U2360° TOUR Leg 3: 2011

Mar
28
2005

San Diego. First Show Day.

Finally here we are. After a year of thought and months of preparation, at last we give birth to something called Vertigo. It was a long old day but we got a result, so much relief all round. The crew loaded in at 2am, being the first time we have had to assemble this in a hurry. The band came in at 2pm for a long soundcheck after which we had a final pow-wow to confirm the set list and overall plan. In the main we stuck to our guns and went with the set-list which has evolved over the past week. Locked and loaded.

Kings of Leon are our opening act for this leg of the tour. They all seem very nice and managed a brief soundcheck before the doors were opened. I always love to watch the audience come in, especially on the first night of the tour when all is anticipation and everything is unknown. It's strange to think that in the age of the internet, after tonight every detail of the show will be global knowledge, but right now it's a great secret known only to a few.

Right before the show the fibre optic link to the video pixel panels went south, which meant that only half the panels were able to function. Whilst grown men ran around with cables and mops, I went and spoke to the wall, just to give myself something to do. We had to delay the start of the show by five minutes or so but mercifully all was restored to health and continued to function throughout the night.

The show? Well, it was a treat. Much of what I had hoped for came to pass and it was enormously satisfying to see the audience response to the various musical and visual elements. This is a small, low-ceilinged building which made the volume of the crowd almost intolerable at times, but I'd guess that they liked it. Bono deemed it better than the opening night of Elevation' (though given that he fell off the stage that night, I am not 100% sure how to read this comment). Regardless, we are clearly onto a winner.

Afterwards there were drinks and celebrations and we ended up in the 'losers' lounge' (the generic affectionate name for the bar in any tour hotel). By this time most of the crew had been up for nearly 24 hours so were fairly incoherent, but it would have been rude not to have at least a low-key celebration. They've worked so hard and remained so positive about everything; there are some great people on board Starship Vertigo.

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