14 June 1997
Edmonton Show - Party on.
Edmonton Show - Party on. The Canadians start the party - band(s) and crew continue on in the same spirit until dawn and long after.
Edmonton (in Canada). Well, if we thought Winnipeg came out to see us in style, Edmonton just about declared a public holiday. The first of two shows here, with another sell out crowd full of Canadians determined to party their brains out. We were videotaping the show for possible use in Europe and had brought in extra cameras. The results look very promising.
After the show was the first Riggers Arms party of the tour. It is traditional on U2 tours for the riggers to give the parties and the night between two shows in the same venue is the appointed time. Our head rigger Pete The Greek had got the party situation entirely under control. Everyone on the tour chips in $15 to cover costs (even the band pay up) and Pete does the rest. Of course on the tour we already have sound gear, lights, even a D.J., and a large number of very resourceful and fun-loving people, so all we need is a stocked bar and some decor provided by the Steel crew and we are away. Often the Steel crew will build a venue out of bits and pieces of spare scaffolding, etc, but this time we used a room in the stadium with a huge glass window overlooking the back of the stage. It was an eerie and perfect backdrop, to look out into the gloom of the empty stadium, eye to eye with the biggest olive you've ever seen in your life.
First activity of the night (well, second after the copious drinking) was karaoke time. I was asked to host the proceedings, so I slipped into one of my finest wigs and got on with it. There were many and various (hilarious) karaoke turns, mostly done in groups to cover some of the wild and overwhelming embarrassment. The highlight though was the lighting crew plus sound engineer Joe O., who opted for going a cappella and performed, unaccompanied, the whole of Bohemian Rhapsody. Its the kind of noise that brings your mind to a complete halt.
Later the house band turned up and played. They claimed to be called "Mysterious Ways" but bore an uncanny resemblance to The Fun Lovin' Criminals. Come to think of it they played quite a few "lounge" versions of Fun Lovin' Criminals songs too. Wonderful stuff, then Howie B got on the decks and the party just hit lift off. We danced till dawn and beyond, till all the Vodka had gone. I guess I left about 6am and got back to the hotel to find not just a few, but about fifty punters outside the hotel who'd waited all night to see the band. These people were excited as most of the band had already been by but they had a further wait to see Bono, as he closed the party some time after 7am......quite a night.