15 April 1997
Las Vegas pre-production - Looking good. The screen, arch, the lemon are all in place. It all looks 'right', but the finish line of pre-prod is just the starting line of the tour - will it get the recognition it deserves?
So, today is the big day when those who are paying for all this will see it for the first time. This is always a very big moment. I am confident enough, but they are capable, we know, of the most astonishing observations. May I never forget Bono's first description of the ZooTV stadium stage - "its fantastically impressive for all the wrong reasons...".
Sitting high up in the stadium with Mark Fisher late last night, we looked at it all; the screen, the Arch, the Lemon spinning in all its absurd glory.. It was most gratifying. The screen alone, Mark says, is the most complex thing he's ever built. I'm really proud of what we've done, it has been a very natural collaboration - fun too. What is pleasing that the whole stage doesnít look super-massive sitting in the stadium. It just looks 'right'. It IS massive of course, but the proportions are such that it doesn't look overly grandiose, it all seems pretty effortless. Be nicer when its finished, of course. Bruce and Monica are doing very well, taking charge of their respective departments and I wonder how soon it will be before I become entirely superfluous. And if anyone will notice.
I've got a headful of thoughts and a gutful of emotions all piling up. Such an emotional thing to give birth to something like this. All this effort, the whole journey that got us through the options, the battles, the victories, the despair, the route to building this thing. Another week the audience will arrive, we will charge out of the gate. The waiting will be done, the huge build up, the designing, the realisation, the whole massive task will be done and then... the tour starts. The finishing line is of course merely the starting line. There's another long year to go once we get out of here. I wonder how it will be. It seems to me that PopMart will be head and shoulders above ZooTV as a show, but I can't help wondering if it will get the same kind of recognition. Its much harder 'second time round'.