29 June 2011
'Disregard Previous Information'Miami. Show day.
For the past few weeks, a really handy excuse for putting off doing anything vaguely unappealing has been that I can’t possibly tackle it before we get through Glastonbury. Well, guess what? We’re through Glastonbury and it turns out that I’ve accumulated a jaw-droppingly extensive to-do list. Consequently, I spent the morning trying to catch up with the backlog, or at least organise the backlog in such a way that I’m able to survey the magnitude of the disaster. It’s easy to forget that life continues outside the bubble of the tour and I have a huge number of non-tour related things tugging my sleeve for attention. Add to that personal email and trying to maintain some kind of contact with the mainland and, to coin a phrase, it’s not a hill, it’s a mountain.
The combination of this level of distraction and the continuing oppressive weather may go some way towards explaining a fantastic, if worrying, moment of personal brain liquefaction later in the day. Once we’d all arrived at the venue I had a brief huddle with the band for ‘director’s happy hour’ as usual and presented them with a set list for the evening. I hadn’t been quite sure whether or not to continue with the Glastonbury-based set list or revert to the pre-Anaheim version, but in the end went for Glasto, as The Fly has been so well received. This means that there isn’t a place for Magnificent, which isn’t ideal, but is liveable with for today. I showed the guys the set, which they were happy to go with, so sent it off for distribution.
Shortly afterwards, I was with A.J. going over a particular part of the show that has been a little unpredictable recently, as it depends upon the shape of the stadium and whether there is audience upstage. Working through the set list with A.J., I first noticed that, much to my surprise, Still Haven’t Found was on the list when I’d intended All I Want is You. ‘Oops…’ I thought to myself, but then realised that if I just carried on with a straight face, I could probably get away with pretending that was my intention all along, rather than a jet-lagged cut-and-paste blunder. A.J. and I were still struggling to figure out the particular dilemma in hand when I noticed, as if it had spontaneously appeared from nowhere, that Magnificent was also there, grinning up at me from the page. What on earth is going on? The more I looked, the more I realised that the set list I’d just issued made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I still can’t quite figure out whether it was a subsequent cut-and-paste fiasco or whether I (and all of U2) had actually sat in the dressing room so dazed that nobody had noticed that what I was presenting to them was complete nonsense.
A couple of embarrassed radio calls followed, along the lines of ‘disregard previous information’ and I sat down to reconstruct the set into something a tad more coherent. Much amusement was had at my expense but I didn’t mind – I’m telling myself it was probably endearing. It just makes me wonder what other bizarre things I might have done today. I’ve felt like I’m being efficient, productive and together but it seems that I might just be sleepwalking.