Elevation Leg 1: 2001, North America


Show day, Saitama.

30 November 2006
Show day, Saitama.
For the duration of our stay in Japan we have all been give local cell phones. It didnt take long to discover that these phones make video calls. Not the crappy Skype video, but actual Bladerunner-style clear video calls, cell phone to cell phone. Well, you can imagine - give a bucket of video phones to a bunch of roadies and watch the fun. Weve been doing group calls, seeing if we can create feedback, doing multi-camera shoots, making short documentary features, etc. We really shouldnt be allowed to have this much fun at someone elses expense.

At 1pm we marched next door for the latest recce at tv ashahi (stick!). There were piles of scaffolding everywhere, but it did seem that things were moving gradually in a positive direction. Bruce and I slipped away for lunch (sushi, for a change) and ended up chatting about the future of rock shows as we know them. Tokyo is a fantastic place to talk about the future, because the futures already here. The willingness of the Japanese to imagine and create is very infectious. They are also extremely logical, so many of the inventions seem obvious - so much so that often you cant imagine why they havent been invented before now.

Having become engrossed in our talk and our sushi, we missed the 3pm bus to the venue, so settled for the 4pm. Show times here are very early (7.30pm on stage with no opening act) so time was running short by the time we got to the gig. Bono asked if I could put a visual together for Window in the Skies, so I recycled the Aboriginal artwork originally made for Walk On in Australia. It worked very well, which was pleasing, but took me till show-time to finish, so I missed dinner. Consequently Sandy and Felix, our darling caterers, plated a meal up for me and delivered it to the mix position, so I could enjoy vegetarian shepherds pie during New Years Day. So thoughtful.

It was a second great show with equally ecstatic audience, so clearly last night wasnt a fluke - Japan has learned how to rock. Or maybe after 23 years U2 has finally broken in Japan. Either way, we are all enjoying the experience.

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