'I settled for the comedy severed leg...'
Saturday 12th September 2009. Chicago. Show 1.
Mid afternoon in the dressing room, Adam commented that it was rather a strange sensation to be opening an American tour with a show that was already together. We have come to associate opening nights in the U.S. with a sense of impending shambles, so this was a bit of a treat.
We got ourselves successfully launched, though the other side of the coin of opening in Europe (especially southern Europe) is that by comparison the U.S. crowds tend to be a little more reserved. Clearly though, the Chicago audience was having a good time and we did pretty well too, even if I do say so myself.
After the show we had a party at the House of Blues. This was (please god) the final fling of my absurdly extended birthday season, which Bono instigated way back in Sheffield. U2's monitor engineer Dave was born the day after me, so we shared the event and had a great time. The place closed at 3.30am so we knew that things wouldn't get too out of hand, being a school night and all. Well, that was the plan but Saturday night in Chicago proved to be too much of a draw for us to go home to bed and we ended up heading on to some nightclub. It was a big space, playing very deconstructed music to a packed dance floor. There was something intriguingly odd about the place though, which I found quite appealing, not being much of a club guy, as a rule. Apparently there was a certain amount of podium dancing involved, but happily I don't seem to have any recollection of it.
It got very late and eventually when we poured out of the place there was a move to go on elsewhere. Alex and I managed to dodge the draft and sensibly set about walking back to the hotel, which was about 15 minutes away. We were both in a state of extreme non-sobriety so it took us about 20 minutes to realise that all the while we'd been walking in entirely the wrong direction. Gutted. We'd arrived by a 24 hour Walgreens, which had a large sign outside advertising 'Flu Shots Now Available' so we decided we go in and see if they really were and if we could get one at 5am ('We’ve done everything else, may as well get a flu-shot chaser'). It'll come as no surprise to hear that the flu-jab service wasn't available 24 hours, so by way of consolation Alex says 'OK, we've got five minutes to see who can buy the most bizarre item.' With Hallowe'en approaching we were spoiled for choice, but I settled for the comedy severed leg (which was a bargain at only $3.99) and we were on our way.