U2 Filming South American shows for The Joshua Tree 2017 Tour

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-10-19)

Over the past few months we’ve heard bits and pieces about the filming of The Joshua Tree 2017 tour, as the tour has wound through Europe, North America and now the Mexico and South American legs. Back on September 22 we revealed that long time collaborator Anton Corbijn would be filming this tour for release. It makes sense as Corbijn was connected to the original album, photographing the cover of The Joshua Tree. It is also his films that make the back drop of the performances each night, especially the 11 songs which make up The Joshua Tree portion of the show.

Corbijn has been traveling with U2 for a number of weeks now. Corbijn is no stranger to directing live performances, and he has directed Depeche Mode’s Devotional film in 1993 and their Live in Berlin film in 2014. Pre-production work was started on the European leg of the tour. Additional cameras were present at both Amsterdam shows and ballast was used to black out the light at the venue to create a darker atmosphere at the concert. Filming on the first night surrounded the video for “You’re The Best Thing About Me”, a video which has yet to appear. But the second night was also filmed, and we are told this was initial work done for the home video. Corbijn was present at both shows in Amsterdam.

IMAGE: Flying Camera used during Mexico Shows (Click to enlarge)

Corbijn was also present in the show at Glendale, Arizona on September 19, and was seen to be working at the B-Stage of the show, working with a small camera rig. It is reported that he only worked on shots at the B-Stage and was later seen to be watching the show from the mix desk and taking notes as the show progressed.

The same was true in San Diego. Corbijn was seen to be filming the four songs that open the show at the B-Stage. But as we see from his Instagram, there were also cameras belonging to him that were hung from above.

If the shows in Arizona and Phoenix just had a minimum of filming, the same cannot be said for Mexico City. There were additional cameras everywhere for the two shows in Mexico. This included a camera that ‘flew’ over the crowd suspended from three cranes (two on either side of the stage and one at the rear). There were cameras elevated on either side of the audience nearly parallel to the tree stage, and another two sets just back from the corner of the stage on either side, and other cameras were noticed throughout the two nights including some hand held cameras in the crowd.

IMAGE: Camera crew near the front of the Stage on Adam’s side (Click to enlarge)

Bono told fans outside the stadium in Mexico that the two shows were being filmed for a home video release. The Edge also confirmed that the shows were being filmed for the home video market, telling the newspaper Reforma “We decided to film the DVD (Joshua Tree Tour 2017) here and also the video of our new single because it is important to let the world know that the energy of this country is inexhaustible and fabulous”.

Corbijn was also present at the video shoot for “Get Out Of Your Own Way,” the next single due from the album Songs of Experience, and is identified by Reforma as the director of the video clip. That clip was also filmed in Mexico City.

IMAGE: Crane supporting ‘flying’ camera on Adam’s Side in Mexico (Click to enlarge)

But filming of the tour did not stop there. We have confirmed that the band also filmed the two shows in Buenos Aires, Argentina, although with less cameras than were present in Mexico as the overhead camera above the crowd was not present. The show in Bogota has also been confirmed as having been filmed. They’ve also filmed tonight’s show in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a large number of cameras throughout the venue. One of the camera men was asked about the home video this evening, and he claimed that the home video release will include shots from most of the South American shows including the four in Brazil, suggesting all of the shows this leg have been filmed.

UPDATE: October 21, 2017:

Signs at tonight’s show in Brazil are also notifying fans that the performance is being filmed. The tweet below is courtesy of U2BR:

Many thanks for those who sent in information pertaining to the filming of these shows. Photographs by Aaron J. Sams.

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