'Front Of Anonymity'
Sunday 20th September 2009. Boston. Show 1.
Gillette Stadium is in Foxboro, which is ever such a long way from Boston and has the added attraction of being unreachable by public transport, (you can already imagine the tumbleweed blowing across the vast parking lots once the oil runs out). Consequently I took an early shuttle van in to beat the rush which gave me plenty of time to take care of a few chores.
This stadium has been completely rebuilt since the last time U2 was here. The new design is a little weird for a rock show as it is now reborn with acres of glass fronted corporate boxes down both sides of the field, with bleachered seats above and below. Tom and I decided to spend the show watching from different places in the building starting off way up high in the nosebleed seats. It was a lengthy hike from the mix position to the back row and when we got there we found that our seats were at approximately the same altitude as the mirror ball at the top of the stage 'pylon'.
It's an entirely different experience from up there and in terms of the spectacle in many ways it's a better vantage point than from lower down. We moved around the building a good deal during the show, which was really fun as well as being highly educational. We're going to be shooting this show some time soon, so it's crucial to understand how it looks from all angles and really the only way to do this properly is to get on yer boots and tramp around the stadium. I really enjoy being in amongst the audience anyway - especially looking back at a section of seats when I know something special is about to happen to see people's reactions. It's a real privilege to bring so much happiness to some many people at one time.
One curiosity of the new Foxboro stadium was that it appeared that once you were in the building, no ticket was required. When I'm out in the crowd I tend to tuck my tour pass inside my shirt to maintain my front of anonymity, so in effect I was moving about the place like any other punter. Tom and I made our way from the top tier, eventually ending up in the premium seats on Adam's side of the stage without ever being stopped. (Take note, residents of the Boston metropolitan area when going to any future shows at Foxoboro.)
Being such a long ride back to the Hotel Fabulous, I joined the 'runner' with the band. We had a police escort out of there, which is not unusual, but as a special treat the police had closed the freeway for our convenience. I kid you not, we sped through the night with a completely empty freeway ahead of us. I haven't seen a scene like this since we shot the video for 'Last night on Earth'. Once we had passed each on-ramp, the police opened it up allowing traffic on behind us, so it felt like we were at the head of a huge motorcade... most odd.
Back in Boston we had a bit of an aftershow party at Revolution Rock Bar, which was fun and a let us unwind a little. I spent much of the evening with some of the Snow Patrol guys who leave us tomorrow. We shall miss them, they've been absolutely delightful to have around.