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.