Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


'Jay-Z's iPod On Shuffle'

21 November 2010
'Jay-Z's iPod On Shuffle'
Auckland. Production load in.

Jet lag is such a mad, brutal experience.  I did OK but still woke up at 4am, 6am, 8am, every time being convinced that it must be nearly noon.  I eventually gave in and got up, making my way down to the breakfast place on the seventh floor, where I found a couple of equally wounded comrades.  Smasher went to bed at 6pm, woke up at 3am and had been awake ever since, so I€™d say the €˜four o€™clock wall€™ will hit him pretty hard this afternoon.

After a spot of brekky I thought it might be helpful to take a walk, which I did.  Auckland€™s topography features some impressively steep hills so it got the blood circulating at least and I found my way to a park which was all very pleasant of a sunny Sunday morning.  I also came across a little market and, of all things, bought some Christmas cards.  The rationale being that, if nothing else, the pleasant activity of sitting writing Christmas cards would keep me awake until the afternoon when I went to meet Bono.

This I did and found it a pleasantly Zen pastime, until I got the call to go to the meeting.    When I got to the appointed venue, it began to become apparent that this was not just a meeting (not even a meeting at all, actually) but a full on social event for our part of the touring party.   Jay-Z and his manager John came along too and drinks segued into lunch.  I wasn€™t drinking as I knew I€™d be asleep within minutes, but it was all very easy and pleasant as we settled in for the afternoon.   Jay-Z seems very likeable, a little shy at first but clearly very smart and solid.  We sat down to lunch with his iPod on shuffle which was as surprising as it was revealing.  Eminem, The Temptations, The Smiths, Phil Collins, The Cardigans... an extraordinarily broad range and eclectic mix.

I had my chat with the band guys about the show and the new elements, so felt better prepared to go into the stadium that evening for a look at everything.  This I did, and it transpired that the stage production had gone in and up like there€™d only been a couple of days off, rather than a seven-week break.  There was the odd hitch here and there, but generally it was a good effort all round.  Just as we were settling in to look at all the new video material up on the screen, something happened and a big chunk of the screen stopped working.  It was a cabling thing, apparently, and a little frustrating as it made it hard to get a feeling for how the new pieces will work.  By this time everyone was dog tired and lagged in extremis, so rather than stay there feeling unsure and losing confidence I decided it would be better to knock off for the night and have another go tomorrow.  The band isn€™t in until Tuesday, so tomorrow night is our night to make all the fixes and get our ducks in a row.  We were practically hallucinating by the time we got back to the hotel.  Jet lag is a mad, brutal experience.

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