POPMART Leg 4: 1998, South America


Las Vegas - Pre Production

23 April 1997
Las Vegas - Pre Production
Las Vegas pre-production - Rehearsal debacle. The nightmare descends. The "dress rehearsal goes pear shaped as the lemon breaks down, leaving the band stranded 20' in the air. Willie gets it in the ear. One more chance to get it right.

Las Vegas, rehearsals. So the nightmare descends at last. We always knew it would but at least its going to be brief this time. Tonight's "dress rehearsal" was the customary debacle - stops and starts, odd departures, breakdowns, etc - and still we didn't make it through the whole set. The all-eclipsing disaster, though, was the breakdown of the Lemon staircase. After a week of convincing the band that they all have to ride in the Lemon, that it will all be fine and fabulous, the fucking steps gave out, leaving the band stranded 20' up in the air. Consequently, Lemon confidence plummets into the dumper and we are plunged into a world of trauma. Post rehearsal I am duly summoned to the dressing room and given a royal dressing down. Fair enough - these things aren't necessarily my fault but they are my responsibility and the band are understandably nervous as all hell. Pretty grim mind you. After the shouting we get to the practicalities and a lengthy creative meeting follows. Indeed, U2 do function best in crisis and this crisis ended up bringing great benefit. There were about 20 of us in this meeting, watching the rehearsal video tape. It was a long night, but we made some good progress. Catherine Owens, who has overseen the creatino of all the video and animated screen footage is here too, so I don't feel entirely alone in my quest. Finally, after much deliberation and coaxing, Bono agreed to put 'Pride' & 'Still Haven't Found' in the set, What a great and glorious victory that was. More than we could have hoped for - and needless to say a deeply wise decision. So we leave and go to bed, knowing we've just one more crack at this before the world gets to see it.

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