'Production Load-In'

29 August 2010
'Production Load-In'
Vienna.  Load-In day.

I have guests at this show, two friends who've come out from London and also some theatre people that I worked with here.  Being techno-trainspotters, they'd asked for a look around the load in, so we headed out to the stadium around 3pm this afternoon.

The 'production' load-in comprises all the universal gear that goes to every show.  There are three sets of the steel skeleton and these leapfrog across the continent, being erected over a period of three days in each venue.  Following this, the universal production consists of everything else, mostly consisting of all the expensive stuff that we can only have one of (or if we had two of, they'd be half the size).  This includes the video screen, the entire lighting, sound and video systems, the pylon, the stage and outer runway, the bridges, the generators, all the office set ups, the entire catering set up... pretty much everything, really.

Incredibly, the production load-in starts at a leisurely 9am on the day before the show (I've done theatre tours where load-in has had to start earlier than this).  A year into the tour, the systems just fly into the place and it's pretty awe-inspiring to see.  My mates loved watching the process.  When we arrived, the video screen was still being assembled, one gigantic section after another, but within an hour it was moving up and down, opening, closing and showing pictures. Meanwhile, the stage itself was being put together, bridges were being craned into position and barricade was being built absolutely everywhere, it seemed. When you watch the process with fresh eyes, the speed of construction just doesn't seem feasible.

Once we'd had our fill we took the metro back into the city centre (on the U2 line, I kid you not) and found ourselves some dinner.  It was great to reconnect with the process today.  Made me realise what an extraordinary team we have out here.

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12 September, 2010
Inside of a spaceship
Dear Willie, when I attended the U2 show in Vienna I had the luck to stand in the front row of the inner circle. Being inside of this huge spaceship I had the feeling to be part of a big adventure and through bridges and outer runway many fans had the possibility to be very close to the band. The "Claw" really supported U2 to create a very personal atmosphere in a very big venue. The 360 stage is a very innovative and exciting production full of shimmering lights and effective visuals that intensify the experience of sound. I was particularly overwhelmed by the video screen;s bright lights during "City Of Blinding Lights". By the way, there is not only a U2 line in Vienna. Last year I also went to U2;s Berlin concert by U2 line. The end station was called "Olympic Stadium"!
09 September, 2010
U2 line
I visited Vienna several years ago (I live in the US), and I was determined to ride the U2 line...not because I actually needed to travel that particular route, but all in the name of fun fandom. My travelling companions weren't amused. Side note: Vienna is a truly fantastic city!
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