10 November 1997
Tampa show - Rain dampens ardour.
Tampa show - Rain dampens ardour. Florida rainfall gives significant problems to the giant screen.
We commuted to Tampa to do the show there today. We play outdoors for the first time on this leg and of course it rains. To do November shows outdoors, even in Florida, certainly wasn't the brightest idea of the year.. The video screen suffers the most. Our screen is the first of its type in the world. We conceived it, designed it and built it, and are in effect touring a giant prototype. As with all such prototypes there is an element of experimentation and some risk involved. In almost all respects, the screen has performed far better than we dared hope. Its resolution, clarity, brightness, its ease of deployment, its colour and quite simply its beauty have way surpassed our expectations. Overall, there's no question of the magnitude of the screen's triumph, but some elements were bound to prove problematic, and the Achilles heel has been moisture. Oddly, one of its great benefits - the fact that the screen emits no heat and requires no cooling system like other video systems - makes the moisture problem worse, as heat would help the moisture evaporate. Consequently, it takes a lot of work from our Belgian screen crew to keep up the level of required maintenance. In the past they have even resorted to scaling the back of it with hair dryers to help it dry out. At this point in the tour, most of these problems are solved, but the rain / humidity combo of a day like today will still bring on Belgian headaches.