August 15, 2009

U2 guitarist defends huge stage

The Edge, a guitarist with the Irish rock group U2, said the huge stage the band plays on during its world tour is for the fans.

The stage has attracted brickbats, both because of its cost and the cost financially and environmentally of moving it around the world, the BBC reports. David Byrne of Talking Heads estimated on his blog that 200 tractor-trailers are required to move the pieces around Europe.

It could be professional envy speaking here, but it sure looks like, well, overkill, and just a wee bit out of balance given all the starving people in Africa and all, Byrne said.

The stage's three pieces, built at a cost of 15 to 20 million pounds ($25 million to $33 million) each, provide unobstructed sightlines for fans, no matter how large and packed the venue.

We're spending the money on our fans. I don't think there's a better thing you could spend it on, The Edge told the BBC in a backstage interview Friday before a concert at Wembley Stadium in London.

U2 is on its 360-Degree tour that will take the band round the world. The Edge said any touring group will have a carbon footprint.