08 August 2001
Show Day: Barcelona - Jordi Arena
Joe & I arrived at the gig at 1pm as per usual-ish only to discover that U2 weren't due to go onstage till 10.30pm. Ah, yes, I remember now, the Spanish way. A man was tempted to turn round and head directly back to the hotel, but instead I busied myself with the minutia of everyday tour life.
It was well worth the wait, mind you, as this is a great building and audiences in this part of the world are just spectacular. Another thing I have noticed about Spain, being here with U2 and with other bands, is that the audiences always know and love the new songs. It must be something to do with the radio stations here, but the biggest crowd responses always seem to be for the new hits. Bands must love it.
Tonight was a very special night for another reason too. The Edge turned 40 today and began what looks like being an entire week of celebrations. The audience was well aware of this fact and had decked the hall with banners and signs congratulating him. Bono had the crowd sing happy birthday and there was a special surprise from the women of the band party. At the end of "Mysterious Ways" seven columns of the rear stage video wall rise up. Usually they carry images of psychedelic dancers, but tonight they bore seven pictures of "Edge through the ages" and to top it off, sitting on top of each of the columns was one of said female tour staff, holding sparklers, birthday cakes, etc., etc. It looked so great and of course The Edge just loved it.
After the show the band party took the "Elevation Air" plane to Ibiza for the night. I declined the invitation to come, as I am heading to London with the crew. However, despite having a super-early flight tomorrow morning, I couldn't help but head out on the town after the show. It was already late but there were plenty of places still open, especially down by the Arts Hotel. What a truly great city this is.