07 May 2005
Chicago United Center I
The main focus of this week is the Big Video Shoot, where we will be attempting to capture something of the Vertigo show on camera. Its unusually early in the tour to be doing this, it being an activity which has traditionally waited until almost the very end in previous outings, but ha! we laugh in the face of convention. We may end up shooting more shows as the tour goes on, moves outdoors, etc., so it will be good to record it in its early stages. Being U2, this isnt all we are doing, of course. In the spirit of multi-tasking, we have been designing the stadium version of Vertigo for some time now. Given that we load the show into Brussels in 26 days time, lay persons might be forgiven for thinking that this was a process which had been long completed, but not round here. In the middle of a conversation about a video piece for Zoo Station we somehow ended up entirely redesigning the front end of the stadium stage. Bono was describing the idea hed had for 'a teeny-weeny modification-ette' and I could entirely see his point, so, as he talked about it, I sketched up what the revision might look like. This was officially deemed A Good Idea, but there are many people involved in this process, so we immediately radioed for production manager Jake Berry to break the news to him that pigeons were about to be displaced by feline intruder. Just before Jake arrived at the dressing room I threw the pad and paper into Bonos lap and said 'pretend you drew this if he thinks I did it, we wont stand a chance.' Much amusement, but it worked. Jake takes his responsibility for the budget very seriously, but is also wise enough to see when something really needs to happen, particularly when it comes down from the top. He cross examined us thoroughly but ended up very much on side, which was very helpful and let us get back to the question of Zoo Station.
Edge was in the room too and had been talking about a Soviet Propaganda vibe for Zoo, to get across the megalomaniac atmosphere. Weve been using a clip of Charlie Chaplins ëGreat Dictator movie, where he plays a spoof Hitler character, but Ive had many comments from people who thought it actually was Hitler, which is an arguably highly questionable image to present to your audience during a rock show. We talked about the great Soviet propaganda images, designed to convey concepts of liberty, power & idealism to a largely illiterate population and their relationship to Devo album covers. So, right before showtime, yours truly finds himself conducting a spontaneous video shoot in the dressing room, asking each of the four band members in turn to put hand on heart and stare longingly into the middle distance. Ill figure out the rest tomorrow.