POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America

Sep
04
1997

MTV Awards - Hit and run.

04 September 1997
MTV Awards - Hit and run.
MTV Awards - Hit and run. In, out, play, leave and head for Paris.

Waking in New York, on the day of the MTV video music awards. U2 are to perform 'Please' live on the show. Now, U2 have never performed at an awards show like this before, so it was something of a new challenge. The 'game show' aesthetic of the staging and the lack of time due to high number of bands makes it more of a hit and run affair than one would like, but we were treated very well. It helped that many of the technical people involved are old friends (the lighting designer for the show is Allen Branton who worked with us on the ZooTV Sydney shoot) so they already had a good sense of what will and won't work for U2. We had just a few hours to try to turn a game show into a suitably atmospheric performance setting for 'Please', so it was all hands on deck. By the end of rehearsal, it was looking vaguely promising, but come the appointed hour, it is live live live, so you can never be sure.

Camera, action, and off we go. U2 perform, it seems to have gone well, the Radio City audience are surprisingly responsive, the song ends and... yes... we head for the cars, head for the airport and get back on the plane, bound for France. Can't stop to chat, we've got a show to do in Paris.

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