Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Day off - Los Angeles

The band have been shooting a video these past two days and reports from the front are that it has all been going very well. I'm not involved in making videos like this, so took full opportunity of the down time to try to shake this cold. The Tour Cold was first sighted amongst the caterers, scything its way through the wardrobe department last week and is now having a good old go at the video boys, which is how I imagine it found its way to me. Being on tour is such a sharing experience. The endless traveling doesn't help, but we survive, working our way as far is necessary along the roadie's traditional treatment chain of vitamins, homeopathic remedies, pharmacy medications, prescription drugs, then heavy sedation via controlled substances.

Between hallucinations, the down time has given me a chance to catch up on some of the chores that pile up when you're in perpetual motion. Just answering e-mail could be a full time job in itself. I watched a video of the show for the first time since we started the tour which was very helpful - to be able to observe the whole show when you don't have to be operating anything, or giving cues. I'm very pleased with much of it and frankly quite surprised that its this together this soon into a tour (industry myths aside, on any tour these things take time regardless of how seasoned the performer or band might be).

What this show has, which I haven't seen with any band for a long time, is such a high emotional resonance between the band and the audience. This has always been an important element of U2 shows, but being back indoors it feels like it's almost out of control at times. Its a real loose canon and I feel like in putting together each day the practicalities of stage, lighting, sound & video we are just carefully arranging the tindersticks.

When the band & audience face off and the music kicks in, the whole place goes up. Its been a while since I've witnessed anything like this. I still have an awful lot to do during every show, in terms of operating lighting, calling cameras, cueing projectors & video, etc, but its good to understand how much of the real power of this show comes from elsewhere - its not in any of our hands, really.

Amanda's been a bit off colour too, so we decided to hole up in my room for the evening and have a pyjama party. We rented a bunch of crap old black & white movies, hung the 'do not disturb' sign on the door, tucked up on the couch, pooled our cold medicines & ordered room service. Rock & roll, eh?

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