Elevation Leg 1: 2001, North America

Jun
27
1997

Chicago show - Bono clone freaks out.

27 June 1997
Chicago show - Bono clone freaks out.
Chicago show - Bono clone freaks out. The lighting crew try out new effects post show with an epileptic Belgian road crew member as Bono stand in. The effects are dramatic.

Chicago, Soldier Field. We're here for three nights, so we can all settle in. It also gave us an opportunity to work on the show after tonight's concert. When a tour is up and running and moving so fast, its hard to find time to work on programming new lighting or video elements - let alone being able to do so in the dark. Tonight we all stayed behind after school and worked on 'Please' and a few other new looks. I wanted to turn the end of 'Please' into a really intense, claustrophobic visual blitz, so turned up the strobes then had Monica point all the cameras at a stand-in 'Bono' whilst cutting between the shots at an increasingly high rate. On the big screen this looked extremely arresting and utterly hypnotic. It was fun, working away in this huge empty stadium. The few of us out at the mix position, watching this amazing visual overload going on. Our Bono stand-in was one of the Belgian screen crew called "Smasher", who got right into his role. Standing at Bono's microphone position amid the flashing lights and video chaos, he was dancing like Bono and generally larking about. When we were done, he came back to the mix position, said he felt 'funny' and proceeded to go into a seizure. It was terrifying to watch - he took a full epileptic fit and scared the shit out of us. Fortunately there were stadium paramedics on hand who came to our aid, as we held him, laid him down and tried to bring him back. Eventually he re-entered his own body, by which time a large female paramedic was holding him and asking him questions to focus his attention. She was disturbed by his replies as he seemed only able to make these weird gutteral noises, which got louder and louder as he came around. She looked to us for help, thinking perhaps that these disgusting noises meant the epileptic fit was increasing in intensity. "Don't worry, " we said, "he's Belgian...and that noise is Flemmish....". Smasher soon made a full recovery, but we're not going to let him watch 'Please' again for a while.
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