09 September 2009
Time To Pack Our Bags Wednesday 9th September 2009. London - Chicago.
A fortnight later it's time to pack our bags and get back on the bus. I've had a good break - two weeks is a nice length of time as it's long enough to actually slow down a little, but not so long that you lose momentum irreparably.
It was a fairly uneventful flight from London Heathrow to Chicago O'Hare. In the boarding queue I met Miketta and Bruno from the tour team so on the bus out to the plane we swapped stories of 'what I did on my summer holiday'.
I managed to get a little work done on the flight and watched 'The Hangover' which I wasn't sure would be my kind of movie but, when trapped on an aeroplane for hours, it's more about distraction than entertainment. The film turned out to be absolutely hilarious and vaguely reminiscent of many on-tour mornings-after, albeit usually without a tiger in the bathroom (though I do recall once waking up in Paris, to find a luggage trolley in my hotel room stacked high with the master tapes of the Tin Machine album and wearing Hunt Sales' wedding ring.)
On arrival, the Chicago evening was surprisingly warm and by the time we rolled up at the Hotel Fabulous it was coming on to dusk. It's easy to forget how much further south the bulk of the USA is than Europe and consequently how much earlier it gets dark. This means that all the shows on this run will begin in darkness. For a U2 show it doesn't hurt too much to open in daylight (and sometimes can provide a huge scene-change for free, as twilight envelops the stadium) but given the option I'll take a dark start every time.
Spending an hour and a half in the world's slowest-moving immigration queue at the airport had taken it out of us, so we were all a little fried and opted for a quiet night. I love this hotel, with its views of Lake Michigan and the high-rise Chicago skyline, so it was fine to stay in. I thought about going into the stadium to see how the team was getting on. I didn’t go, but at least I thought about it.