Show day, Saitama.
After a leisurely breakfast I headed into the venue on an early shuttle to give myself some time to start sorting out my front-of-house world in preparation for the end of the tour. My personal junk filing system never quite recovered from the abrupt stop the tour made way back in February, so I felt it wise to give myself a fighting chance.
Amongst the crew, theres a definite smell of the stables beginning to appear in the air and a muted excitement is rising. Having four days in Hawaii before the next show is also something of a rarity which will allow us time to celebrate the end of the tour properly (though I do fear for the state of some of the crew by the time we get to showtime). We also set up a tour photo, with the entire touring party, band, crew, management, everybody, on the stage - very much akin to a school photo. The only absentee was Paul McGuinness who was stuck in traffic, but with doors-opening time approaching we had to go ahead without him. However, the very clever Japanese photographer whod been hired for the task took Pauls picture when he arrived and photoshopped him into the group shot - honestly, youd never know.
We finished the Tokyo run with another great show. I dont know whether its having had six months off, or being at the end of the tour, but the band are just on fire right now. Melbourne, Auckland, Tokyo - these have been some of the most effortlessly great U2 shows Ive ever seen. The architect Tadao Ando came to the show and had nothing but compliments, apparently, which is humbling.
Back at the hotel needless to say a few drinks were in the offing. I didnt stay up too late, but Ive a feeling there are many who did. Weve had a great week and well all be sad to move on.