by Maria Puente, USA TODAY
Get ready for another behind-the-scenes look at what it's like being a world-class rock band on tour, when U2 gets the up-close-and-personal treatment from HBO in November.
Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, announced Thursday the network will air, on Nov. 7, a documentary about the band and the team of creative types who worked with them to conceptualize and create U2's current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE world tour.
The following week, the network will air the band's Nov. 14 performance at Bercy Arena in Paris. Both the documentary and the concert will be available on HBO GO and HBO NOW simultaneous to the programs' world premieres on HBO, the network said.
The documentary will be produced and directed by Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman). He's a sort of Boswell for U2, having made It Might Get Loud, featuring U2's The Edge, and From the Sky Down, the 2011 documentary chronicling the recording and release of U2's 1991 Achtung Baby.
HBO touts the programs as chronicling U2's "reinvention" of the rock arena show -- grandiose yet intimate, night after night.
"U2 continues to take risks, which has made them one of the most consistently exciting forces in rock'n'roll," Lombardo said. "The one-two combination of this documentary special, followed by the concert, will provide viewers with the ultimate look at this remarkable band behind the scenes and on the stage."
The current tour, which began May 14 in Vancouver and runs through November, has been described by music critics as more innovative than most. HBO says the special will detail how it was conceived, revealing the blood, sweat and imagination that have gone into making a tour that would ultimately "reinvent the arena show," according to Rolling Stone's opening-night review.
It's been more than 30 years since four friends who started out as a punk band from north Dublin -- Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. -- became U2 the rock band straddling the globe, as famous for its good works as its music.
The guys are interviewed on camera, along with Willie Williams, who has created tour concepts for the band for more than 30 years. Designers, directors, set and audio designers and others who helped bring iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE to life also are interviewed.
It's not been easy, as the documentary will show. The setbacks the band faced in the months before rehearsals began in April included Bono's serious bicycle accident in New York last fall and the difficulty in getting the band back into touring shape.
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