01 September 2001
Show Day: Slane Castle, Show Two
Having set off from the Clarence at 1.12pm, Bruce and I pulled into the backstage compound at Slane at precisely 4.12pm. Bit of a brutal drive, the traffic being far worse this week than last. No matter, at least it wasn't raining and despite the blackest of skies it stayed dry all night.
The event of the afternoon involved football which is, apparently, a fairly popular sport in these parts. The Irish team was in a do-or-die qualifying World Cup match against Holland which it was generally expected they would lose. After Nelly Furtado's set there was a 45 minute break, during which the live coverage of the end of the match was relayed to the crowd via the stage video screens. The only goal of the match was scored by Ireland, so when the final whistle blew the place just about exploded. Women screamed, grown men cried, people were just beside themselves - it was hilarious to watch and of course sent the audience vibe into the stratosphere.
Everybody was in an outrageously good mood as a few of us gathered to watch the ever extraordinary Moby go through his paces. I spent an hour with Bono going over the proposed set list for the night (when a show is being filmed it is always helpful to make sure everyone's on the same page). We knew the early part of the show would be a little darker than a week ago, but it would still be light-ish when the band took the stage. Consequently, the decision was made to go out and blaze through six full tilt rock songs before we paused for breath. It worked wonderfully well and of course the punters lived it.
As I mentioned, we were filming the show tonight with Hamish Hamilton directing again, as he did in Boston. I was in the video truck for the show, rather than at the mix position, as this allows me to see all 16 camera shots at the same time and adjust the lighting as needed. I really had a great show and was very pleased to find that all looked as good as our long nights of programming had promised. The band was clearly having a great time too, which is all you can hope for on a night like this.
Being no fool, I opted to do the 'runner', leaving the site in the police convoy with the band vehicles. I was in the party van with several of my favourite female staff from the band party, being driven by a chap called John who turned out to be an excellent driver. He was absolutely not going to be left behind and we were back at the Clarence in less than 40 minutes. Before long, the hospitality room at the hotel was jumping. Moby and his band were present, Bob Geldoff, Roger Taylor, Brian Kennedy, and all Principle Girls in full swing. The night went on and on, as U2 last night parties are wont to do, moving to various venues along the way: Lillie's, The Kitchen, room 508, the Library. Great fun. We made it across the finishing line.