'Dinner with Julia Roberts.'
Montreal. Show 2.
We had another great show tonight, after which for once I didn’t do the ‘runner’. Having seen its arrival, Dylan, the writer we have with us, was keen to see how the 360 army removes all the equipment from a stadium. Once the crowd had thinned a little, we found a couple of convenient seats up in one of the temporary bleachers and watch the show-after-the-show. The spacious nature of this particular venue allowed the load-out to progress at an even faster pace than usual, if such a thing be possible, and an awe-inspiring experience it is too. The giant ant colony of U2360 crew, plus an army of local stage hands in departmentally colour-coded t-shirts, swarm over the structure. Things disappear so quickly that even at regular speed it almost looks like time-lapse photography. The band gear gets pulled off the stage as the outer runway is breached. With the stage clear, the back steps vanish, the sides come off and the whole of ‘underworld’ spews out onto the field. Simultaneously, lights, video and speakers descend, cranes appear, bridges are lifted into the air to be dismantled at the far end of the field, speakers are rolled, cables are pulled and all the while the radio channels are alive with a cacophony of human endeavour. I’m sure we could sell tickets to witness this.
By about 2am much of the structure looked like it had been picked clean so we decided to call it a night. Riding back in the van (that had thoughtfully waited for us) I discovered an email from Bono asking if we’d join him and some other 360ers for a late supper, so we diverted to a restaurant in the old part of town. (A restaurant where, apparently, it’s quite normal to roll up for dinner at 3am.) Much to my surprise I ended up having dinner with Julia Roberts. Well, I say “with” Julia Roberts, and that’s the story I shall tell as she was part of our extensive group, but in truth we didn’t chat a great deal. Or sit at the same table. Or actually meet. Or even make eye contact, but I’m saying it was close enough to report that it happened and that's the story I shall take to my grave. Yep, an intimate dinner with Julia Roberts, that was it.