April 30, 2010
U2 frontman Bono is always talking about wanting to change the world. He's a real crusader-musician, that one.
And there's at least one place where his mysterious ways are very effective: The Major League Baseball season.
The band's 360º concert tour, which resumes in June and runs through October, hits 10 major-league cities and includes three big-league ballparks: Angel Stadium, the Oakland Coliseum and Rogers Centre.
Anyone who has ever been to a U2 show can tell you it's not like they set up folding chairs in a middle school gymnasium and start playing. The Pop Martians perform on elaborate monstrosities that take days to assemble and break down. Yes, days.
Just ask Katy Feeney, a longtime MLB executive who handles the league's scheduling issues. Trying to throw your arms around the
world calendar seems to be difficult enough work, the kind that only gets more complex when accounting for a variable like Bono.
Via Scott Miller's blog at CBS Sports:
"They've become my least-favorite band — which has nothing to do with their songs, talent or anything else," Feeney joked.
Because of the magnitude of the tour and sheer size of the stage, Feeney says, "they require 10 days to set up the concert and then break it down. That's an unusually long period of time [compared to other concerts]."
This is why the Angels will be forced to embark on a 14-game road trip in June.
Fourteen games? Oh, you've done it now, Paul David Hewson!
This is approximately what Angel Stadium will look like June 6-7 when U2's 360º tour drops from space into Orange County. (The original photo of the "Big A" is from a 1978 Rolling Stones concert with U2's modern stage superimposed.)
It's not just that the rock concert takes up space in Anaheim. Not having the Angels able to play at home for ten days or two weeks affects other team's road trips.
The whole league feels it a little.
"Unfortunately, everything has a ripple effect," Feeney says. "And the
number of actual teams hosting the concert, other than those 10 days,
may not feel as many consequences as some other clubs."
Forcing the Rally Monkey from his home for two weeks?
Probably not the legacy Bono is shooting for.