POPMART Leg 5: 1998, Australia, Japan, South Africa

Dec
09
2006

Show day, Honolulu.

Vertigo show number 131. Or 132 if you count Live 8. 133 if you count the open rehearsal in Los Angeles. whichever number it is, its the last one.

I spent the morning packing at the hotel as I have been warned tomorrow could be problematic. The Honolulu marathon is on which involves closing the streets around our hotel and right through Waikiki from 4am. Our hotel had a mad sounding plan that persons wanting to leave would be taken (with their bags) in golf carts as far as the running route. When there was a break in the volume of runners, we would be ferried across the track to the other side where cars had access, to then take us to the airport. I was dubious to say the least, but reserved judgement till later.

Traffic going to the venue was absolutely brutal, which set the tone for the day. I am not sure if it was particularly highlighted for me, having just come from the land of politeness, but there was quite a rough atmosphere in the venue. Not aggressive exactly, but from security through to the mood of the crowd there was a slightly confrontational feeling in the air. Maybe it was the Mai Tais.

I spent the afternoon stuffing my workbox with all the things I couldnt face carrying home, so hopefully Ill see it again around the end of January when it comes off the freight boat. After that I made my way around the building wishing farewell to as many of the tour staff as possible - particularly the ones wholl be up to their necks in a load-out the minute the show is done. Pearl Jam opened which was a treat for the audience, who clearly appreciated them making the effort to come. Apparently its Pearl Jams last show for a while too, so with the end of the year upon us there was very much a feeling of closure.

To be completely honest I didnt really enjoy the U2 show that much. The house security appeared to be in something of a shambles and (possibly as a result) a tangible level of aggression surfaced, with a few scuffles in the crowd. By the time Id got from backstage to the mix position I was a little tweaked. To add to this, for the first few numbers there was what seemed to be an endless series of small, irritating technical problems - one of the video screens went out, the lighting desk started doing odd things with the strobes, etc. All the same I made a point of looking at the show, understanding that well never see this again. The big Vertgio op art swirls, the Julian Opie walking man all gone for good.

After the show I turned my mind to tomorrow and how to deal with the blanket street closures. By midnight I still hadnt heard anything from the band partys travel co-ordinator so took matters into my own hands. I had noticed that the crews travel guy had a very precise plan in place, so decided to jump ship and join them. A runner took me back to the retirement community where I checked out and drove to the crew hotel for the night. Ill spare you the details of the runner getting lost in the middle of the night and our driving round in circles forever, but I made it unscathed in the end.

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