers. On top of these stood a single P-4 speaker on its side aimed at Larry’s head, and at the front of the stage on each side stood another double-12, a pair of subwoofers and a wedge. All these monitors were used in case any of the in-ear monitors popped out accidentally or on purpose.
The in-ear monitors Larry, Bono and the Edge used were the latest dynamic earpieces by Future Sonics with wireless systems by Sennheiser. All the mixes for each member employed Aphex Dominators, with a TC Finalizer on Larry’s specific mix. There were a number of mixers used to grab the show’s sound and mix it in including microphones located throughout the arena recording the voices of the crowd.

The microphones used were Shure SM56’s miking the Edges Vox AC-30 Amps, and one direct line was taken from his equipment to be used for effects on the new album’s live songs. In front of and behind the Edge stood a ridiculous assortment of electronics to drive his sound (to be included in a separate description entirely). Bono’s Line 6 Flextone guitar amp was miked with an SM57 and another Flextone was used on upstage right recording ambient sound. Larry’s kick drum is double-miked with an SM98 and a Beta 52; the snare has a Beyerdynamic M 88 on top and a Beta 56 below. Sennheiser MD-421s were employed on the single rack and both floor toms. Audio-Technica 4050s were used as overheads, while AKG 460s were on the hi-hats and beneath the bell of the ride cymbal. A pair of SM57s were Y'ed for the two mounted tambourines, and an SM98 was used for the piccolo snare Mullen plays Where the Streets Have No Name. The microphone stands were technologically advanced as well. The position of each stand was established after the first couple of shows, and then the bases were removed and the stands were hard-screwed into adapters located in the stage. Vocal mics were Shure Beta 58 capsules, the Edge’s was hard-wired and Bono used a handheld Shure UHF system. For New York Bono wore a headset mic and a custom made hat with the transmitter built-in.

The sound engineers were responsible for mixing the sound for the audience through the flown array and below stage speakers, on stage for the band through the wedge monitors in front of each member, as well as in the in-ear monitors Bono, Larry and the Edge use. Each show was recorded on a rack of five HHB CD recorders with a copy given to each band member and of course, Joe O’Herlihy, who mixed the sound on a Midas XL4 board. A Yamaha 02R sidecar handled extraneous overflow inputs which included the Edge’s Yamaha CP70 electric Piano used during New Year’s Day and Sweetest Thing, the audio input for the video of Charlton Heston and some of the special effects returns. A double wide sound rack was used to house outboard processing units. These included blue dbx 160SL compressors on vocals, Summit DCL-200 tube compressors for The Edge's guitar inputs, dbx 160XT compressor/limiters for bass inputs and Drawmer DS201 gates across Larry’s tom drums. Vocal effects include two TC 2290 delays for short and long delays, a Lexicon 480L and an Eventide H3000 D/SE. There are also two Lexicon PCM 70s (one for snare and the other for toms), two SPX-990s with chorus and reverb settings for guitars and two more SPX-1000s for special vocal treatments on certain songs.

Proven by the amount of sound equipment now used, it’s no longer a simple task of taking the homegrown PA system out on the road anymore. Mics, triggers, amps, subs, arrays, and cabinets give U2 their sound. This equipment is useless without a reliable and on-time transportation system. In the United States, enter Upstaging.


For a traveling show like the Elevation tour to operate seamlessly, there needs to be constant communication between the crew, the production companies, and the outside world. Outside of landline telephones, and personal cell phones, it is necessary to establish a two-way communication system within the road show. Before, during and after the show, the Elevation crew utilized walkie talkie systems supplied by AAA Communications to enable leaders in the crew to give orders, and to be in touch with each other inside and outside the venue.

For communication with the outside world, the use of e-mail was prevalent, however the landlines supplied by each venue were deemed inadequate for the 100 or so traveling members who wanted to communicate with their companies, families, and friends. Typically there were four groups of people who were in need of outside communications once they arrived at each venue. Members of Principle Management, the bands personal manager and all assistants, the tour crew, employees of Clear Channel Entertainment who was the promoter and financier of the tour, and the tour management group who included the people who provided budgeting, transportation, food and lodging for the band and crew.

When this large group of people arrived at each venue they typically flocked to the computers the band brought on the road, and the system was deemed inefficient after a short period of time. The Elevation tour was probably one of the first rock ‘n’ roll tours that had a full time IT manager on hand and due to this, a system was incorporated to get information flowing when necessary.

Craig Sneiderman created a wireless network at each venue. Using Wi-Fi wireless products from Toshiba, he was able to create a network in which the crew was able to send and receive e-mails, make phone calls, and access the Internet simultaneously on the same landlines through the network. The disparate teams were able to share files and Sneiderman (also the tour accountant) was able to immediately calculate the night’s revenue after each show within the venue. The wireless network cut down the amount of computing equipment the band took on the road, as well as minimizing costs and truck space necessary to move it.


Upstaging Inc. is probably the world’s best-known entertainment hauling company that has over 25 years experience. Although they may fade into the background, that is exactly what they are hired to do. However, if one has a keen eye, is interested in tour happenings, and is simply a pest, then no doubt, one of Upstaging’s bright red trucks will be spotted outside the arena U2 is playing in.

In Europe the trucking company Atkinson & Sanders hauled the band’s gear from country to country. For the Elevation tour the crew personnel are responsible for the logistics of moving the band, its equipment, and its entourage from city to city as quickly and efficiently as possible. Tasks are divided primarily into load-in (the activity of getting all the equipment into the arena and assembled before the show) and load-out (the activity of disassembling everything and loading it back into the trucks.) The U2 crew divides themselves as well as over a hundred local volunteers into their task specialties and using color-coded T-shirts to the job at hand. The show loaded in approximately two hours and it took 14 Upstaging semis to carry the load. Part of Mark Fisher’s responsibility as set architect as to design set pieces that fit into the dimensions of these trailers, as well as a system of construction that was durable, and efficient that would last from city to city over the course of over a year.

Throughout the Elevation tour, the band, crew and management traveled through the United States and Europe and depending on the distance between cities, and schedule of gigs, the transportation method was either bus or plane. The crew typically traveled by bus, as the band, manager, and essential crew traveled by plane.

A band with a financial backing like U2 does not need to simply rely on ground transportation to get them and their crew from city to city. Airliner charter companies were hired to supply planes for the band, management, and critical crew members. On the Elevation tour, two companies were used, on in the United States and one in Europe. For travel in the United States, Clay Lacy Aviation supplied a 40 seat Boeing 727-100 with details such as a custom paintjob and headrests. On the tail of the plane was painted a red ellipse with the “heart in the suitcase” logo, which also was seen on the front of the fuselage with a gray “U2.” The plane was dubbed “Elevationair” early on in the tour and it carried a host of celebrities along with the band and assorted guests. Its call letters were N724CL and it was left behind (to be used on leg three) when the band went to Europe for leg two.

In Europe, the Swiss company Privatair supplied the band with a Boeing 737BBJ. On the morning of July 5, 2001 the company had the tail and nose painted red, and the “heart in the suitcase” logos were applied to the plane for its arrival at the first European show in Copenhagen on July 6. Its call letters were HB-IIQ and it was left behind when the band returned to America.

U2 Elevation Tour 2001 Credits

Show designer:
Willie Williams

Mark Fisher

Tour production manager:
Jake Berry

U2 production manager:
Steve Iredale

Stage manager:
Rocko Reedy

Audio director:
Joe O'Herlihy

Lighting director:
Bruce Ramus


Production assistants:
David Herbert, Helen Campbell

Crew chief and drum tech:
Sam O'Sullivan

Guitar techs:
Dallas Schoo, Stuart Morgan

Tour tech:
Rab McAllister

Bono tech:
Dave Rouze

Style consultant/head of wardrobe:
Sharon Blankson

Wardrobe assistants:
Karen Nicholson, Fintan Fitzgerald

Head rigger:
Bart Durbin

Joe Favor

Carpenter/Bono stage assistant:
Adam “AJ” Rankin

Alan “Woody” Doyle, Seth Goldstein, Flory Turner, & Bob Madison


Lighting crew chief:
Garry Chamberlain

Lighting techs:
Craig Hancock, Russell “Bits” Lyons, Mark Hitchcock, & Raffaele Buono

Automated lighting tech:
Adam Finer

PIGI effects projectionist:
Brian Beasley

PIGI programmer:
Myron Moore

Video crew chief/lead projection:
Clarke Anderson

VT op/camera engineer:
Stefaan Desmedt

Lead LED screen tech:
Olivier Clybouw

Projectionist/LED tech:
Stefaan Vanbesien

Head of cameras:
Mark O'Herlihy


Audio technician/crew chief:
Joe Ravitch

Audio monitors:
Dave Skaff, Don Garber

Audio technicians:
Tom Ford, Niall Slevin, & Jason Kirschnick


Video director:
Willie Williams

Creator of screen imagery:
Catherine Owens

Maria Manton

Noah Clarke, Joe King, Mark Logue, Marcus Lyall, John Maybury, Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington, Adam Smith, Jennifer Steinkamp, Willie Williams, & Michelle Yu

WYSIWYG programming:
Tom Thompson


AAA Communications; Ron Martinelli

Upstaging Inc.

Atkinson & Sanders; Shoe Sanders

Charter Plane/US:
Clay Lacy Aviation Inc.

Charter Plane/Europe:

Set construction:
Brilliant Stages; Tony Bowern, Charlie Kail

Clair Bros Audio Inc:
Greg Hall, Troy Clair

Audio Rent AG:
Jurg Huegin

Joseph Haggerty & Sons, Inc.

UK & US lighting supplier:
Light & Sound

Lighting Designer:
John Lobel

Prelite Studios

Media 100 digital media delivery systems:

PIGI effects projection:
Fourth Phase, NY and London; Anne Johnston

Set construction:
Tait Towers; Michael Tait, Winky Fairorth

Vari*Lites supplier:
Vari-Lite Production Services

Video supplier:
XL Video/Nocturne Europe; Chris Mounsor

Variolift motors:
Show Distribution

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Old 03-10-2003, 11:17 PM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Couple of minor nits, but for accuracy's sake...

The Clay Lacy owned 727 is actually a 727-51, though for all intents and purposes it's basically the same as a -100 (externally at least). FWIW, the same jet used to be the Utah Jazz charter, and has also been used by the Discovery Network.

The Privatair 737 is a 737-7AK BBJ, now being operated as a charter by Lufthansa - apparently it's flying the Dusseldorf/New Jersey Circuit. It wasn't re-painted for the band, though - the basic scheme is the standard Privatair livery, carried by everything from its Gulfstreams to its 757s. It's possible the tail was re-painted, but it's far more likely they just applied vinyl stickers for all the U2-specific markings - it's pricey and time consuming to have to overpaint the existing markings then mask and paint the NEW markings on there, then sand and re-paint the standard markings back on when done. The nose definately wasn't touched. Same with the 727, actually, it was in the basic Clay Lacy livery with the U2 markings almost certainly just applied with vinyl stickers.

Sorry, just a pedantic airplane nut.

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Old 03-11-2003, 07:51 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Originally posted by Iron Chef MoFo
Sorry, just a pedantic airplane nut.
No worries. That was actually very interesting.

Thanks to salomeU2000 too.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:12 AM   #4
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wow! if you have put in that much time & energy to every detail of this-imagine what the Band has to deal with!! Interesting indeed! Thanx!
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Old 10-31-2004, 10:08 PM   #5
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Great info!
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