Production Rehearsals, Monterey

Down to the venue bright and early to get a jump on everything which needed doing towards rebuilding the outdoor show. Clearly we are taking the European show as the starting point, but are customising it for each of the countries we are visiting. Also there are quite a few visual things which appeared during the last indoor leg which need to be reformatted to work in the great outdoors.

It was a scorching hot day, so bare legs all round. Everything came together in good time and the early dusk allowed us to start programming by sevenish. A very weird curfew rule here states that there cant be any loud noise in the stadium before 9pm, which is refreshingly counter-intuitive. Consequently we were trying to get as much done as we could before the backline guys arrived to unleash the fury.

It was fabulous to see the outdoor stage again. Its a magnificent looking thing, even if I do say so myself. Even nicer when it gets turned on. Word came down the wire that the backline guys werent going to come in after all which produced much rejoicing in our front of house oxygen tent. Its so much easier to get work done when youre not listening to random music noise and 120 decibels.

We were the usual crew of suspects inside the mix position: Bruce programming lighting; Smasher programming video; Bob at the video engineering; Luke and Sam on the video sequences. As ever, it can become oddly quiet out there for long periods of time as we all beaver away on our separate pieces of the puzzle, occasionally coming together to run a song, or see how lighting and video fit together.

The temperature dropped like a stone after dark and we were largely unprepared, sartorially speaking. We dug out all of the clothing we had but it was still woefully inadequate. Luke improvised some sarong-like garments out of large sheets of plastic and we started jumping up and down a good deal. Eventually Bruce cracked open the sporting goods drawer of his workbox adding more clothing to the mix, though largely shirts and shorts. I ended up wearing six shirts and three pairs of trousers but was still bloody freezing. You should have seen us, bundled up to an absurd degree - Tellytubbies go mad in the Arctic.

At about 4am I was thinking perhaps we should knock it on the head and carry on tomorrow night. However, it was only then I realised that there is no tomorrow night. I have lost a day somehow in my jet lag blur, as I imagined we had another nights programming before the band arrived, but no, theyll be here, on stage tomorrow evening. I guess wed better carry on then..

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