11 July 2011
'Coin Toss'Toronto. Show day.
This has been quite a psychologically significant day, as it saw the final hotel move for the band and entourage party. The final baggage call too, as we’ll be hubbing out of New York and commuting to each show for the final three weeks of the tour. Today was also a very long day, being a three city / two country enterprise, as we got up in Montreal, flew to Toronto and did a show then did a runner, flew to Newark via Niagra then drove into Manhattan.
The question of the day was whether we’d be able to have the roof of the Rogers Center (nee SkyDome) open or not. This is weather dependent but is a crucial issue because to have the roof closed spells sonic death for a rock event. It’s a bit of a tough building for sound anyway but enclosing the whole space makes it infinitely worse. Our landing at Toronto’s far-flung airport coincided perfectly with peak-hour traffic, extending our commute by over an hour. Driving past the venue we could see the roof was closed so Joe’s heart sank, but apparently the final decision was yet to be made. At 7pm the coin was tossed and came up heads, meaning the roof could be opened. Apparently it’s quite rare for them to open the roof when there are people inside and quite an extraordinary sight it was too, this vast, vast canopy splitting apart and revolving away.
On the journey to New York we made a stop in Niagra, NY in order to clear U.S. immigration, presumably because Newark’s facilities wouldn’t be open at this time of night. It must have been about 1.30am when we hit the tarmac at the small, dark airport and awaited the immigration officers to come aboard. Out of the window I saw a chain link fence not far away, behind which were two U2 fans holding up welcome placards bearing cheery messages. I couldn’t believe my eyes and alerted my colleagues. How on earth do they know where we’re going to be? I mean, right at this moment, WE don’t even have a clue where we are.
We journeyed on, eventually arriving in Manhattan in the wee small hours. It was late – maybe 4am – and still very hot, so we were all pretty wrecked as we checked in to our various accommodations (we’ve spread out a little on this final stop). I hit the sack immediately. I’ll leave the nesting and settling in for tomorrow.