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'The Claw,' U2's monstrous circular stage, is a sight to see

When the Irish demagogs bring their 360 Degrees Tour to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, they might be outshone by their own monstrous stage. Nicknamed "The Claw," the circular stage takes four days to build and will be as much a part of the show as the band. The inspiration? LAX airport. The cost of the stage is unclear, but BBC News puts it at $24 million to $32 million. A look at the stage by the numbers:

90 feet Height of the four-pronged canopy over the stage.

150 feet Height of the center pylon.

54 tons Weight of the cylindrical video screen, which opens to 14,000 square feet.

1 million Number of pieces in the video screen, which has 500,000 pixels, 320,000 fasteners, 30,000 cables and 150,000 machined pieces.

120 Number of trucks it takes to cart the stage from show to show.

3 Number of stages. They follow the "leapfrog" principle: One is used for the show, while the second is being built at the next location and the third is being dismantled at the previous location.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, Reuters

How's the show?

Reviews for the tour so far have been pretty positive, with the Chicago Tribune calling it "one of the best stadium shows of the last decade." A Baltimore Sun reviewer said it was "so excessive it was surreal" and "one of the wildest things I've ever seen at a show." RollingStone.com called it simply "the biggest tour in history."

It'll also be U2's 10th concert in Tampa since 1981. All week on our music blog, SoundCheck, we've been looking back at U2's most memorable Tampa gigs over the years. For photos, memories, bootlegged audio clips and much more, head to blogs.tampabay.com/tbt.

U2 takes the stage with Muse at

7 p.m. at Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa. Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets are $30-$250. Toll-free 1-877-598-8698; livenation.com.

'The Claw,' U2's monstrous circular stage, is a sight to see 10/07/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 8:33am]

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