this is a top preview on currie cup final read it please

This is a top preview regarding the Currie cup final by Mike Greenaway and I will be discussing this in detail with my great mate Egon Seconds on Saturday morning on Heart 104.9fm on our show called on the couch from 8 -9am. Egon in fact played in the last final WP appeared in in 2001,so tune in on Sat morning and listen to Tapfuma, Martin and Flapper with guest Egon Seconds as we discuss the final.

pic credit WP rugby

MIKE GREENAWAY

Forget about any Test match fever we might have had this year, the 2010 Currie Cup final anticipation and “bring it on!” excitement has been off the scale. Maybe it is because the Bulls have been favourites to win eight of the last nine finals (they missed out in 2007 when the Cheetahs hosted the Lions) and now that there are refreshingly new protagonists on the stage, nobody in the audience quite knows how the drama is going to unfold.
Two years ago, the Sharks won the Currie Cup for the first time in 12 years; this year Western Province are in their first final in nine years. Can it really be possible that neon light figures such as Schalk Burger, Ricky Januarie and Jean De Villiers are playing in their first ever Currie Cup final?!
Amazing but true, and if they were doing so at Newlands tomorrow there are not too many that would have bet against WP winning their third Currie Cup final in a row against the Sharks – just after the turn of the Millennium the Sharks-WP rivalry was getting deliciously ugly in the 2000 and 2001 finals, with Mark Andrews and Corne Krige often trading juicy insults. They were good days indeed, with the Sharks being accused of streetwise cheating at ruck and maul time and the Mountain Goats instead being referred to as show ponies by the derisive Natalians.
Then Heyneke Meyer grabbed the Bulls by their snouts, and the Cheetahs found their nubile feet, and those two teams have mostly occupied the Currie Cup crease this last decade.
But the Bulls were upset in an almighty semi-final in Durban two weeks ago and the Cheetahs were introduced to their backsides at Newlands in a one-sided semi-final.
On that note it was interesting to note Sharks coach John Plumtree’s reflection on the run-in to the final for the two teams.
“We are pretty happy with how it has worked out for us. We had the best dress rehearsal you could hope for in the Bulls match. That was a Test match in terms of intensity, and our match before that was a heavy defeat to WP in Cape Town, and that obviously has been a focal point in our preparation. The boys have not forgotten what happened, make no mistake …”
Province by comparison have not worked up too much of a sweat in their last two games in comfortably beating the Sharks and the Cheetahs.
“Are our contrasting build-ups relevant?” Plumtree smiled earlier this week. “I will tell you after the final whistle. Speaking from our side, we learned that we can win a tight match by more than one means (by attacking in the first against the Bulls and then defending in the second), and our recent defeat to this same WP team is a case of forewarned is forearmed.”
So who the heck is going to win tomorrow?
We have a Sharks tight five that won’t let themselves get beaten like they were three weeks ago by sthe ame opponents – the Sharks could shade this department; the loose forward battle coudl well be won by the WP combination of Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw, although Ryan Kankowski, Keegan Daniel and Willem Alberts will beg to differ.
The half back struggle is a fascinating one. Willem Alberts and Ricky Janurie have all the experience in the world and done fine service to the Currie Cup over the years, but compared to shiny new pins in Patrick Lambie and Charl Mcleod, they are aging donkeys (although they can kick like mules) and this is where the Sharks will win the match. You read it here first.
The rest of the backline comparisons don’t matter.
The Sharks will win because they are at home, because they have got their selections right, have energy and zip at halfback and because they are playing a brand of rugby they believe in. Game over, case closed.

I like this rugby read by my mate MIKE GREENAWAY

MIKE GREENAWAY

Sharks coach John Plumtree has not the slightest concern that inexperience in certain key positions in the Sharks team will be exposed in the high-pressure cauldron of Saturday’s Absa Currie Cup final.
At scrumhalf and flyhalf, the Sharks have young bucks and Currie Cup newcomers in Charl Mcleod and Patrick Lambie; Lwazi Mvovo is also in his first year while at inside centre Andries Strauss has been on the periphery for a few years and only now is commanding a starting position. Louis Ludik and Willem Alberts are new to the Sharks.
“We have not even talked about it – there has been no need to because it is not an issue,” the coach said. “The younger guys have fronted up in every big game we have played and the semi-final against the Bulls was as good a dress rehearsal as you could hope for in terms of pressure, intensity and physicality.”
In fact, a potential weak point in the eyes of some critics is actually a strong point for the Sharks. They are playing so well because they have uncovered new players, brought them through and they have delivered each week, bringing a fresh new dimension to the team’s game.
Lambie has been composed all year, whether at 15, 12 or 10, McLeod has been a revelation at scrumhalf with his snappy distribution and ability to attack the half-gap and then get his arms around the tackler to offload; Mvovo has scored 12 mostly marvellous tries in 15 games (second only to record-breaker Bjorn Basson) and has been playing so well that he kept Springbok Odwa Ndungane on the bench for the semi-final (when JP Pietesen returned on the other wing). Strauss? He has suddenly come of age after three seasons on the outer and is now living up to the hype that surrounded him when he came to the Sharks as a highly rated product of Grey College.
“I am backing our youngsters, they have shown they have calm heads when the going gets tough,” Plumtree said. “It helps that we have a group of senior players sprinkled about the team. The role of Stefan (Terblanche) in the backs cannot be over-emphasised, for example.”
There were 40 000 at the semi-final and there will be 12 000 more at the final to give the Sharks players a significant fillip.
It is known that 2000 tickets were allocated to Western Province and 500 of them were returned to the Shark Tank, so the vast majority of fans will be in black and white – unlike the 2007 and 2008 finals against the Bulls in the Super 14 and Currie Cup respectively, when Bulls fans poured down the N3 and took over the Stadium (six hours by car is cheaper than two hours by plane).
Terblanche said that he was encouraging the younger players to enjoy every minute of the build-up, not to mention the game.
“In my youth I played in three finals (1999 against the Lion and against WP in 2000 and 2001) and wished the week away, wanting to get into the final as soon as possible,” the captain said. “That was a mistake. You have to embrace the occasion because it unfortunately does not come around that often. I have told the guys to even write things down to capture the memories and also so they can revisit what worked and what doesn’t, should they be involved in future finals. My message this week is that we are the lucky ones that are working this week when all the other teams (apart from WP) have lost and are on holiday.”
Plumtree had a similar take on the rarity value of a final in Durban.
“We haven’t had too many finals in Durban in the past and whereas the Durban July horse race comes around every year, for example, having the Currie Cup final here is something you can’t guarantee, and it’s something special. I told the team before our semi-final against the Bulls that I’d be proud of them whether we won or lost because of the way we’ve played the game this year, and what we’ve done with a young group that has had more than its fair share of injuries over the season. But we stuck together and won the right to host a final, and that is a great prize, but it does not end there – we’re not running out the tunnel to make up the numbers against a side that is favoured to beat us. We will be there to win.”

www.iol.co.za

SHARKS COACH John Plumtree is a veteran of a dozen major final

MIKE GREENAWAY

SHARKS COACH John Plumtree is a veteran of a dozen major finals spanning his career as a player with Taranaki and Natal and then as coach of Swansea, Wellington and the Sharks, and he has two words to describe what will the latest challenge to his blood-pressure, the 2010 Absa Currie Cup final.
“Major fireworks!” Plumtree said in answer to a question at a press conference at the Shark Tank yesterday that was initially about the envisaged battle of the breakdown.
“Both sets of loose forwards are competitive by nature and destructive in the way they go about their business but I don’t think the war will be won or lost there, although it will certainly be a major battle,” he said. “Firstly there will be a massive tight five showdown, then there is a Springbok backline against a determined Sharks division, and when you add the loosies getting stuck in it adds up to major fireworks!”
Plumtree said he is reassured that Craig Joubert is the referee because he has a good feel for how the contentious area of the breakdowns should be officiated.
“”Craig is very accurate in that area,” the coach said. “He will make sure it is competitive but refereed according to the rules. It is crucial that he is hard on both teams because fair play at the breakdown enables us to play our game and Western Province to play theirs. If you don’t get quick ball or you turn the ball over, you don’t get your game going.”
The Stormers, of course, were heavily penalised by Joubert in the Super 14 final against the Bulls earlier this year. Does Plumtree expect a repeat?
“I think there is still some habit there. Like I said, they are a destructive team in that area. They will attack our ball, just as we will attack theirs, and that is fine if it is refereed properly, and it will be because Craig has shown that he understands what is going in that area, and that means the game will flow.”
It was pointed out to openside flank Keegan Daniel, who was in attendance along with captain Stefan Terblanche, that former Springbok and WP captain and flank Corne Krige reckons the Capetonians have an advantage in that the Sharks do not have an out-and-out fetcher, while WP have Francois Louw.
Daniel retorted: “I have other strengths that suit the way we play the game, they have players that suit the way they play, but we feel that the law focuses this year favour teams that keep the ball, and we have seen few turnovers at the breakdown …”
Terblanche deflected the debate away from the forwards and suggested that the Sharks this week faced an equally big challenge amongst the three-quarters after the forwards froned up agaisnt the Bulls.
“In the build-up to the semi-final against the Bulls the major talking point was their Springbok-laden pack, and we accepted the challenge and stood up to them. I am not saying we dominated them but we did enough to give our backs a good platform,” the 35-year-old said. “This week the talk is about Western Province’s Springbok backline, and rightly so because in their midfield alone I rate De Villiers and De Jongh as potentially the most dangerous combination in world rugby, and so we face a similar challenge to the one the forwards had in the semi-final.
“It is obviously a huge motivation for the Sharks backs,” Terblanche continued. “We are very mindful about not giving them space or turnover ball while at the same time doing our best to give a good account of ourselves against current internationals.”

http://www.iol.co.za

Sharks coach John Plumtree was in philosophical mood yesterday

rugby sharks final build-up by my mate

MIKE GREENAWAY

Sharks coach John Plumtree was in philosophical mood yesterday when the Sharks resumed trained in preparation for the Absa Currie Cup final.
The players trained on the main Kings Park pitch, in the arena where it will all happen on Saturday, and the coach reflected thus: “It is all about them now,” he said looking out to the players. They have done the hard work to get here. We as management are going to change as little as possible this week and now it is about how much the players want it …”
Plumtree said the early signs are very good.
“The guys are very excited. Maybe the nerves will come later in the week. I think it is settling in that they are playing a Currie Cup final in front of their home fans, and it is almost upon them after a week’s break. The thing is, Western Province will be experiencing the same excitement.”
They surely will, having not been in a Currie Cup final for nine years.
“They are in the same place we were in 2008,” Plumtree said before adding with a little smile: “We had not won anything in years (12 to be exact), but does that create pressure …?”
And distancing his own team from Cup final pressure is the chief aim of the Sharks coach.
“Final week can get out of hand if you don’t manage it,” he observed. “It is about keeping the team together and resting and minimising sideshows, from my experience (Plumtree played in his share of finals and coached Swansea and Wellington to many a final before winning the 2008 Currie Cup with the Sharks, not to mention a Super 14 final loss when he was assistant to Dick Muir.)
“You can have information overload if you have speech after speech and overdo the inspiration side of things.”
From the point of view of the players, captain Stefan Terblanche said his team-mates were in a good mental place for a final given the events of the closing rounds of the Currie Cup.
“We lost two of our last three games, to the Lions and to Province, but then came back strongly to beat the Bulls in the semi-final, and that has to give us the belief that we can beat the best as long as we get our game right,” he said. “But we are also very aware of how well WP played against us when they had a home semi-final at stake, and we also realise that they will lift their intensity even further for a final.”
This will be Terblanche’s fourth Currie Cup final and his third against Western Province.
“I am hoping it will third time lucky – we lost to Province in 2000 and 2001, and that was after losing heavily to the Lions in 1999 in Durban. I know what it is like to taste defeat in a Currie Cup final, trust me, and then in 2003 we lost again (to the Bulls) although the Springboks were not allowed to play (because of the Rugby World Cup that year),” he recollected.
“But it is hardly about me or any other individual. Plum summed it up perfectly before the semi-final when he said any close-knit team will beat any group of stars or individuals. On paper the Bulls had far more stars than us and nobody gave us a chance, understandably so, but we gutsed it out in the second half. If you look at the statistics, they made a lot more tackles than us – the majority of our defending was in the last quarter, with one important hit after another.”
However, the wily veteran points out that perspective is required on the nail-biting win over the Bulls.
“We must not get carried away. We only just beat them. They were so close to winning it at the end, and they are hardly now a bad side just as we are hardly now world beaters. That semi-final showed just how tight these games really are. One miss tackle can be the difference, a bounce of the ball, a bit of luck either way… The only thing you can do is give everything, and if the opposition team wins you say ‘well done’, we tried our best, you got it right on the day.”
: http://www.iol.co.za

The Cape Town Show launches at the Rainbow Room

The Cape Town Show launches at the Rainbow Room

When ten talented youngsters were chosen to be part of a brand new experiential show at The Rainbow Room at Mandela Rhodes Place in the heart of Cape Town’s Old City, little did they know that their lives would change irrevocably.

As the first young adults selected for the Rainbow Academy, a non-profit organisation aimed at young adults who are passionate about the performing arts but lack the resources for tertiary training, here was their chance to shine as a contributing cast member in a brand new production.

Five months of intensive rehearsals later and these youngsters who hail from suburbs across the Peninsula, from Mannenberg to Retreat, Fish Hoek to Mitchells Plain, have proved their passion. Under the professional guidance of acclaimed performer Denay Willie with the assistance of co-director and pianist Godfrey Johnson with choreographer Didi Moses, they have danced, sung (under the tutelage of Ryta Zmuro) and acted their way through to present a show that is the epitome of the Cape Town scene. The professional team of actors and musicians, “ Dobs” Madotveni, Josh Prinsloo and Jade de Waal lead the show and mentor these enthusiastic young hopefuls to light up the Cape Town stage.

The Cape Town Show, written and directed by Willie is hot and happening from the first week in November. Supported by the Cape Argus the Cape Town Show is set to sizzle on the stage of the Rainbow Room, and, as these youngsters tread the boards and release their energy in this stimulating and fast paced show; this will be a must-see on the Cape Town circuit. The young adults will be working as waiters, bartenders and, as performers, showing off their singing, dancing, acting and musical skills at each show

The show uses music, dialogue and audio visuals to explain the history, struggle and eventually the freedom of the people of South Africa. The essence of this show is Cape Town contextualized in a way that finally tells the Mother City’s story.

Celebrating many of the unsung heroes, our shameful and magical moments in history but above all Cape Town’s unique people whose tenacity, endurance and hilarious sense of humour has prevailed, the Cape Town Show captures our unique history.

Sizzling, soulful, energetic and a cultural celebration of our rainbow nation and the city’s people, lives and heritage you’ll be taken on a historical journey in two acts defining six decades of our struggle and fight for freedom. The city’s colorful and collective past and present is told through the works of legendary & contemporary musical and performing greats: Robbie Jansen; Winston Mankuku, David Kramer, Taliep Pietersen, Miriam Makeba , Johnny Clegg and more. Across the divide of color, race and ethnicity this unified voice of protest for freedom and equality laid the foundations for the Rainbow Nation as we know it today.

Founders of the Rainbow Academy and co-owners of Rainbow Room, Frank Gormley and Alison McCutcheon both agree that the performers have exceeded their expectations.

“The Academy is fulfilling its mandate of offering students the opportunity to earn while they learn in a creative and live entertainment environment. Their talent has been honed and grown through a mentorship programme which centred round tuition in the performing arts and most importantly has provided them with the business skills to create a sustainable future in the show business world.” Says Gormley, whilst McCutcheon adds “From Cape Jazz, Goemma and the Kaapse Klopse – Township jive, Kwela and Mpantsula-to “Liedjies”, “Grappies”,”Pata Pata” and gum-boot dancing, the Cape Town show captures the very heart and essence of our people, our legacy and the soul of our city. The vitality and commitment that we have seen during the rehearsal period has been extraordinary and the audience is going to be blown away when they see the results”

The ten youngsters have put in many hours of work over the intensive rehearsal period but with one voice they all attest to the growth and understanding that they have enjoyed during the time. As a team they all agree that every moment has been worth it and that they now have a realistic vision of what the future can hold.

Walied Fortuin, 21 years old from Mannenberg, along with fellow Academy performers; Sinethemba Dorame, 18 years old from Khayelitsha, Thabo Spelman, 19 years old from Phillippi East, Justin Kok, 19 years old from Heathfield, Angus Swarts, 19 years old from Retreat, Sinovuyo Nzukuma 20 years old from Mannenberg, Amy Petterson, 18 years old from Fish Hoek, Roxanne Abrahams, 20 years old from Mitchells Plain, Nokubonga Manyawya, 20 years old from Khayelitsha, Nakeshia Kerchhoff, 20 years old from Mitchells Plain, sums up this extraordinary experience that has changed their lives “ I have learnt to respect our different cultures and understand that if we work together we can make a difference in everyone’s life”

Where: The Rainbow Room in Mandela Rhodes Place, Cape Town

When: From 5 November (watch the press for details) every Wednesday and Friday from 7pm.

Cost: R295 per person which includes a three course dinner or R120 per person (show only)

For more information: contact Alison on 021 422 1418 / alison.

THE CAST IS

Denay Willie (Director and Lead)

Godfrey Johnson (Co-Director and pianist)

Mvaskalisi Dobs Madotveni (Lead male actor, vocalist – tenor, musician – traditional instruments)

Josh Prinsloo (male actor, vocalist and musician)

Jade de Waal (saxophonist)

Rainbow Academy

Angus Swarts (drums and vocals)

Justin Kok (guitarist and vocals)

Sinethemba Dorane (soloist and vocals)

Walied Fortuin (vocals and dancer)

Thabo Spelman (vocals and dancer)

Sinovuyo Nzukuma (vocals and actor)

Amy Petterson (vocals)

Nakeshia Kerrchhoff (vocals)

Roxanne Abrahams (vocals)

Nokubonga Manyonya (soloist and vocals)

Show Dates

1ST November – Monday : Final Dress Rehearsal

3rd November – Wednesday : Invited Guests preview

5th November – Friday : Opening night to the public

From then on shows on Wednesdays and Fridays

Matinee Dates for December: Sat 04 Dec, Sat 11 Dec, Sat 18 Dec

Times: All 14h00rs start time.

Pricing: Adults R150, Under 12 years R100

Price includes Cup cakes, Popcorn.

The Rainbow Academy

The concept behind The Rainbow Academy is to provide Rainbow young adults who are passionate about the performing arts the opportunity to be part of an experiential show as contributing cast members. Their talent will be honed and grown through a mentorship programme which centers round tuition in the performing arts and most importantly provides them with the business skills to create a sustainable future in the show business world. Through an extensive search ten talented kids between the ages of 17 – 21, who have not had the opportunity of tertiary education, were chosen to join the Rainbow Academy. The talent of the ten kids staggered and amazed the judges and their all round performance skills in singing, dancing and acting landed them this opportunity of a life time.

The Rainbow Academy is a non-profit organization run by professionals in the business who are determined to make a difference and give of their time to talented youth who would otherwise not have the opportunity. The mentorship programme centres around the tuition provided by Denay Willie who is a teacher of music and vocal performance and the director of The Rainbow Room’s CAPE TOWN SHOW. The key principal vocal performers and musicians of the Cape Town Show will be contracted in addition to their Show performances to mentor The Rainbow Academy students in so doing giving back to the arts in a genuine and meaningful way. They must be prepared to share their knowledge with our students.

The team at Rainbow are approaching professionals, corporate companies and the Department of Arts and Culture for both financial support of the Academy and quantifiable mentorship hours so that the students may benefit from a measurable and structured study programme aimed at making them outstanding, enterprising performing artists.

For further information: Alison McCutcheon,The Rainbow Experience, Alison

(021) 422 1418

Its currie cup final week

Its currie cup final week and nothing like using my great friends writing which did not appear in the cape times today . Mike Greenaway has been senior rugby writer in Durban for years and has an intimate knowledge of the banana boys stengths and weakness and seeing that I got the sharks at 4 to 1 at the start of the Currie cup the payout should be good come Sat 7pm. Enjoy the read below

Keegan Daniel, the Sharks’ stand-out performer in the Absa Currie Cup, likens Saturday’s final against Western Province in Durban to a mountaineer’s assualt on the precipice of the world’s highest mountain.
“They say when you are climbing Everest that the last few steps to the pinnacle take the longest and are certainly the hardest,” the openside flank said of the last 80 minutes of a marathon 16-week expedition for the two remaining teams.
“And the thing about a final featuring two strong, in-form teams is that anything that has gone before will be insufficient on the day. We will have to replicate our effort in beating the Bulls in the semi-final and then take it up another notch.”
In fact, the 25-year-old says the Sharks need to move on quickly from the emotion of the Bulls game and if they are to take anything from the past, it is the memory of the forwards getting drilled at Newlands on October 9.
“Yes we can draw self-belief from the the fact that we finished top of the table and are hosting the final but we have to look forward now,” he said.
“Dwelling on the accolades we earned from a great performance against the Bulls would be foolish because as soon as you think that what you are doing is good enough, you inevitably and painfully find out that it isn’t.”
Daniel points out that the for the second match in a row the Sharks are up against a 2010 Super 14 finalist.
“The Stormers/WP are a great side. We saw what they did in the Super 14 and now they are in the Currie Cup final, and just a few weeks ago they dominated us in Cape Town. Believe me, that is still fresh in our memory banks. This is going to be a massive encounter beween the forwards, for sure!”
Daniel says that the inches that serparated the Bulls from beating the Sharks in the last crazy minutes in the semi-final came down to a special spirit that has been fostered in the Sharks this season, and will no doubt be called on once more on Saturday.
“There are still a few guys who played in that 2007 Super 14 final and I confess I had a flashback and thought ‘Not again!’ We let ourselves and our fans down that day.
“We just had to stick it out, and you get inspired by your team-mates to keep going. You see big hits going in and the guys working hard to maintain discipline and that motivates you to do more, even though you been playing for 75 minutes and your lungs and muscles are burning.”
Daniel was at the forefront of that stout defence, flinging his body at Bulls players with reckless abandon.
He is clearly a player in the form of his life and he puts this down to a change of attitude and to the new law focuses.
“This season I made a decision to ignore factors that I cant control, like selection, and to enjoy each game.
“I used to worry about selection all the time and tended to get too uptight about my game. Now I have taken the worry factor out of it.”
It is also the first season that he has consistently been in the starting line-up, and a host of Man of the Match Awards have been the result.
“Starting regularly builds confidence. You start to play better and the coach’s confidence in you grows, and there is a snowball affect with your form.”
Many felt he would at least make the 38-man Springbok training squad, but he had no joy.
“It is every player’s ultimate goal to play for his country. Unfortunately my time is not now. It is out of my hands. Rugby is one of those sports where there is only so much you can do. it is not like athletics or swimming where if my time is faster than yours then I am the better one.”

http://www.iol.co.za

CAPE TOWN SHOW opening on 5 nov

THE LIST IS OUT RE KIRSTENBOSCH 2010/11 SUNDAY GIGS

not much change same type of acts
as last year and no real jazz acts either

21 November 2010 Just Jinger 2
28 November 2010 TKZee with Khuli Chana 1
5 December 2010 Mango Groove 2
12 December 2010 Freshlyground 2
26 December 2010 Civil Twilight 1
2 January 2011 Prime Circle 2
9 January 2011 The Parlotones 3
16 January 2011 Jack Parow, Heuwels Fantasties and Francois van Coke 1
23 January 2011 Farryl Purkiss,Dan Patlansky, Inge Beckman 1
30 January 2011 Lira with (tbc) 1
6 February 2011 Isochronus and Kidofdoom 1
13 February 2011 Zebra & Giraffe 2
20 February 2011 Jesse Clegg 1
27 February 2011 Loyiso with Chad Saaiman 1
6 March 2011 Goldfish 2
13 March 2011 Jamali 1
20 March 2011 RJ Benjamin with (tbc) 1
27 March 2011 The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra 1
3 April 2011 aKING

NOTES ON U2 360º TOUR RAZIA AND I SAW THE SHOW AT GIANTS STADIUM IN SEPT 2009

NOTES ON U2360º TOUR

  • U2360º is designer Willie Williams 10th production for U2.
  • Mark Fisher serves as the architect on his 6th production for U2.
  • The stage design includes a cylindrical video screen
  • The band and Williams had discussed ideas for 360-degree stadium set for a number of years. Sketches of a four-legged set were first drawn after a model was built with forks over dinner during the Vertigo Tour 2006.
  • The Belgian company, Stageco, builds the stage. The construction of each requires the use of high-pressure and innovative hydraulic systems.
  • The steel structure is 90 feet tall with the center pylon reaching 150 feet tall.
  • The design can support up to 180 tonnes.
  • The steel structure is clad in a fabric originally developed for Formula 1 motor racing. Green in daylight, at night it reflects whatever colour is shone on it.
  • The cylindrical video screen is 54 tonnes. When closed the screen is 4,300 square feet, opening to a size of 14,000 square feet.
  • The video screen is made up of 1 million pieces (500,000 pixels, 320 000 fasteners, 30,000 cables, 150,000 machined pieces).
  • The video screen is broken into segments mounted on a multiple pantograph system, which enables the screen to “open up” or spread apart vertically as an effect during different stages of the concerts.
  • U2 first introduced large-scale concert video on the ZooTV Tour in 1992.
  • The steel structure takes 4 days to build. It takes 12 hours to load in screen, stage and universal production equipment.
  • It takes 6 hours for production to dismantle and it takes 48 hours to dismantle and load the steel structure out of the stadium.
  • U2 360° introduces the ‘in the round’ configuration to stadiums – U2 have been playing 360 indoors since the Unforgettable Fire Tour in 1984.

THE GROUNDBREAKING PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR U2 360° TOUR has been several years in development. What the band wanted to know was: can you play outdoor stadium shows ‘in the round’? U2’s long-time Show Director Willie Williams tells the story:

Everything we’re doing in designing a show is about finding new and interesting ways to present the music. You have to get inside the minds of the performers and that’s easier for me with U2 because I’ve worked with them for twenty-six years. We can almost finish each other’s sentences.

PopMart in 1997 was all outdoors and so the change of canvas to Elevation in 2001, almost all indoors, was a gift. It had been a long time since U2 had played indoors and it was such a powerful experience that it got us thinking about ideas that didn’t involve video, about the pure energy in the relationship between band and audience.

Video is always the loudest voice in the room. If you’re in a pub where there’s a TV on, even if you want to be talking to the person you’re with, you still end up staring at the screen. So we decided to rethink playing stadiums with video not being so central. Talking with the band it was clear they wanted to make another quantum shift, on a par with the leap between The Joshua Tree Tour and Zoo TV.

In rock‘n’roll being first is 90% of the goal and so when we introduced large-scale video to stadium rock with Zoo TV, precedence was a huge part of its success. You could mount Zoo TV or PopMart now and it would stand up to everything else that’s out there. But there’d be no point for U2 because every show out there now looks like a cross between those two shows.

There have been watershed moments in the development of the rock show, productions which rewrote the book. ‘Stop Making Sense’, the Talking Heads tour, springs to mind. Laurie Anderson’s ‘United States Live’, the first start-to-finish, multi-media based show. Bono often cites the Rolling Stones ‘Lotus Flower’ stage and of course Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ was a culmination of that trajectory. With Zoo TV the industry’s communal jaw hit the floor and big video production was born. That’s the ultimate prize, creating a great show, which also advances the form.

As far back as The Unforgettable Fire Tour in 1984, we were playing in the kind of configuration we have with U2 360°. The stage at one end, seats behind the stage, sort of in the round but without the band being right in the middle. But that was indoors. Outdoors there’s no roof to hold anything up. When bands have tried playing in the round outdoors the staging has always looked rather apologetic, like a bandstand or a tram shed.

The postponed dates on the Vertigo Tour gave us some time to think about the next tour and this is when it dawned that for a U2 audience the one thing more powerful than having a backdrop of a big video screen would be to have a backdrop of more of the audience. It was the Theme Building at LAX, Los Angeles International Airport, that crystalised it for me. It’s a very space age looking restaurant with four legs and very sleek curves and when I imagined it straddling a football pitch,

I knew I was onto something.

The problem was the legs to hold it up in the air. Having them so close to the stage obstructed the view. So instead of thinking, ‘how do I make this thing less intrusive?’ I realised we had to make it so big and intrusive that it essentially becomes part of the building. When I showed the band the initial sketches they gave it the thumbs up which was my cue to get in touch with Mark Fisher.

Mark Fisher has been my Siamese twin in the thinking behind U2 productions since PopMart. He’s an architect with unrivalled experience in building rock shows, so his sense of whether something will work is critical. He sent me some initial sketches of the LAX Theme Building across a football pitch. When you see it, you know there’s no way back. It’s an absolutely wonderful, wonderful thing.

We got the green light from band early last year when work began to turn the drawings into reality. In April, when I finally saw this thing I’d had in my head towering above the Belgian town of Werchter, it was both strange and humbling. There may be another band with the imagination, ambition and courage to do something like this… but I can’t think who they would be.

BIOGRAPHIES

U2
From the beginning, U2 were marked out by their drive and ambition, admitting they were a band “before they could play”. Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton met at Mt Temple School and formed U2 in 1978. They produced their first three albums with Steve Lilywhite; Boy (1980), October (1981) and War (1983). Millions watched their performance at Live Aid in July 1985 and Time Magazine declared U2 “Rock’s Hottest Ticket”. Arena tours rolled into stadium tours and The Joshua Tree went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1987. They released Achtung Baby at the dawn of the 90’s and set off on Zoo TV, which travelled the globe twice in two years. That momentum created Zooropa, planned as a single recorded on the road that grew into an EP and eventually became U2’s eighth album in 1993. In 2000, U2 returned with All That You Can’t Leave Behind; playing a series of gigs in small clubs for the first time in 17 years, Bono announced that U2 were reapplying for their old job – the world’s biggest rock band. As they took the Elevation Tour through Europe and the States (twice) in 2001, the unanimous verdict was that they had succeeded. Following the release of How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb in 2005 U2 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world, U2 have released 12 studio albums and with sales in excess of 155 million. They have won numerous awards; including 22 Grammy’s, an Oscar nomination and the Amnesty International, Ambassador of Conscience. In 2003 they won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, The Hand’s That Built America, featured in Gangs of New York. U2 went out on the road last year with U2 360 in support of their album No Line On The Horizon – after the tour opened in Barcelona – U2 360 continued throughout Europe and North America. U2 are Larry Mullen, Bono, Edge and Adam Clayton.
Paul McGuinness

Paul McGuinness was born in Germany in 1951 and educated at Clongowes Wood College and Trinity College Dublin. He is the founder of Principle Management and is well known throughout the world in both the film and music business, with a long career in the entertainment industry.

Mr McGuinness is a director of Ardmore Film Studios in Ireland. He is a member of BAFTA and was a member of the Arts Council of Ireland for 12 years. In 2000, he was appointed to the Board of Digital Media Development Ltd by the Irish Government.

He established Principle Management in 1982, and has managed U2 from the start of their career. U2 have gone on to win 22 Grammys and have sold over 160 million albums worldwide. Principle Management is one of the world’s leading artist management companies with offices in Dublin and New York, overseeing Mercury Prize Winner – PJ Harvey and The Rapture.

Paul McGuinness has received numerous awards including Freedom of the City of Dublin with U2 (1999), Honorary Doctorate in Law from University College Dublin (2000), Pollstar Music Awards ‘Personal Manager of the Year’ (2003), ‘Outstanding Contribution to British Music’ at Music Week Awards, London (2006), Billboard ‘Manager of the Year’ (2005).

Alongside U2, he was awarded the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award in Chile in 2006.

He is married with two children and lives in Dublin.

Willie Williams – Show Designer & Director

Willie first worked with U2 on the War Tour in 1983. He has been U2’s show designer since then having designed Unforgettable Fire (1984-85) Joshua Tree (1987) LoveTown (1980-90) Zoo TV (1992-93) PopMart (1997-98) Elevation (2001) and Vertigo (2005-06).

Williams collaborates closely with U2 on design ideas and his work with light, visual media and cutting edge technology has resulted in numerous groundbreaking designs. ZooTV was the largest multi-media rock production ever seen and for PopMart, Williams and stage architect Mark Fisher created the largest video screen in existence at that time.

As a video director, stage and lighting designer for concerts, theatre and multimedia projects is Williams is recognized as one of the leading artists in his field but he is best known for his groundbreaking work with U2 alongside R.E.M., David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Darren Hayes and George Michael.

Williams has also designed for the legendary Montreal-based dance company La La La Human Steps. He has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Marianne Faithfull and the Kronos Quartet (most notably on Sun Rings, a joint effort with NASA that combined the quartet’s music with video and audio material collected by the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft).

Theatre shows Williams has worked on include We Will Rock You, Little Britain Live, French and Saunders Still Alive, Steve Coogan is Alan Partridge and Other Less Successful Characters, The Fast Show Live, Barbarella and Pam Ann.

Jake Berry – Production Director

Jake Berry is a multiple award winning Production Director with a career spanning more than 30 years. As production director, he is responsible for all operational aspects of the production from sound and lighting to worldwide strategy and transportation. He has worked with U2 on Elevation (2001), Vertigo (2005-06) and 360°.

Jake has worked on some of the largest and most successful tours and events in the world. Hailing from Devon, England, his career began as a drum and percussion technician. He worked as a heavy metal production master through the 1980s, progressing through various international tours with artists such as Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Tina Turner, Cher, The Rolling Stones and Metallica.

He is a huge fan of motorsports, supporting young racecar drivers in various categories from Formula 1 to NASCAR, assisting in the management and development of their careers.

Jake Berry is the founder and CEO of Fader Higher, a leading tour production management company. With a diversified set of skills, Fader Higher continues to be the premier production company in the world offering services in touring, sporting and large private events.

Joe O’Herlihy – Sound Designer

Joe has worked with U2 since the late 1970s. He first met the band in September 1978 when he supplied sound equipment for a gig at the Arcadia Ballroom in Cork. He has been doing live concert sound for U2 ever since, graduating from Sound Engineer to his current role as Sound Director / FOH Mix Engineer.

O’Herlihy has worked on U2 tours including Boy (1980-81), October (1981-82) War (1982-830, Unforgettable Fire (1984-85), Joshua Tree (1987), Lovetown (1989-90), Zoo TV (1992-93), PopMart (1997-98), Elevation (2001) and Vertigo (2005-06); as well as U2 performances for the Grammy Awards, NFL Superbowl and the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony among others.
For the 360° Tour, O’Herlihy faced his greatest challenge to date, creating a design that incorporates the latest advances in audio technology to achieve a perfect sound for a groundbreaking stage design.
He has also worked with REM, The Cranberries, The Counting Crows, The Undertones, David Bowie and Rory Gallagher.

Joe O’Herlihy was a sound consultant for Wembley Stadium, Eircom Park Stadium, Point Theatre Dublin and Woodstock ’94; and is a Director of Pro-Audio Consultants Ltd, City Arts Centre, Dublin and Sound Director for Vanguardia Consulting.

SHOW DATES NOV 2010

AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND:

Nov. 25 Auckland, NZ Mt. Smart Stadium Jay-Z

Nov. 26 Auckland, NZ Mt. Smart Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 01 Melbourne, AU Etihad Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 03 Melbourne, AU Etihad Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 08 Brisbane, AU Suncorp Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 09 Brisbane, AU Suncorp Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 13 Sydney, AU ANZ Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 14 Sydney, AU ANZ Stadium Jay-Z

Dec. 18 Perth, AU Subiaco Oval Jay-Z

Dec. 19 Perth, AU Subiaco Oval Jay-Z

2011:

SOUTH AFRICA:

Feb. 13 Johannesburg, SA FNB Stadium On sale Oct. 23

Feb. 18 Cape Town, SA Cape Town Stadium On sale Oct. 23

MEXICO:

May 14 Mexico City, MX Azteca Stadium Snow Patrol

May 15 Mexico City, MX Azteca Stadium Snow Patrol

NORTH AMERICA:

May 21 Denver, CO Invesco Field The Fray

May 24 Salt Lake City, UT Rice Eccles Stadium The Fray

May 29 Winnipeg, MN Canad Inns On sale Oct. 25

June 01 Edmonton, AB Commonwealth Stadium The Fray

June 04 Seattle, WA Qwest Field Lenny Kravitz

June 07 Oakland, CA Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Lenny Kravitz

June 17 Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium Lenny Kravitz

June 18 Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium Lenny Kravitz

June 26 East Lansing, MI Spartan Stadium at MSU Florence & The Machine

June 29 Miami, FL Sun Life Stadium Florence & The Machine

July 05 Chicago, IL Soldier Field Interpol

July 08 Montreal, QC Hippodrome Interpol

July 09 Montreal, QC Hippodrome Interpol

July 11 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre Interpol

July 14 Philadelphia, PA Lincoln Financial Field Interpol

July 20 East Rutherford, NJ New Meadowlands Stadium Interpol

July 23 Minneapolis, MN TCF Bank Stadium Interpol

July 26 Pittsburgh, PA Heinz Field Interpol

For complete tour and ticket information, fan club memberships, merchandise and more, visit: www.U2.com

Live Nation Publicity:

Liz Morentin

lizmorentin

ABOUT LIVE NATION

Live Nation’s mission is to maximize the live concert experience. Our core business is producing, marketing and selling live concerts for artists via our global concert pipe. Live Nation is the largest producer of live concerts in the world, annually producing over 22,000 concerts for 1,600 artists in 33 countries. During 2008, the company sold over 50 million concert tickets and drove over 70 million unique visitors to LiveNation.com. Live Nation is transforming the concert business by expanding its concert platform into ticketing and building the industry’s first artist-to-fan vertically integrated concert platform. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol LYV. For additional information about the company, please visit www.livenation.com/investors.

U2 are returning to South Africa for the first time since the POPMART Tour in 1998.

U2 are returning to South Africa for the first time since the POPMART Tour in 1998.

With two U2 360° dates in 2011 they will make history as the first band to stage live concerts in the Soccer World Cup Stadio in bothJohannesburg and Cape Town.

U2 will play on Sunday, February 13th, 2011 in Johannesburg (Gauteng) at the FNB Stadium and on Friday, February 18th, in Cape Town (Western Cape) at Cape Town Stadium.

Tickets in both cities will start at R161.00, with General Admission floor tickets available at R401.00. Reserved seat tickets are also available, starting at R428.00 in Cape Town and R696.00 in Johannesburg.

Tickets for both shows go on sale Saturday, October 23rd.