18 October 2009
A 'Tiny Dancer' MomentSunday 18th October 2009. Norman.Show day.
Bit of a mad one today. We had an early start, leaving Celebrity Love Island to drive the hour to the airport in Cancun. From there we flew to Austin, Texas to clear U.S. immigration and customs, then on to Oklahoma City and a drive from there to the fine city of Norman.
It's about a 45 minute drive through spectacular scenery. There are big, big skies which today were bright blue with the sun shining on the wide open landscape. It was beautiful. The radio was on in the van and 10CC's 'I'm not in Love' came on. We were all a little tired and slap happy and found ourselves singing along to Kevin Godley's vocal, looking out of the window as the countryside cruised by dreamily. Ned texted Kevin, who's a good friend of ours, to say we were having a 'Tiny Dancer' moment, referring to a scene from the movie 'Almost Famous'. If you've never been on the road, that movie scene must seem highly implausible, but somehow when you're out here...
The stadium of Oklahoma University was only just big enough to accommodate the 360 production, with the stage and outer runway completely filling the football field. Larry was positioned directly over the centre spot, so this was as close to playing truly in the round as U2 is ever likely to get. The grandstands in the stadium are extremely high, so it was rather like playing in a valley, or a half-open sandwich toaster, but variety is the spice of life, we're told.
The crowd was well up for it though so it turned into a bit of a party gig. Technically it was a bit of a train-wreck, though it didn't help that round about MLK the temperature started to plummet dramatically, which is a nightmare for keeping guitars in tune. I really enjoyed the gig, perhaps partly because the change of configuration allowed me to watch it with fresh eyes.
Afterwards we did a runner back to Oklahoma City and then a three hour flight to Los Angeles, meaning we have traversed the entire continental land mass in one day, with a mid-western gig thrown in. Mad days.