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Bono and the biggest rock show of all time

Bono belts out a song at the U2 360 show in Pasadena, Calif., on Sunday. Called the biggest rock show of all time--at least as measured by the size of the tour's infrastructure and cost--at least 96,000 people attended the show. Millions more watched it live on YouTube, and it may have been the largest live-streamed event yet.

The concert featured an expanding LED video screen, a 360-degree stage, lasers, and more. By all accounts, it was the largest event ever held at the Rose Bowl.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:Daniel Terdiman/CNET
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Bono on YouTube

The home page of the U2 YouTube page on Sunday evening. The video service replayed the U2 360 concert multiple times. And though it was hard to tell immediately, it seems that Google's YouTube was able to pull off the huge, worldwide, live streaming event with very few hiccups.

According to a YouTube rep, there were 24 cameras set up to film the show, as well as 24 closed-circuit TV cameras, and the stream was offered at three quality levels, so that users could see the performance regardless of the speed of their Internet connection.

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Countdown from YouTube

In the first moments of the YouTube stream, Bono walked into the Rose Bowl to the cheers of the crowd of 96,000 people. Not long before, the YouTube U2 special event page notified viewers that they were looking at the "countdown" to the concert.

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Wide shot of screens

The U2 360 tour features a 360-degree stage with a huge, 90-foot-tall steel structure and a center pylon that reaches 150 feet in the air. The giant video screen comprises 4,300 square feet when closed, and when stretched out to its full size, reaches 14,000 square feet.

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The whole stage

Here is a view of the entire U2 360 stage, as seen in the YouTube stream of the event.

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Bono and Edge

The Edge and Bono rock out during one of the first songs of the U2 360 concert at the Rose Bowl on Sunday.

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Extended screen

About midway through the concert, the giant video screen--which is made up of 1 million pieces, including components to illuminate 500,00 pixels, as well as 320,000 fasteners, 30,000 cables and 150,000 machined pieces--extends itself down toward the stage.

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Blue stage

A moment during the U2 360 show Sunday at the Rose Bowl.

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Bono on the video screen

A huge image of Bono on the video screen during the U2 360 show.

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Map of the world

A digital map of the world appeared on the huge video screen during the concert as Bono called out some of the countries where the band's fans were watching live on YouTube.

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Bono and Adam

Here are Bono, U2's lead singer, and the band's bassist, Adam Clayton.

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Concert tweet

A tweet on the official YouTube Twitter feed talks up the moment at the end of the U2 360 show when Bono encouraged all 96,000 people in the audience to pull out their cell phones for a "Milky Way" effect. Those watching the concert live on YouTube were able to get a sense of the effect.

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Two bridges

The concerts on the U2 360 tour were said to be the biggest rock shows in history, at least as measured by the size of the infrastructure and the cost of producing them. A big element of the show are these two bridges, used by the band to move from the main stage to walkways in front of the crowd.

The bridges were designed to slide around, and several times during the concert, they moved from left to right, or vice versa.

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Bono on the bridge

Several times during the concert, Bono sang from the middle of one of the bridges.

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U2 YouTube Twitter feed

YouTube set up a Twitter feed that fans could add to right from the main U2 YouTube page. The multilingual nature of the tweets demonstrated that people were watching the concert from all over the world, something that was fitting, given that some were calling it the largest live-stream in history.

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Speakers

A huge bank of speakers hangs from the tremendous center of the U2 360 stage setup. All told, it takes the concert crew four days to build the stage.

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Speaker dancer

The Black Eyed Peas opened for U2. One interesting feature of that band's set was this dancer, who wore pieces of what looked like speakers when she put her arms and legs together.

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