Vertigo Leg 1: 2005, US

Aug
11
2009

'The Enterprise'

2
11 August 2009
'The Enterprise'
Zagreb to London.

The band headed back to Nice after last night's show, but I stayed the night in Zagreb in order to hitch a ride on the crew charter flight to London today. The flight time was 11am which, given that many of the crew finished load out at 6 or 7am, meant that there was an exceptionally high percentage of dark glasses present in the airport terminal. Only the promise of a full day off tomorrow was keeping body and soul together for most people.

As with Sweden, I seem to have managed to get through two days in this country without ever taking possession of any local currency. (In fact, I don’t even know what the local currency here is called). Mind you this isn't entirely surprising, given that the sole content of my visit has been airport-van-stadium-van-hotel-van-stadium-van-hotel-van-airport. My very first retail opportunity arrived upon arriving at the flight gate and seeing a great number of my tour mates gathered at an adjacent coffee bar. I had managed to miss breakfast entirely so was gagging for at least a cup of tea but realised I was penniless (or whatever they have here) and assumed they wouldn't be interested in a credit card for a single beverage. However, to my deep joy on the countertop by our touring personnel, was a pile of local currency available to anyone who needed it. The system in place was that anyone with spare local funds added them to the heap for the benefit of those like myself who were devoid of any other way of obtaining refreshment. How very touching - socialism in action! I took advantage of the scheme to buy myself a tea and a toasted sandwich, both of which were surprisingly good and kept the wolf from the door until we landed at London Stansted.

The tour buses were waiting at Stansted to take the crew to their hotel, but I hopped on the train as I was off for a flypast home. When you've been on tour for a while, a brief home visit can be a very strange and disorientating experience, but the lure of offloading laundry and finding some things to wear that I haven't been carrying around for two months proved irresistible.


Thursday 13th August 2009. London. Load in day.

Wembley stadium is one of the more iconic venues we are likely to play on this tour and, notwithstanding the fact that it has recently been demolished and rebuilt from the ground up, it definitely adds something to the event. I've managed to live an almost entirely sport-free existence and I can feel it, so it must be more impressive for others more that way inclined.

Team 360 had had a relatively straightforward day loading in, and we had arranged to take possession of the stage around 10pm in order to look at some new video elements on the screen. We've been exploring a way to continue the tour's relationship with the International Space Station, having done the live link from Barcelona. It was clear that it wasn't going to be possible to repeat that operation on a nightly basis and in any case even an idea as extraordinary as that would run out of gas after a while. We have another (non-show) link up with the space station next week so we came into Wembley to look at various ideas up on the big screen and see if we could kick the new idea to touch.

The whole band showed up and joined us around 10.30pm, so we all crammed into the upstairs control area of the mixer tower out in the field. Now dubbed 'The Enterprise', the upper level of the mix is built to accommodate six people and there about 20 of us in there, so it was a tad cosy. We looked at several different video pieces and played with them in various ways, leading into a lengthy discussion about how best to finish off the idea. We certainly have something good coming.

Once the discussions were over, most people left and my team and I took advantage of a rare moment with the entire show system in a quiet and dark stadium. I've mentioned before how, once the tour begins, this kind of quality time is almost non-existent, so we jumped on this moment. Managed to revitalise the lighting looks for Streets and re-do Mysterious Ways from scratch, which really needed to happen (OK, so most of the audience probably won't notice, but we care about this stuff...)

Related Topics

COMMENTS

2
radiumsoup
09 September, 2009
we care that you care!
Love this kind of stuff, Willie - thanks for striving to make the shows as good as they can be every night! Would be neat to see a behind-the-scenes video of this sort of thing, too!
dianep
07 September, 2009
That's great, Willie
We love that you care about this stuff. Don't ever stop! It made Cardiff even more magical.
Newer comments    1 - 2 of 2    Older comments

Current News

07 May, 2009
The opening night of the tour in Barcelona is only weeks away so no better time for a reminder of life on the road.
7
20 Dec, 2006
Rocko Reedy on the night his band opened up for U2.
20 Dec, 2006
How Come? Well, Tamara Kendall from the UK won the 'Hunt The Lyric' competition for those return flights and tickets ...
12 Dec, 2006
The one hundred and thirty first Vertigo show and it was one to remember. Report, photos.
11 Dec, 2006
Wonderful closing night with Pearl Jam in Hawaii and lots of surprise touches as Vertigo 05/06 comes to a close ...
06 Dec, 2006
The U2 support act you've never heard of. (Until Hawaii that is.)
05 Dec, 2006
New backstage shots before showtime in Tokyo.

Eric Clapton was at the final Tokyo show on Monday and chatted with Edge ...
04 Dec, 2006
Video of the band playing 'Window in the Skies' for Japanese TV at the weekend.

Current News

08 Dec, 2014
Additional dates confirmed in New York, Chicago, Boston, Montreal, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Berlin and Paris.
08 Dec, 2014
11 Films of Innocence airing for 24 hours ... plus 12th, special to U2.com subscribers.
6
08 Dec, 2014
Tickets for the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour on general sale this morning.
03 Dec, 2014
On the road in 2015, playing indoor arenas for the first time in a decade. Cities, dates, tickets, presales.
183
02 Dec, 2014
U2 Minus 1 hosted some pretty special guests to mark World AIDS Day.
17
01 Dec, 2014
Friends step in to save U2’s surprise World AIDS Day (RED) performance...
34
27 Nov, 2014
Live From the MTV EMA in Glasgow. Every Breaking Wave.
31
25 Nov, 2014
Rare live set from 1980, now on double vinyl and digitally remastered. Introducing our 2014/15 subscription offer.