The monsoon continued through the whole of the day, viewed initially from the enormous windows of The Edges room, the modestly vast presidential suite. We had a band meeting to put together plan A for the European set list. Much will change on site I am sure, but its good to have a starting point for programming and so forth. There were lots of good ideas floating about and a real willingness on the part of the musicians to experiment and to try songs which havent surfaced in a while.
In this spirit an early soundcheck was called to allow some rehearsal time at venue. The songs from Achtung Baby are having a real renaissance on this tour as are, of course, the songs from Boy. These albums seem to have some psychic connection with the mood of the new album, so perhaps itsnot surprising the songs sit well in the show. The band played Until the End of the World a couple of times and seem to have that pretty much nailed, then even had a go at Wild Horses which hasnt seen the light of day since the first round of ZooTV in 1992. Its funny, I never felt the song quite worked on ZooTV and indeed it was eventually dropped from the set, but it sounded glorious today. Edge has found a riff in there which is so haunting. They arent quite ready to put it in the show yet, but Im sure it wont be long.
There were calls on the radio asking if we could open the doors early as the weather was so bad outside and parking for the inflatable dinghies was becoming a problem. This we did and perhaps because of the weather it was a really wild show, with a lot of energy in the house. They played Gloria again, which is another song which was never a great favourite of mine in the 80s, but has been born again in the 21st century.
Being the second show here there was no load in this morning and of course theres no load out tonight either, being a day off tomorrow. Consequently, tonight was party night and our promoters, TNA, pulled out the stops. You cant just make a great tour party happen and for reasons which are hard topin down we have had a few which never really got there. Tonight was a great one though, held in a small club close to the tour hotels. There was food, a bar that never ran dry, comfy chairs, a dance floor, good music and Liv Tyler (really!). There were also some awards to be given out for outstanding employee performances on the tour so far. This was a nice touch as it brought a brief moment of focus to the proceedings, though I confess I was quite surprised to find out at five minutes notice that I was to be the M.C. Fortunately I was in a sufficiently altered state for this to not prove a major obstacle.
For much of the night I chatted to some of the lighting crew, which might sound a little odd as youd think I chat to them every day. I do, of course, but with the rush of everything on tour we only ever seem to talk about fascinating subjects like which song should use the big 18K light, if they dont play An Cat Dubh, etc. Its good to have time to talk about life stuff, especially as I have known some of these extraordinary people for 15 or 20 years.
Having talked the hind legs off several donkeys and vacuumed up the last vestiges of the sushi platters I noticed the big hand was on twelve and the little hand on five, so thought it might be about that time. I must have got home but I dont seem to have much recollection as to how exactly this happened.