U2360° TOUR Leg 3: 2011


'Two 'Meatheads' Going Home'

06 August 2010
'Two 'Meatheads' Going Home'
Turin.  Show day.

First show day at last and, all things considered, it was relatively straightforward.  Down at the stadium before doors open there was an absolute media scrum going on, largely from the countries we will be visiting over the next month or so. I did a couple of interviews with TV crews from Turkey and Russia.  The Russian crew asked very nicely, so I took them under the stage. The first thing you come to in 'underworld' is a row of sound consoles which take care of the onstage sound for the band ('monitors').  The be-headphoned monitor engineers were doing their line checks in a state of complete calm, which must not have looked sufficiently exciting to our Russian TV presenter, as she announced deadpan to the group of guys: 'Could you please pretend you are working?'.  I'd say we€™ll get plenty of mileage out of that.

The rest of the day consisted of getting back into the 'show day' routine.  It will be second nature in a week or two but today I had to think about every step.  Set lists, final tweaks, pep-talks, encouragements, remembering to have dinner, heading to front-of-house.

It was a pretty great show for an opening night so we can breathe a sigh of relief and move on. I was happy with the new show elements (particularly the two 'Meatheads' in their flying saucer who appear at intermission whistling 'Where the Streets Have No Name') and there was a solid first airing of the new songs.

I didn€™t do the 'runner' to the plane with everyone else as Smasher has brought his own vehicle.  Given that there's no water between here and Belgium, he decided to bring his little van which will be very handy as we're hubbing out of Nice for the next while.  It's only a three-hour drive from Turin, but I thought it better that Smasher didn't drive alone after the gig, and besides, it would be a bit of an adventure.

Once the show was over we didn't linger too long before setting off on the drive.  The vehicle is a little two-seater van so I felt like we were delivering pizza.  We got through the gig traffic, out of the city of Turin, onto the freeway and into the darkness.  Our conversation fell quiet as we sped along, thinking over the gig we'd just experienced and I realised in a moment that we were in fact the two 'Meatheads' going home from the gig in our little craft. I didn't say anything but just started whistling 'Where the Streets Have No Name' and Smasher started laughing so hard he almost crashed the van.

We drove for a couple of hours before stopping for fuel and a snack at a roadside gas station.  The place was in the middle of nowhere, just a regular, tiny petrol station at 2am, but they not only had an espresso bar with barista, but also a sandwich counter with a man making fresh panini.  This was a joy and naturally we took advantage of the situation but it also brought a wave of despair for my own nation, which seems to have given up on feeling such food rituals are at all important.  Even the making of a cup of tea (which, if properly undertaken, is a task of comparable complexity to making an espresso) has been relegated to the throwaway process of sticking a bag in a cup.  The Kiwis still have it down - you can barely get a cup of tea in New Zealand that doesn't involve teapots, hot water jugs, saucers and strainers, etc but the Brits seem to have given up entirely.

We docked the flying saucer in Nice at about 3am and joined the rest of the touring party on the roof of the hotel for a nightcap.  They'd only got there about half an hour earlier, which made us feel good.  I'd say that we'll sleep well tonight.

Related Topics


06 September, 2010
Earth to meatheadmobile
Thank you for sharing all this with us down here.
05 September, 2010
Willie, that line about you and Smasher being the Meatheads deserves the Oscar for best picture!
22 August, 2010
Hahaha, so true. Che cavolo!!!
22 August, 2010
IN orbit
That entry painted a great picture. Thanks for letting us hitch hikers in the galaxy ride in the back seat Meathead.
Newer comments    1 - 4 of 4    Older comments

Current News

16 Apr, 2013
We've got winners in our #U2FTGU competition.
11 Mar, 2013
Photos and clips 'from the ground up' arriving every day. Love your work...
18 Feb, 2013
Ever made anything From The Ground Up? (See what we did there?) Check out our latest competition.
29 Jan, 2013
Those five bonus downloads when you subscribe to U2.com? All you need to know.
18 Dec, 2012
It opens with Breathe and closes with "40" - but what are the other thirteen tracks on Edge's Picks?
15 Nov, 2012
Fifteen tracks selected by The Edge... but what are they?
14 Nov, 2012
'From The Ground Up' is the inside story of U2360° and in this exclusive extract we go backstage with Adam.
27 Jun, 2012
Saturday marks three years since U2360 took off - we're hosting 'U22 Day' to celebrate.

Current News

25 Feb, 2015
'Every Breaking Wave', Studio Exclusive From ‘Songs Of Innocence’ Acoustic Sessions.
23 Feb, 2015
Premiere: 'Every Breaking Wave' - the video.
12 Feb, 2015
Introducing Aoife McArdle’s Every Breaking Wave: 'a short film based on the U2 song of the same name'
12 Feb, 2015
Fourth night confirmed for iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE in Barcelona.
04 Feb, 2015
Each member of the band  is celebrating the unique relationship between sons and fathers in a new book.
03 Feb, 2015
A seventh night in New York and a fifth night in Chicago - more iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE dates.
02 Feb, 2015
A fifth show in London and a third in Barcelona have been added to this year's iNNOCENCE & eXPERIENCE Tour.
27 Jan, 2015
'Get out of the conscious mind...' Edge on creativity with Feedback Kitchen's Mario Batali.