Melbourne. Show 1.
I€™ve been staying in the crew hotel in Melbourne up until now but in anticipation of the arrival of the entourage later today, this morning relocated to their hotel. It€™s another casino complex that, upon my arrival, was staging a psychedelic Christmas pageant in the lobby. It was very heavy on the head, especially before breakfast.
On to the stadium, where things seemed to be going to plan, with the backline crew doing their soundcheck, usual afternoon things. The weather was threatening a little and sure enough later in the afternoon the heavens opened. The Etihad stadium has a sliding roof for use on just such occasions but today its deployment was slightly compromised due to our stage structure being bigger than the building. At 51m in height, the €˜spire€™ of the 360 structure stands taller than the roof line, and as the sliding roof panels run long-ways down the building it meant that the roof could close about 90% of the way, leaving a long open area the length of the football pitch. This produced the genius situation of almost the entire building being kept dry, with rain only falling on the stage, the mix position and the VIP platform. We win awards for this kind of thing, you know.
Due to a senior moment, I committed a minor faux pas that added some excitement to the opening of the show tonight. In discussion in the dressing room earlier we€™d decided that it might be fun to have The Edge join Bono on the outer runway for The Return of the Stingray Guitar at the very top of the show. There was no great science behind this idea, it would just make a change and perhaps be fun if Bono went out one way and Edge the other. My faux pas was in agreeing whole-heartedly to this notion but then omitting to tell anyone about it. Consequently, when Edge took to the stage and promptly raced off toward the audience, lighting, camera and backline people alike were left in astonishment. We€™re all well used to the U2 guys making it up as they go along but generally speaking they tend to get up on the stage before making any abrupt change of plan. Fortunately the stadium lights were still on at this point, so at least we could see him.
And you know what€¦ against all odds, the rain held off.