'One touch and annihilation...'

25 October 2009
'One touch and annihilation...'
Sunday 25th October 2009. Los Angeles. Show day.

Today was not an unambitious day, even by U2 standards, with the Rosebowl show being shot for DVD and streamed live on YouTube in its entirety. As it happened, very little went wrong and many of the intangible factors ended up playing very much in our favour. First and foremost, the venue turned out to be ideal for the 360 show in two ways. It's an old stadium, so is almost entirely composed of seats, rather than the acres of corporate boxes that are the fashion these days. These glass-fronted boxes are death for acoustics, but also break up the mass of the audience in an unattractive way.

Here at the Rosebowl it's all seating and the seats are small and jammed together meaning you can get a huge number of people in here (96,000 I heard). Perhaps it was this mass proximity, but for some reason tonight's audience was as far from the traditionally cool 'L.A. crowd' as you can imagine. They really went off and looked great too which was a huge bonus.

Half of Hollywood was present of course, but there was only one guest who I made a point of going to meet. Buzz Aldrin had come to the show and I found him in the hospitality area, where I introduced myself and shook the hand of a man who'd walked on the moon. He was very polite though was a little distracted as he desperately wanted to meet Paris Hilton who had just arrived. This he did and the two were photographed together (it's funny, you'd think that would be like intellectual matter and anti-matter - one touch and they'd annihilate, taking the universe down with them). I did chuckle though, Buzz Aldrin and Paris Hilton. I guess when you've walked on the moon it's OK to lower your ambitions a little bit.

The rest of the night is history and available for your viewing pleasure on YouTube. It all went remarkably well, although as soon as we were locked and loaded at the top of the show I could feel myself starting to get sick. We've been building up to tonight for a long time and once we were under starters orders the adrenaline dropped and all hell broke loose. I was very happy that all had gone well, but even by the time I got back to the hotel I just wanted to curl up under the duvet and die. Hey ho.

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10 November, 2009
Intellectual matter and anti-matter
WIllie, that phrase is pure brilliance and so appropriate for that meeting!
10 November, 2009
Until Then
Willie, I hope your sickness didn't follow you to Vancouver and you were able to end this leg of the tour on a somewhat healthy note. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your unbelievably well-written, witty, funny and insightful entries. I never missed an entry and always looked forward to reading them. Your perspective of the tour is so fascinating and you tell it in a way which makes you feel you're right there along side of you. I attended the Rose Bowl show and, no doubt, it didn't disappoint. I feel the same way about LA shows in general. The crowds do tend to be "too cool" and hold back a lot which can ultimately bring the vibe down, however, that was not the case in Pasadena. It was a pretty amazing feeling being a part of an audience that left their egos at the door and got involved in what is the U2 experience. Your anecdote about Buzz Aldrin and Paris Hilton was hilarious!!! Only in LA would such opposite worlds collide. Thanks again for taking the time to entertain us die-hards. I look forward to reading from you again come the second leg...until then. Amanda
09 November, 2009
Hi Willie, Thanks for the posts.......Have you ever tried using Airborne ? It works very well and gives the body's immune system a nice boost for those on the go. Full of Vitamins and minerals and boy the zesty orange flavor sure does taste great. Available everywhere here in the states...(Trader Joe's) Thanks..........hicksong
09 November, 2009
On the edge of the known universe
Must engender some serious form of travel sickness. Bet that's what it was, but thank you for taking us there, Willie. Pure inspiration.
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