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U2 continues to wreck ballparks across the country

Jul 20, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

U2 stage

We’ve talked about how the current U2 tour — which was supposed to happen last summer, but got bumped to this summer because Bono had to go heal the sick someplace or something — has been disrupting the baseball schedule. See, their stage setup is gigantic and it takes several days on either side of the concert for construction and break-down, so when they’ve gone to Anaheim or Miami or wherever, it has caused the team to have to go on the road for a long time.

The current U2 exiles are the St. Louis Cardinals, who turned their ballpark over to the band as the All-Star break began and won’t be back until Monday.  But as Dan O’Neill reported yesterday, it’s not just the schedule that gets messed up: it’s the turf too:

“This is pretty much a complete destruction of your field,” Findley said of the concert. “When they bring this thing in here, and set it on your field for a week, no grass is going to survive that.”

The “thing” to which Findley referred to is better known as “the Claw,” a massive superstructure that houses each U2 performance. It is the largest concert stage ever assembled, a four-legged, spiderlike structure that hovers over the concert floor, holding speaker systems, lights and video elements.

The steel assembly is 167 feet tall and transported to and from concert sites by 120 trucks. The U2 tour includes a production crew of 137 workers, which is supplemented at each concert location by some 120 hired hands. Daily costs of the production are estimated to be around $750,000, which does not include the actual construction of the stage.

Nothing says rock and roll like a team of hundreds setting up an elaborate performance space at the cost of millions. Indeed, I’m pretty sure we’re reaching Hotblack Desiato and Disaster Area territory here. All that’s missing now is a space ship crashing into the sun to create a solar flare and The Edge spending a year dead for tax purposes.

Oh, wait.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    I heard or read somewhere that every single venue they play at gets fresh new turf after they leave as part of the deal. So in actuality, I would think this would help, not hurt, the playing field.

    • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:29 AM

      And their music sucks too.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:10 AM

        Music? You call that music? Can you handle the truth! It is not music.

      • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        I will cede that it is music only because, when I mention that I enjoy Ornette Coleman somewhere down the line, U2 lovers will be all over me screaming “and you call that tweeting and screeching musc?”

        However, I maintain that as music, it still sucks.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        Ornette Coleman is no Sidney Bechet or Johnny Hodges.

      • spudchukar - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        Sun Ra.

      • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:29 PM

        Sidney Bechet was OK, but when Mez showed up with the goods, the joint really started jumping.

        Ackcherley, I was just listening to Rabbit soloing on that Verve Charlie Parker Plays the Blues compilation. Listen to his solo on “Funky Blues,” with fellow altoists Benny Carter and Bird – and tenors Flip Phillips and Ben Webster – and then you’ve got Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Oscar Peterson on piano and Barney Kessel on guitar…now that is less a band than a conclave of gods on Olympus.

        U2? Who dey?

    • clydeserra - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      Putting fresh sod down then playing baseball on it a day later is not better. I am no lasndscaper, but I am fairly sure that sod needs time to grow the roots into the ground or something. Expect to see an uneven surface and lots of divots for the next couple of weeks in those ballparks

      • yankeesfanlen - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        You are correct. Sod has bare root exposed, it needs at least a week of almost constant measured watering and nitrogen infusion to mesh with existing turf, noit counting that as and if it grows then, manicuring it to park-like conditions is a b$%^h.

    • blur991 - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      this is true.

  2. Paul Zummo - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    Love U2, but I enjoyed their toned down (for them) arena concerts from the Elevation tour over their elaborate stadium sets. Ditto for Metallica. When it comes to rock, simpler is better.

  3. Jonny 5 - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Wow, 120 trucks. That doesn’t seem to jive with their supposed environmental cause they preach to everyone about, not to mention they probably get toted around in their private jet because U2 aren’t going to go cross country on a bus. This doesn’t beat Al Gore and the Zink mines on his property, but it’s pretty hypocritical.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:54 AM

      +1000 thumbs-up…you knuckle-dragging, tea-bagging, neanderthal ;)

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        No, no, no tea bagger here Chris. I am nondenominational. I can never pick a side in politics when I view all parties involved today in the same light.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        I was just trying to beat OG to the punch.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        lol!! The Tea baggers are his favorite. Punching bag, that is. Not that they don’t make it easy. I do have to say most people have good intentions no matter how misplaced they may be, so I give the Tea party a break. They at least are in tune to our financial blunders within politics. And as much as we wish to bury our heads in the sand over it, it’s a VERY serious problem. The problem with any “party” in my mind is the with me or against me mentality they all create, so you’re left with people rallying behind folks who aren’t working for their best interests because of one or two fundamental points they do agree on, even though nothing will change within these fundamental points. The whole “oh my god he supports abortion so I’m voting for so and so” argument is ridiculous (and vice versa), abortion law isn’t changing anytime soon, and if it does it must be done within the supreme court. It’s smoke and mirrors and jockeying for power. Bleh.

    • kopy - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      Why do your part when you can convince other people to do it for you?

    • blur991 - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      and i bet you shop at wal mart, so stuff it.

  4. frankvzappa - Jul 20, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    U2 is proof that the world is filled with jackasses who don’t know good music from an ass-sphincter.

  5. sdelmonte - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    If Paul McCartney can find a way to play in Yankee Stadium (thus betraying his Shea Stadium roots, but I digress) and not kick the Yankees out or make a mess of anything, surely U2 can find a way, too.

  6. naussdollar - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    I do like U2′s older stuff because I’m…well…older. I do think this goes against Bono’s help the world attitude. I’m sure if you took the money it takes to set up this monster stage for the entire tour he could easily feed every starving nation in every 3rd world country. U2 would still sell out every arena minus this stage. I saw them about 20 year ago (OMG it’s been 20 years!) and the show was pretty awesome.

  7. kirkmack - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Bono actually had a bad back and couldn’t handle the rigors of the performances. So, really, he was healing the sick- himself.

  8. blur991 - Jul 20, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    created an account just to reply to this stupid stupid post. the cardinals allowed this because they WERE getting new turf. do your homework. what crappy reporting. you probably will be at the lady ga ga show and love it. a__hat.

    fyi the U2 show was awesome, and the best thing to EVER come to busch stadium. go watch the videos on youtube.

    • Paul Zummo - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

      We really weren’t missing anything without your input. By the way, if you’re going to mock someone else’s writing abilities, it would help if you had the first clue about grammar and capitalization.

  9. blur991 - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    “but got bumped to this summer because Bono had to go heal the sick someplace or something” Craig – do they seriously pay you? Bono actually was injured and could not perform, hence the reschedule. i can’t believe anyone signs your check.

    • emdiehl - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      I agree wtih Blur991,

      “but got bumped to this summer because Bono had to go heal the sick someplace or something ” this comment was written in VERY POOR TASTE

      • bwebster614 - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:39 AM

        Does someone not get the idea of “sarcasm”.

        Clearly he thinks Bono is a tool, as most of the population should.

      • cur68 - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        So you guys are new here, right? I know you are so lets get some some stuff cleared up before you embarrass yourselves further.

        First of all, this isn’t the news per se. Its a blog. Craig’s blog. He provides baseball news and updates with a certain spin on it all. He makes a very good living doing so because the dozens of us who visit the site expect the content and roll with it. No one feels particularly compelled to agree with Craig. But, since he’s not a nut or pushing an agenda, we tend not to get all up in his grill. Until he disses cake. The we chew him a new one. But I digress.

        Secondly, as a blog he’s free to air his opinion about sundry things. He often does. As do we commenters. His point about the massive hypocrisy that is the U2 ‘fix the world but not at my expense’ agenda is easily made, not so much a matter of opinion as point of fact, and you’ll find a goodly number of us tend to see U2 in the same light.

        Third of all, if you’re going to come off all offended every time someone on this thing gets a mite cavalier about some rich guy whose ridiculously over the top excesses are wrecking baseball fields all the while he spouts ‘I’m holier than thou’ and sundry crap, you’re in for a long a$$ chafe then. n fact, I’m sure the hang-nail or infected cuticle Bono suffered last year was healed with the tears of a thousand orphaned kittens. Or something.

      • jimbo1949 - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        Cur, waxing eloquently, I concur.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        cur – Good work. Introduce them slowly into our methods, they have yet to approach orientation, which is doubtful they will succeed in due to inability to detect snark.
        Maybe allow them tin foil hats for a couple of days, followed by bratwurst.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 20, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Bratwurst…and then cake?

      • cur68 - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        Boys, after close association with HBT I’ve come to one conclusion that I’m prepared to defend to the death; the only thing pie is good for is the pie tin. Made of foil it is the ideal beginning for a good hat for the easily overheated of mind. So a pie foil hat for all those who can’t trouble to spell, use a modicum of decent grammar and can’t tell a blog from the news. And a pox, too. On all their houses.

        UH: Bratwurst and then cake? Bratwurst might be too good for them. Maybe one of OG’s patented horsemeat and velveeta sammiches? He knows where to get the best ones. THEN bratwurst, then, maybe, if they don’t irritate me more, a sliver of cake. But no more than a sliver. And only providing they keep their foil hats on.

      • Old Gator - Jul 20, 2011 at 6:34 PM

        That’s what I love about the Tea party. Not that they’re an adorable bunch of drones. Not that their knuckles drag. Not that they read Harry Potter novels to find the hidden anti-Christian messages.

        No, I love them because even though they may not agree with you, and almost certainly don’t if you’re literate, they are willing to fight to the death for your right to believe exactly the same nonsense that they do.

  10. crookedstick - Jul 20, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Here’s my favorite part of the story:

    “It’s a dual situation, but what Mother Nature is throwing at us is really unexpected,” Findley said. “The sustained heat they have in the forecast for the next 10 days is going to make our job that much tougher.”

    It’s hot in July in St. Louis and that’s “really unexpected”??? Really??

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM

      Well, no, but this historic heat wave was not really expected, now was it?

    • emdiehl - Jul 20, 2011 at 1:53 PM

      Cur
      ahahahah, I agree with most of that

      I dont mind that it’s his blog etc, but to me, there’s certain things you just dont make fun of, no matter what, cause they can be misinterpreted,

      Unless in fact you just do not care, or want to blame those who ‘misinterpret’ the information.

      To me, it’s more of a respect issue. The same goes when writers talk about anything! Sports included. Example. Someone may be a Packers fan but hate the Vikings and the Bears for many reasons…..so go ahead and make fun of and rip them to pieces, but there’s a line of respect I feel like you must not cross,

      IF

      You’re one who would like to DISCUSS the topic with the opposite side

      Now if the author in this case just doesnt care, well then keep writing like this. But, I in fact, do think they care, why post it?

      • cur68 - Jul 20, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        emdiehl; Careful where you click reply there bubba.

        I’m not sure what line was crossed here. Implying in a sarcastic fashion about whatever it was kept Bono on the DL last year doesn’t really constitute a ‘line crossing’ IMO. It’s not like he accused the man of being off having arsenic treatments to clear up his syphilis, now is it? He wrote “Bono had to go heal the sick someplace or something”. Technically true. He was healing the sick. Himself. Just written subject to liberal interpretation and not spelled out and dumbed down.

        You’ll find a lot of that ‘think for yourself’ kind of stuff on this blog if you stick around. Now if you’re more a ‘follow the sandal and/or gourd’ type then I suspect you’ll be spending a measure of your time looking stuff up or just being confused or getting into a lot of arguments where some of the commentators will insult your intelligence or make trenchant commentary about the American Education System so fair warning to you.

        If you wish to look into it from the point of view of a person who has more time for baked goods than Bono or U2, try slinging “Carbon Footprint, waste, pollution and U2 tour” into your handy google on the interwebs and do some reading. You’ll get 189,000 results so I expect you’ll be a mite busy.

        Now I must go. Harry & Kate are touring North America and they’ve got hay fever from all the pollen. I’m off to insult a thousand kittens till they weep so as to effect a cure for the tape-worm royalty.

  11. dailyrev - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Let ‘em play at the Trop and do their worst. Some fields could use destruction.

  12. wildinkc - Jul 20, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Bono, the biggest #2 of them all.

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