Can U2 still soar amid U.S. Bank Stadium acoustics?

It hasn't hosted all that many concerts in its short life, but getting the right mix inside U.S. Bank Stadium has been elusive for some top flight bands. Can musical giants U2 get things figured out?

MINNEAPOLIS – For U2 fans across the metro, Friday will be one… beautiful day.

The iconic band returns to Minnesota for the first time since 2011, bringing the Joshua Tree Tour to U.S. Bank Stadium. But that very venue has left a lot to be desired, when it comes to some music fans and critics.

“Probably the best thing that people have said about the acoustics there is it’s better than the Metrodome, which of course is very, very faint praise,” said Chris Riemenschneider, the music critic for the Star Tribune.

Riemenschneider has written several articles about the challenge of sound within the stadium, which he says is due to the stadium’s billion-dollar design and the decision to go with or without some elements.

“The big thing is, it’s like half glass, and glass is terrible for acoustics, sound bounces right off there. And it’s got angles, and the walls on certain ends are super steep,” he said.

Richemenschneider also notes those higher in the stadium – think, elevation – have it especially… bad.
“Definitely if you’re in the upper levels, you’re getting a real bad acoustic bounce that really kind of muffles everything,” he said.

But wait – there’s hope for some pride.

Riemenschneider said the stadium has been drawing some curtains behind the stage. He also said U2 will come with magnificent talent, in terms of sound technicians.

For their part, a stadium spokesperson responded to KARE 11’s questions in an email, writing:
“We always want to provide our guests with the best overall experience, whether it be through the content we provide, food service or through providing a clean and safe environment for entertainment. Acoustics are greatly impacted by the sound engineers who travel with the tour. The venue is one of many pieces in the acoustical equation. Our team works closely with the tour to support and provide a best-in-class event for all of our guests,” wrote Lisa Niess, Marketing and Communications Manager at U.S. Bank Stadium.

And with that, Bono and the boys may find what we’re looking for, after all.

By the way – the author of this story challenges the U2 readers to name all songs referenced in this script.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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