18 September 2010
'Consistently Stratospheric.'Paris. Show day.
I did a telephone interview this morning with the Wall Street Journal, as background to a profile they are doing on Mark Fisher, architect and co-designer of U2360 and just about every other large scale entertainment event in recent history. The interviewer asked all about the creative process and the way in which we work together. I quite enjoy doing these things because it forces me into articulating thoughts that I wouldn't necessarily ever put together otherwise. Aside from being a card-carrying genius, Mark is a truly wonderful collaborator and his contribution to (at very least) U2's live history is immeasurable. It wasn't until I heard myself say it today though, that I realised probably one of his greatest assets is having the confidence to take the long view and be very relaxed about his role in any project, in terms of credit, where ideas come from and so on. In the grand collaboration required to put a show together, any form of territorialism leads to mistrust and can be very damaging to the creative process. If it's a great show, then it's very good for everyone involved, so it seems counter-intuitive to fight about the minutiae.
I had a busy day at the gig, not least because this building is absolutely enormous, so getting from A to B takes forever. Some of Jay-Z's people came in, as he will be touring with us through the Australia and New Zealand dates and they wanted to come and figure out some of the technical aspects of integrating Jay-Z's show into our system. I had some guests to juggle and also some packing to do, as I am doing a stealth run home tomorrow and am going to take the opportunity of offloading some of the crap I've been carting round the world unnecessarily. There are articles of clothing that have been rotting in the bottom drawer of my workbox since May 2009, so you can imagine it's getting a little disturbing down there.
I heard we had 96,000 people in the building tonight. It was yet another truly great show, with yet another fantastic audience. Every night feels like such a celebration. This is a great time to see U2. This is a great time to be U2 - the band is just on a roll right now, in fact I can't remember a time when shows have been this consistently stratospheric, probably since ZooTV. They are very obviously having a wonderful time on this tour, absolutely at the top of their game, playing killer shows whilst writing, recording and performing new material in their spare time. There's definitely a touch of the Zoo spirit in the air.