POPMART Leg 2: 1997, Europe


'Even Wetter Then the Real Thing'

13 April 2011
'Even Wetter Then the Real Thing'
Sao Paulo. Show 3.

Had our fearless leader not had his encounter with surprise back surgery, this would have been the final show of the 360 tour.  As it is, we now go until the end of July where U2360 will take the final curtain call at Moncton in north-eastern Canada. Given that we started this leg in Santiago and all the equipment is traveling via surface transportation (lots of trucks and some ferries too) it’s quite something to look at a map and see just how long a drive that is. We should really have put a camera in the cab of one of the trucks.

It was a madly busy day as we will now all part company for three weeks and there is much to be achieved prior to our reunion in Mexico. Some new mixes to be done, some new show content, changes, upgrades. It's going to be a busy ‘break’. The weather, at least, was co-operating. The recent monsoon conditions seem to have moved on to soak somebody else which at least gave the gear a chance to dry out a little before being packed into containers and trucks to gently rot for three weeks.  If gear gets put away wet for long periods of time, some of those boxes are pretty funky by the time they get opened up again.
I couldn’t resist a little set list humour, listing the opening song of the night as Even Wetter Then the Real Thing. I stopped there, though it did bring on a wave of radio comments as to possible re-namings of other show tunes. (I Will Wallow, Get on Your (Wellie) Boots, Mudnificent, Moisterious Ways, etc.)  It was another great show with an enormously loud audience, which saw another performance of Zooropa.  It looks like that will live to fight another day, which I’m very happy about.

We did a ‘runner’ from the gig, care of a police escort, but the driver of the van I was in appeared to have plans of his own.  The journey to the hotel should take ten minutes or less (especially with a police escort) but 40 minutes later we were still driving through extremely unfamiliar streets. Fortunately, it turned out that we weren’t being driven to an alleyway to be murdered, but there was a period of time where we couldn’t be quite so certain. I finally remembered to take a snap of a sign in the elevator of the hotel that, next to information about the forthcoming Easter egg hunt, advertises the availability of armoured cars via the hotel concierge. Perhaps we’ll take one next time.

An invitation had gone out to join the band at a karaoke bar in town, but after a long day (a long month, if truth be told) and the highly circuitous drive, I just couldn’t face getting into another van. Happily there were a couple of others who felt likewise, so we settled for a nightcap and debrief on a terrace at the hotel. It was a warm night and I realised that I’d been mentally preparing to go back to winter conditions again tomorrow. It’s so easy to lose track of time and seasons out here that it came as a very pleasant surprise to learn that (apparently) Spring has arrived in the UK. Tomorrow will be my sixth crossing of the equator in as many months, so little wonder it all gets upside down from time to time. We ended up sitting up quite late but it was nice to unwind, comfortable in the knowledge that, whatever sonic atrocities were being committed in the karaoke bar, we were well out of earshot.

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21 April, 2011
Thank you Willie!
Haha!!! The 'w' theme of the setlist cracked me up so much!!! Being able to listen to this show was such a joy: I was Ecstatic to hear Even Better Than the Real Thing and Zooropa. That was THE BEST, and I sincerely hope that I will be lucky enough to hear these live myself in Montreal (X2), Toronto or Moncton, or all of the above haha!! Ah, the countdown is SO on!!!!!
20 April, 2011
Another issue
Willie, Thank you for all information you give us. I´d like to share my emotion with you, who is now so near from my favorite band since 25 years ago: april 13th was MY DAY, because before the show, Bono has listen to me and answered me putting his hand on my shoulder (I was one of the fans on hotel). My dream was to be near from him in the stage, but I got the "impossible": talk to him my feelings (congratulating him) and I had his attention. He looked at my eyes. I´m realized and this was the best thing in my life after my son´s birth. Please let him know that. With best regards, Carmen Zita Pinto Coelho (I´m in FB with all the photos). Thank you.
19 April, 2011
Really? Where? We got at least another foot of the white stuff over the weekend and though the cloud formations LOOK like summer rain clouds, SNOW falls out of them ... sigh
19 April, 2011
Just love
these diaries. Thanks, Willie, for letting us share your adventures in such a colorful, engaging way. Sonic atrocities. I'll be chuckling about that one for quite awhile.
19 April, 2011
Karaoke !
I watched the youtube video - lol . Looks like everyone is having fun - letting off some steam . Jet lag sucks, I don't know how you guys do it - but am glad you do . And always enjoy your diary doodles Willie .
19 April, 2011
You should keep writing when the 360 tour ends... I don't know about what but anything!!
18 April, 2011
You're reminding me of ...
one of my fave movies--Planes, Trains and Automobiles. John Candy such an endearing, comedic soul. There's something nomadic about traveling but there's also comfort in the way technology can connect hearts and minds. How lucky we are to be able to enjoy the serenity of a night on a terrace/deck. Maybe we were lookin' at the same stars? Moncton may seem far too you, but it's an earshot from me -- (give or take a few hours). 'Til the next time on the terrace--Cheers Big Ears!
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