12 May 2011
'Privileged'Mexico City. Day off.
Apparently the official attendance figure for last night’s show was 101,193, which includes the stadium’s suite and season-ticket holders, but not the building staff, so I think that makes it the biggest crowd of the tour to date. I was watching the faces of the audience last night when I was standing with P.McG just before we fled the building and, I know I say this a lot, but it is such a privilege to make so many people so happy, especially in such uncertain times.
I let myself have a bit of a day off today as I haven’t stopped all week. It was also good to have a little time to regroup and assess how the new show elements went. Crazy – Discotheque was a bit of a triumph, I thought, and the Tutu Magnificent was promising if not entirely there yet. For some reason the video footage didn’t sync up correctly which was deeply frustrating as it had been flawless at rehearsal. I was disappointed that (to my eyes) the new lighting states I’d programmed for Zooropa didn’t work as well as I’d hoped so I will revisit that tomorrow.
I fully appreciate that to 99% of the audience it will seem churlish for me to complain about these kind of details but it is this that keeps a show alive. I don’t have to worry about the parts of the show that work, that are consistently successful and that get great audience response, but if you go into cruise-control mode it’s easy to end up just going through the motions. Most rock and pop shows are programmed in rehearsals before the first gig and then the show just runs every night until the end of the tour. Updating, improving and reworking a show during a tour is much akin to attempting engine maintenance on a moving vehicle, but it is how U2 has always worked and, let’s be honest, it is an approach which seems to have yielded pretty good results for quite a while now.