Boy Leg 2: 1980/81, Europe, America

Jul
13
2011

'Manhattanhenge’

4
13 July 2011
'Manhattanhenge’
New York. Day off.

Yesterday evening saw the first of the two nights of ‘Manhattanhenge’, a phenomenon that occurs twice around each solstice. The sun sets in the West which means, if you’re in Manhattan, it sets over New Jersey. The grid of streets in midtown is such that on very particular occasions, the sun will set directly in line with the direction of the cross streets in the grid pattern of the city layout. This means that if you park yourself on a street that goes all the way to the Hudson River, you will see the sun setting directly between the skyscrapers.  Last night saw the ‘full’ sun and tonight a ‘half’ sun, sitting right on the horizon, flanked by buildings. The counterintuitive part is that it doesn’t matter which street you choose – as long as it’s on the grid and unobstructed, you get the same view of Manhattanhenge. A long way away is that sun.

I’ve been decompressing a little and allowing myself to slow down a bit. Tours don’t end gradually, they just stop dead one day, so if at all possible it is helpful to reduce velocity before slamming into the brick wall. I had lunch with a colleague who specialises in LED technology and spent a while musing over future projects. Naturally, we’re already thinking about ‘next time round’ and the task is always to imagine not what’s possible now, but what might be possible in a couple of years’ time. There are larger questions about what kind of show U2 might want to do next, and whether another technology-based show would be at all appealing, but its always interesting to do the research.  I’m very proud of the 360 show, not just the technology and architecture but also the breadth of what U2 have been able to perform over the past couple of years. The current show references every single U2 album, including Passengers and a movie soundtrack, which is pretty good going for a band with this much history. What they’ll do next is anybody’s guess at this juncture.

In the evening I went to see Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which is really charming. Whatever you make of Woody Allen, it is extraordinary that he puts out a movie every single year. Some are big, some are small, some are great, some are less so, some hit, some don’t, but he keeps working and occasionally comes up trumps. This is one of his more whimsical movies and I loved it, it could have been written for me.
This article is tagged to:
Subscriber Exclusives, Tours, U2 360° Tour, U2360° 2011
4  Comments
nycchicky - 22 July, 2011
Thanks
I just want to thank you, Willie, and the rest of your crew for the wonderful work you all do to bring U2 to the masses. Since the Joshua Tree tour, I have been lucky enough to see every tour, some times twice, and they all have been outstanding. Each tour builds on the last one and this one was sooooo wonderful, saw it 9/24/09 & 7/20/11, you out did yourself, BRAVO to everyone working so hard to bring the show to us fans. Now that this tour is coming to a close, I will miss your enteries. Until next tour, take care. Love, Carmen
u2fannyc - 22 July, 2011
Thank you for the past 2 years!
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughtful, witty perspective on what life is like "on the other side" of the U2 tour. I always look foward to reading these diaries, and will miss them once the tour is over. Enjoy your well-deserved time off after Moncton-- The past 2 years have been an amazing journey for us fans, and I wish you and the rest of the crew all the best. Job well done, Mr. Williams! PS- Please compile all of your stories from the road into a book someday...
kittymom - 20 July, 2011
Going to miss your road diaries Willie
I always look so forward to reading the next one. Have a good rest, sir. And might I add - your design and direction genius is beyond magnificent. If Joe had a diary going, I would tell him the same about his sound genius. You are both amazing gents.
cmh40 - 20 July, 2011
cruise control
i can unerstand to slow down a bit. Lord willing i will be going to the pittsburgh show and i hope everyone does not "phone in the performance" much like the hawaii show at the end of the last tour (per willie) i love the guys and paid money i cannot perform. understand not all shows can be super, i just hope everyone is professional and the band puts in effort. i will do my best to help them, crowd better do the same so we can be "in concert" with each other. nastravia
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