Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US


Show day: Dallas - Reunion Arena

01 April 2001
Show day: Dallas - Reunion Arena
This is where U2 did the first show of the Unforgettable Fire Tour in 1985, and if you'd told me then that we'd still be playing here sixteen years later I probably would have quit the business on the spot. Ah... not really. In many ways I still just as mad for it now as I was back then. Bono has talked a lot about U2 "reapplying for the job" on this tour and much as I don't personally feel the same way, it does give a man cause to look back and count his blessings. Especially on deja vu days like this. (Can it still be called 'deja vu' if you actually have been somewhere before? Or is that just called 'memory'?)

On stage, Bono told a story about how the first time U2 played in Dallas they opened for a wet T-shirt contest in some dive bar. He asked if anyone remembered the name of the place and after the show a friend of a friend confessed to having been there - Club Bijou, apparently. Later in the set Bono threw in 'Desire' and had the crew scrambling to find a harmonica which was good for a laugh at front of house. Mind you, the joke was on us in the end - Joe & I did a 'runner', and in this building that involved some fairly concentrated beating our way through the crowd to get backstage in time to join the cavalcade to the airport. This is always moderately embarrassing at best, not least because we have to make our way past pretty much the entire road crew who slag us off mercilessly with comments like "half day then?", etc. During the final bars of "Walk On" we nobly struggled through and raced out to the back of the building to find... nobody at all. Feeling rather foolish we went back inside to find out that the runner had been cancelled and no-one had told us...

Later that same day, we did finally leave to board our plane "Elevation Air". There's only one show in the next five day period - my only pressing ambition is to get a haircut. When you're on the road, some of life's simplest chores turn into epic feats of organisation. If the fates are less than entirely co-operative, tasks like doing your laundry or going to a post office present logistical challenges akin to scaling Everest. I did get to the post office during our days off in Atlanta, despite the stern warning from the hotel concierge that it was completely impossible to walk there. (True, I ended up walking down the hard shoulder of a freeway for half a mile, but did triumph eventually). The haircut eluded me though, the only option being the gentlemen's salon at the Ritz Carlton which, despite my life-long love affair with all things kitsch, was far too terrifying a concept to entertain seriously. Consequently I find myself "stuck in a hairstyle I can't get out of" and will have to survey the hairdressers of West Hollywood tomorrow. Maybe I should have gone with the Ritz after all...

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