U2360° TOUR Leg 3: 2011

May
21
2005

Madison Square Garden

21 May 2005
Madison Square Garden
'The most famous arena in the world', this place calls itself, and not without justification. I strolled down to the venue mid morning to make sure all was well (I flatter myself to think that my presence is in any way helpful to the set-up process, so dont disillusion me) and indeed it was. I sorted out my guest tickets for the day, and pottered at front of house for a while. There was still a couple of hours to kill until soundcheck time, so Smasher and I wandered out onto 33rd St and headed up towards Macys to take advantage of the current astonishing dollar exchange rate. There were many U2 t-shirts in the crowd outside, Vertigo logos everywhere. Smasher made a comment about an aeroplane over head being quite low. I looked up and there in the sky, between two buildings was Air Vertigo, the target tail fin and stripey sides clearly visible. There is only one! It took a minute to appreciate what a very odd coincidence this was. I guess the band are on their way, then

Our favourite musicians showed up in really good form, clearly loving being in the building and looking forward to taking on New York. A bite to eat and then the doors opened to let in the audience and a traditionally astonishing guest list. Wandering through the backstage area was like a trip through Madame Tussauds. Julia Roberts, Kofi Annan, Patti Smith, Ed Burns, Christie Turlington, P.Diddy Doing just one date at Madison Square Garden this time made the concentration of guests pretty intense. David Bowie greeted me like an old friend which made me feel ten feet tall. He looked really well, which was good to see as there have been all sorts of rumours about his health since last year.

U2 played a blinder and I really enjoyed the night despite having easily the worst night, technically, of the whole tour. Right at the beginning of the Arcade Fire song which serves as the show intro tape, we lost power to the whole video control set-up at front of house. 'Bing-Click' it went and our vast array of monitors and screens all went black. Smashers eyes vacated their sockets momentarily and I was about to radio in an emergency stop, knowing we now had less than three minutes till the band would walk onto the stage. However, it would be a brave man who would hit the abort button during the countdown process at Madison Square Garden, so Smasher leapt into the fray and sorted it out in sixty seconds or less. I am not entirely sure what happened, but clearly some of the computers didnt enjoy being shut down and rebooted with no warning, so there was all kinds of funkiness going on from this point onward. As ever, much of this is nothing that the audience would really be aware of, but it kept us juggling weird glitches for the rest of the night.

Afterwards it was a complete zoo backstage and getting out of the building proved challenging (its a large complex and the arena is on the fifth floor). The long loading ramp was awash with sweating grunting men pushing boxes at high speed and the only elevator was continually packed so we headed down on foot, being joined en route by Patti Smith which was pleasantly surreal.

Our escape was ultimately successful, though, and a few of us slipped away to the relative tranquility of the Algonquin for a nightcap.

Related Topics

Current News

16 Apr, 2013
We've got winners in our #U2FTGU competition.
12
11 Mar, 2013
Photos and clips 'from the ground up' arriving every day. Love your work...
24
18 Feb, 2013
Ever made anything From The Ground Up? (See what we did there?) Check out our latest competition.
11
29 Jan, 2013
Those five bonus downloads when you subscribe to U2.com? All you need to know.
17
18 Dec, 2012
It opens with Breathe and closes with "40" - but what are the other thirteen tracks on Edge's Picks?
96
15 Nov, 2012
Fifteen tracks selected by The Edge... but what are they?
108
14 Nov, 2012
'From The Ground Up' is the inside story of U2360° and in this exclusive extract we go backstage with Adam.
9
27 Jun, 2012
Saturday marks three years since U2360 took off - we're hosting 'U22 Day' to celebrate.
61

Current News

27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.
24 Nov, 2014
'It’s one of the proudest moments in U2’s history.' Band interview in new Mojo Magazine.
15
24 Nov, 2014
Take 11 urban artists, all inspired by Songs of Innocence. Result? Films Of Innocence.
5
19 Nov, 2014
Rolling Stone reports on Bono's cycling injury.
18 Nov, 2014
Sensational performance by Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, stepping in for U2 at the eleventh hour.
37
17 Nov, 2014
Band Aid 30 - raising funds to tackle Ebola in West Africa.
3
16 Nov, 2014
It looks like we will have to do our Tonight Show residency another time - we're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding.
147