Elevation Leg 2: 2001, Europe

May
26
2011

'Name That Tune'

4
26 May 2011
'Name That Tune'
Winnipeg. Rehearsal load in day.

Never mind the animal noises, as we arrived back at the hotel after dinner last night a huge stretch limo pulled up outside.  We hadn’t been in Winnipeg for long but even so we had the sense that such a vehicle was a little out of place here, with the added classy touch of “TO RENT THIS LIMO CALL: 1-800-XXX XXXX” written on the side doors.  Out of the vehicle poured the party party who proceeded to live it up for much of the night just a couple of doors down from me.

On enquiring at the front desk this morning I was relieved to hear that the noise gang had already checked out and got their flight back to hell.  The poor receptionist looked pretty shaken so that it was clear last night’s occurrence was an unfortunate rarity, so confidence was restored slightly.

I spent the day working at the hotel with my team of Mac Boys. We set up in the fabulous lobby lounge and enjoyed feeling like we’d slipped back into the 1920’s, taking our laptops with us.  Later on a piano player arrived and even though we initially rolled our eyes he turned out to be really good.  He played away, just tinkly lounge-bar background music, all very inoffensive. This went on, drifting in and out of our consciousness, until at one point something sounded oddly familiar.  I tuned in a little more and realised that, yes, he actually was playing David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the opening music to the 360 show.  I alerted the lads, asking ‘name that tune’ but the form of the performance was so at odds with the music itself that at first they couldn’t get it.

After this we were fascinated.  The pianist played away, staring into the middle distance without a care in the world, trotting out one rock hit after another but in this fantastic way that made it extremely hard to recognise very familiar songs.  It was just wonderful and when he went into (I kid you not) Sweet Child of Mine we practically lost it. On he went, romping through rock history right up to the present day, including Radiohead’s Lotus Flower, all disguised in this form that sounded so innocent. After all, at it’s core even the wildest death metal romp is just a group of notes, placed one after the other.

Happily the hotel was quiet this evening so we’re beginning to settle in, though I did check to make sure the snowmobile was still running, just in case.
This article is tagged to:
Subscriber Exclusives, Tours, U2 360° Tour, U2360° 2011
4  Comments
Marleenie - 14 June, 2011
This painting makes me smile
and it keeps resurfacing with the addition of new comments--kind of sweet in a Canadian kind of way. I dream about escaping to a place like that often.
CNF - 14 June, 2011
Who Was That Piano Player?
Willie, you made me VERY curious! Do you by any chance know the name of the piano player??? I would like to hear his approach of al these songs! Thanks.
beachmama - 03 June, 2011
BeachMama
Hope you enjoyed Winnipeg, without the aid of a snowmobile!! Gotta love pianists that can amaze you with fabulous music.
scout6 - 02 June, 2011
Gosh
I miss Winnipeg. Love that town
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