29 November 2006
Show day, Saitama.
To compensate for having wagged school yesterday, I took the early bus out to the venue. This gig is essentially an arena, being indoors and only holding about 19,000 people. However, its very high and wide so to avoid having to entirely recreate the indoor version of the Vertigo show, we opted for putting the outdoor, stadium show into this indoor venue. It all squeezed in, but only just, and let me tell you, it looked BIG. It looked really, really BIG. We were laughing at the absurdity of it, but it was clear that no-one would miss anything at this gig.
Traditionally, Japanese audiences have been very reserved. Going back to U2s first visit here playing small theatres on the War tour, where it was much akin to playing in a public library. The general M.O. was that you thrash through a rock song, then receive polite applause at the end. We were always sure that the Japanese audiences were having a great time, but just in their quiet and reserved way.
Those days are now clearly behind us. This was without doubt the best Japanese audience Ive ever witnessed - theyd put a lot of U.S. audiences to shame. We were all very surprised and just delighted. It was a very good show, including the world premiere of Window in the Skies, and the crowd were fantastic. They were loud, they sang, they cheered and waved, all the way up the to furthest seats, all the while getting a tan from the video screen. Thank you Tokyo!