Elevation Leg 3: 2001 North America

Sep
03
2010

'Rock'n'roll touring laundry service...'

11
03 September 2010
'Rock'n'roll touring laundry service...'
Athens. Show day.

I took a noon van to the venue, stepping over the hotel dogs that were still sleeping on the steps outside. It was another very hot day, but not oppressively so, even in the midday sun.

My first task was to retrieve my laundry, having taken advantage of a new system recently instigated on the 360 tour. The latest addition to our touring village is the world€™s first rock & roll touring laundry service, run by a very affable German gentleman called Hans. He has joined the tour bringing with him a trailer of washers and dryers that get hooked up at each venue. The way the system works is that those in need of clean clothes drop off their laundry bags with Hans who washes and dries them during the course of the day (all in the most eco-friendly manner, he will tell you), ready for you to pick up at close of play. For this service Hans charges ‚¬15 a bag which, given the number of people on the tour, proves financially viable. In Hans' favour is the quantity of crew indulging daily in activities guaranteed to coat every garment in grime, not to mention that everybody who's ever toured can dig up a laundry horror story or two. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your clothes can be cleaned without even leaving the venue is well worth the fifteen bucks. It's an absolute no-brainer when compared to the Russian roulette of sending your entire wardrobe out to a random drop-off laundry in a city you're about to leave.

Ironing is not (yet) part of the service but I had a little time to spare so holed up in the wardrobe room for a while. Not so long ago the very notion of voluntarily ironing even a single garment was laughable to me (I actually don't think I'd ever ironed anything prior to about 2007) but more recently I have begun to embrace its potential for transformation into a tranquil, Zen experience. The quality of the equipment helps, of course, and the U2 wardrobe room has smoothing gear vastly superior to that which most hotels would throw at you. I emerged an hour later, sartorially refreshed and with an enhanced sense of inner calm, realising that ironing must be one of the few road activities that is simultaneously meditative and productive - far more likely to succeed than, say, attempting to catalogue your receipts whilst doing yoga.

Come show time, it was a beautiful, balmy night and the venue had filled up to (and very possibly beyond) capacity. The floor of the stadium was absolutely rammed, front to back, from bleacher to bleacher, and when U2 took the stage the place just went off. Looking down from above, the sea of bodies was heaving as the entire crowd bounced up and down in unison. People let off flares in the middle of the throng, human pyramids were being built & everyone was clearly having a very good time indeed. I felt like I was back on the Joshua Tree tour, with that festival crowd mayhem flavour. It was really great fun - we should play cities for the first time more often.

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COMMENTS

11
03 November, 2010
wish
ill hope U2 come to Ecuador. we really would like to see them, they never come here hope they remember in his tour from 2010!
03 November, 2010
wish
ill hope U2 come to Ecuador. we really would like to see them, they never come here hope they remember in his tour from 2010!
anda99
26 October, 2010
Joshua Tree
Well,,, it was kind of a Joshua Tree tour for us as well. We 've been waiting since then, you know, to see U2 live. :) Thank you for your diary. It's really amazing the way you make us feel part of this tour. Sharing every day with us, it's like we're backstage, travelling with you guys. Do come visit Athens again. It's never like the first time. But it's going to be even more fun, we promise! ;-)
windrider991
14 October, 2010
Hans- The Unsung Hero of the Tour
Willie, This is the first time I have read one of your posts, and you are a great word-smith. It made me laugh, as I have never really thought about how you guys get clean clothes for each day, and the shows. I guess I just assumed that everyone would just go get a T-shirt from the semi and put it on :) Hans must truly be a God-send then, for all the touring team. I would gladly be his assistant if he needs one! Go Team U-2
morningchild
19 September, 2010
I'll do the laundry!
I would happily go on tour and do the laundry in the bargain!
dublin_06
15 September, 2010
Luxembourg
You're so right! Come to Luxembourg, it would be the first time!
Arbonne20
14 September, 2010
I'll do the ironing!
Love your diaries and the peek behind the scene of life on the road! Best wishes for the remainder of the tour! See you all in Jersey next summer!!
xtraspicy62
13 September, 2010
you pulled off mercy!
thank you so very much! i couldn't tell if you added in any special graphics from the youtube video of Zurich, but its incredible that mercy was finally able to be ready for performance. amazing, incredible wonderful, beautiful!!! wow, the band listened to us make so many requests for mercy!!! cant wait to see what you've done with it willie, when you get to North America spicy XO
tomagiot
13 September, 2010
Athens
It was indeed a great night for the greek audience also. We enjoyed very much the show. I hope you realised it. I think you should really include Greece in U2 tour more often.
Els B
13 September, 2010
Love it!
Hi Willie I think you should publish a book! I just love reading your diary! Looking forward to the next entry Love Els (New Zealand)
norwaylad
13 September, 2010
Skid Marks
Obviously a man that appreciates the finer things in life , but Willie we never did find out how much you paid that time in London you accidantely sent your laundry to the hotels laundry service . Thank God for the Germans (Hans) work ethic, only for them Europe would definately be in the shits. Hope you are tipping him well!!!
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