Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US

Jun
22
2001

Show Day: New Jersey - Continental Airlines Arena, Show 2

22 June 2001
Show Day: New Jersey - Continental Airlines Arena, Show 2
I have a very early departure from the hotel tomorrow, so I did all my packing this morning. As things stand I could well be one of the USA's leading exporters of dirty laundry. The drive out to the venue-formerly-known-as-the-Meadowlands was brutal, being Friday afternoon traffic and all. Still nothing could dampen the enthusiasm in the air - half term is upon us, so spirits and silly jokes were high.

I received a mild reprimand from Polly Harvey, as at Madison Square Garden, in a fit of spontaneous creative lunacy I cut out a six foot long cardboard fish and waved it about in the mosh pit during her set in the song "Down By The Water". She burst out laughing, which was less than entirely appropriate during a song about (I think) somebody's wayward daughter who becomes a hooker and drowns herself. I don't think she was really cross, but it would perhaps be best not to repeat the exercise.

After dinner I was privileged to experience the most surreal moment of my year to date. I was making a cup of tea, grumbling to myself that I was having to utilise the tea-bag-in-polystyrene-cup method, the Limoges china having been packed away. Just as I was giving the bag that final squeeze and manoeuvering it onto a plastic spoon and into the rubbish bin by the doorway, I looked up and saw Bill Clinton, standing right there in the corridor just outside. Our eyes met momentarily then he beamed and pumped my arm warmly before moving on. 'Gobsmacked' doesn't even come close. Turns out he was just one name on a spectacular guest list. At various points during the show, Bono welcomed various guests when appropriate and I did wonder if the audience would eventually start to think he was just having them on - the Beastie Boys and two thirds of R.E.M. may have sounded believable, but when we got to Kofi Annan and William Jefferson Clinton plausibility might understandably begin to wane. It was probably just as well he didn't mention Caroline Kennedy. They were all there though, jammed onto the guest platform in front of me at the mix position, along with more secret service agents than you could shake a stick at. Bill and Chelsea Clinton stayed for the whole show. It was indescribably bizarre to look at this extraordinary man, with a face so absurdly familiar. It was hard to comprehend that this was happening live.

We had a lot of fun tonight with a few surprises thrown in. Danny Lanois made a guest appearance on a couple of songs and the band even played "Wild Honey" for the first time, closing this first leg of the Elevation Tour on a real high. Its been, in short, fantastic. Fifty shows without a single dud.

Are we feeling just a teeny bit proud of ourselves? You bet we are.

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

08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to U2.com subscribers.
6
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.
183
02 Dec, 2014
U2 Minus 1 hosted some pretty special guests to mark World AIDS Day.
17
01 Dec, 2014
Friends step in to save U2’s surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance...
34
27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
31
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.