Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US

Mar
29
2001

Show day: Charlotte, North Carolina - Coliseum

29 March 2001
Show day: Charlotte, North Carolina - Coliseum
A couple of days later we re-emerge from our beds, blinking in the sunlight. There has been a Dance Music Convention in Miami Beach this past long weekend, which explains the ludicrous level of party-going which has surrounded us. We've been staying in the Delano, which is always a scene beyond scenes anyway, so the arrival of the whole of London has pushed it to caricature proportions. I hate to sound like somebody's dad, but I was staggered by the 24 hour volume of noise coming from inside and outside the hotel. I did retaliate to some extent, though, having found this fantastic CD called 'Stroboscopica' which is from some mad Italian record label and sounds like a groovy Peter Sellars movie soundtrack remixed in Twin Peaks. We had that cranking a few times.

I was feeling slightly blurred this morning, having been forced to stay up late and drink alcohol by Catherine Owens our video & projection artist who heads home today. Her current favourite tipple is a 'Side Car' (look it up) and by 3am we were feeling particularly 'Side-Carred', I have to say. Catherine has been involved with creating U2 visuals since Zoo TV and her role has gradually expanded with each tour. This time she has made / found / commissioned / discovered some very interesting work for the show. Most of it is abstract textural material which really becomes part of the lighting.

Obviously we spent a lot of time in discussion with the band about the nature of the visual content for this show. With the visual track record that U2 shows have it was a real challenge to find a way of pushing forward rather than repeating what they've done in the past. This is particularly important in 2001 because every other concert you go to now uses big video screens full of meaningless imagery - basically ZOO TV has annexed the entire live music industry. The equipment is far more affordable these days and every singer has a mate with a DV cam who'll go and shoot a bunch of footage to baffle the audience. But its time to move on. Given that this U2 album is so generous and art-concept-free, looking toward texture and abstraction seemed to make a lot of sense to us.

The flight from Miami to Charlotte was a bit of a trauma. It was our maiden voyage on the tour plane - a 727 with a very spiffy paint job, 'Elevation Air' with the heart in a suitcase logo on the tail plane. We were delayed forever and the weather was extremely rough which made take off pretty interesting. I was sitting next to Amanda, our tour press co-ordinator and just as we hit maximum G force I felt this curious falling sensation. For reasons beyond comprehension the pair of seats we were sitting in wasn't bolted to the floor of the plane, so as the plane banked higher we very gently keeled over backwards and landed on top of Daniel Lanois who was sitting behind us. The G force kept us pinned to the floor and in any case we were strapped into the now horizontal seats, so none of us could move. It was more than a little frightening, but our security guys came to the rescue and mercifully no one was hurt. It did give a man cause to wonder if there were any other bits of the plane not bolted down and that was before Gavin Friday pulled the toilet door off its hinges... "Carry On Touring" here we come.

We did finally arrive in Charlotte and got to the venue about ten minutes before doors opened so it was all a bit of a mad panic. However, despite all of the above I really enjoyed the show. The crowd had a really peaceful vibe... I mean they made loads of noise and jumped up and down and all that good stuff, but there was a great spirit in the place. And I had four cameras again which made me very happy. The show is starting to develop a personality of its own now, I look forward to watching it develop.

We did a runner after the show (i.e. the band went straight from the stage into cars to the airfield and back onto the plane) and headed for Atlanta. It's amazing really - it took us six hours to get to Charlotte and we only stayed there for five hours in total. Yes, we're moving now. Arrived in Atlanta in the wee small hours...

Related Topics

Current News

07 May, 2009
The opening night of the tour in Barcelona is only weeks away so no better time for a reminder of life on the road.
7
20 Dec, 2006
Rocko Reedy on the night his band opened up for U2.
20 Dec, 2006
How Come? Well, Tamara Kendall from the UK won the 'Hunt The Lyric' competition for those return flights and tickets ...
12 Dec, 2006
The one hundred and thirty first Vertigo show and it was one to remember. Report, photos.
11 Dec, 2006
Wonderful closing night with Pearl Jam in Hawaii and lots of surprise touches as Vertigo 05/06 comes to a close ...
06 Dec, 2006
The U2 support act you've never heard of. (Until Hawaii that is.)
05 Dec, 2006
New backstage shots before showtime in Tokyo.

Eric Clapton was at the final Tokyo show on Monday and chatted with Edge ...
04 Dec, 2006
Video of the band playing 'Window in the Skies' for Japanese TV at the weekend.

Current News

25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.
24 Nov, 2014
'It’s one of the proudest moments in U2’s history.' Band interview in new Mojo Magazine.
7
24 Nov, 2014
Take 11 urban artists, all inspired by Songs of Innocence. Result? Films Of Innocence.
3
19 Nov, 2014
Rolling Stone reports on Bono's cycling injury.
18 Nov, 2014
Sensational performance by Jimmy Fallon and The Roots, stepping in for U2 at the eleventh hour.
36
17 Nov, 2014
Band Aid 30 - raising funds to tackle Ebola in West Africa.
3
16 Nov, 2014
It looks like we will have to do our Tonight Show residency another time - we're one man down. Bono has injured his arm in a cycling spill in Central Park and requires some surgery to repair it. We're sure he'll make a full recovery soon, so we'll be back! Much thanks to Jimmy Fallon and everyone at the show for their understanding.
145
13 Nov, 2014
The band were in Berlin tonight, performing at The Bambi Awards.
5