'Solar Furnace'

28 July 2010
'Solar Furnace'
Turin. Production rehearsals.

We headed into the gig at noon where the Italian midday sun was shining brightly, turning the stadium into a solar furnace. In order to carry the 450 tonnes of structure, the stadium field has to be covered with steel deck (regular rock shows use plywood but this would be crushed to smithereens). Steel deck is made of raw metal, silver in colour, which becomes utterly blinding when you attempt to walk across it under intense sunshine. I think you€™re actually being cooked when you stand out there, as it€™s the same principle used in those foldy silver cardboard oven devices, invented by that Norwegian bloke for use in African countries. Sun cream and bug spray abound, though a few crew still ended up sporting some pretty impressive €˜farmer€™s tans€™ and red necks. On the upside, you don€™t have to pee very often when it€™s this sweaty out, which is quite the bonus in a stadium where it can be quite a hike to the nearest toilet.

Larry and Adam arrived today and worked with Edge in a separate (cool, indoor) rehearsal room for much of the day. Having a separate rehearsal room has become standard for U2 during stadium production rehearsals for two reasons. Firstly of course, they€™d die if they stood out on stage in the blazing sunshine all day, but also because they are working on new material. We learned from Barcelona that practically every note played or word uttered over the show P.A. system was noted by persons outside the stadium and appeared on Facebook and/or YouTube within hours. Essentially they have come to understand that if you were to play a new song on the stage, you€™d effective be releasing it.

I€™m wading through the long list of tasks that seem to involve most departments in some way or other, but it all feels good. All we€™re missing is a singer and we can really get a feel for how things will go this year. It all feels very positive thus far, though. I€™m glad to be here.

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