Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


'Absolutely Torrential'

12 September 2010
'Absolutely Torrential'
Zurich.  Show day.

Woke up to a fine, crisp day and commented to myself that this is the perfect kind of outdoor gig weather.  Blue skies, sunshine, not oppressively hot, it looked like it would be ideal.  On arrival at the gig, Nick, my lighting crew chief, told me that heavy rain was forecast for later, but this just didn€™t seem possible and as the beautiful afternoon wore on, it seemed like this was nothing more than meteorological pessimism.

One Republic opened the show last night and again today.  They€™re a band I didn€™t really know a great deal about, but I chatted to a few of them this afternoon and they seem like a really nice bunch of lads.  From Denver, apparently.  U2 came in to soundcheck and do a little bit of rehearsal on some new songs.  They played Mercy again and had a go at Mothers of the Disappeared as a potential alternative to MLK.

The weather was still more than fine as we had dinner and One Republic played. Then with timing weirdly reminiscent of Moscow, as the opening chords of Space Oddity rolled, the first big drops started to fall from the sky.  Even by the time U2 took the stage it was quite definitely raining and the stage brollies were rising from underworld.  It rained steadily and gradually ramped up during the course of the show until reaching an intensity that I can€™t recall ever having seen at a U2 show before (even at Red Rocks it stopped raining periodically).

It was absolutely torrential and utterly relentless, so far from shying away and hiding under the brollies, the band just threw themselves into the show and the weather, and the crowd just loved it.  Not surprisingly, it ended up being an incredibly intense and very emotionally charged night, performed with a wonderful sense of complete abandonment. 

By the time we got to Streets, Adam had his shirt off and, unless I was hallucinating, occasionally appeared to be deliberately seeking out torrents of water to stand under.  All this and a world premiere too, with Mercy being performed for the first time.  I was delighted, as Mercy has long been my favourite of the new songs.  I€™ve never quite understood why it has taken so long for it to emerge, but these things are often beyond my ken.

It was a wild night and one for the history books. I can hear us saying at gigs in the far distant future: 'Sure, it rained tonight, but it was nothing like Zurich 2€¦'


Related Topics


21 September, 2010
Thank you Willie :=)
Thank you for all these new U2 so well written. It's a pleasure to read him. And thank you again soon. Kisses. U2 Unbelievable. I love you forever. loveandpeace83 (U2--forever^^)
21 September, 2010
"I’ve never quite understood why it has taken so long for it to emerge" Maybe you can ask them... it's something many fans have been wondering in the past few years!
21 September, 2010
Willie's Diaries
I love your diary entry's they make my day. Bring it on Willie
20 September, 2010
Love the diaries
BTW, please tell the boys they caused a major meltdown of Zootopia and Twitter with their playing MERCY ans this was compounded by the general glee at the sight of the shirtless Lord Clayton *hahaha* Had to bring out my whip and chair to use in the ZOO because of that little bit of mischief
20 September, 2010
True professionals
you all are... just keep the guys safe!
20 September, 2010
Thank you!
I just finished reading all your diaries and it's been a wonderful trip through U2-Land. I love how you bring us along into the minutia of everyday life that is so far removed from our mundane existence. I look forward to many more. Birdlover
20 September, 2010
Wild Zurich 2!
Spot on Willie! I was in the front row between Adam and Bono. If I can criticize anything about your magnificent structure, Mr. Williams, it is that there are certain spots in the canopy where the rain will funnel, or form a river so to speak. I was one of the fortunate who was 'super' baptized by the claw and by the end of the show, was drenched and FREEZING. I think Adam could see how cold we all were and left his shirt off in solidarity - a kind of, I know you are cold and I will share it with you. Despite the crazy conditions, the band brought it and the crew couldn't have been more amazing. Mr. Murphy was kind enough to get me a towel to try to stop my uncontrolled shivering! What a night, thanks to you alll! - Beth A.
20 September, 2010
Great the rain is great...

A phrase from the start of the Red Rocks video...
Thanks for the nice diaries! I'll hope we can shake hands during the upcoming concerts!
Newer comments    1 - 8 of 8    Older comments

Current News

07 May, 2009
The opening night of the tour in Barcelona is only weeks away so no better time for a reminder of life on the road.
20 Dec, 2006
Rocko Reedy on the night his band opened up for U2.
20 Dec, 2006
How Come? Well, Tamara Kendall from the UK won the 'Hunt The Lyric' competition for those return flights and tickets ...
12 Dec, 2006
The one hundred and thirty first Vertigo show and it was one to remember. Report, photos.
11 Dec, 2006
Wonderful closing night with Pearl Jam in Hawaii and lots of surprise touches as Vertigo 05/06 comes to a close ...
06 Dec, 2006
The U2 support act you've never heard of. (Until Hawaii that is.)
05 Dec, 2006
New backstage shots before showtime in Tokyo.

Eric Clapton was at the final Tokyo show on Monday and chatted with Edge ...
04 Dec, 2006
Video of the band playing 'Window in the Skies' for Japanese TV at the weekend.

Current News

27 Jan, 2015
'Get out of the conscious mind...' Edge on creativity with Feedback Kitchen's Mario Batali.
26 Jan, 2015
 New dates are being added to this year's iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE Tour.
23 Dec, 2014
It started with 'Ordinary Love' and ended with news of the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015. Twelve months we were waiting for.
08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to subscribers.
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.