There's currently much talk about basketball. The Chicago Bulls won last night in a series of the best of seven against the Washington Wizards. So what? comes the cry from the international rock community, but the interest in Vertigo-Land comes from more then just sports fever.We are about to play a week of dates in Chicago from May 7 - 12; there are four show days with two days off on the 8th and 11th. The shows are at the United Centre in Chicago, which is home of......the Chicago Bulls, so perhaps you can see where this is going.Rock tours in North America are booked around the availability of the sports facilities which make up a large portion of the venues. Those two "days off' in our schedule depend entirely on the United Centre not being used for basketball games. If suddenly the building is needed on those days then we could face a situation where we have to load in for the first show and load-out immediately afterwards, then load back in on the 9th for two shows and load-out the night of the 10th, then load back in on the morning of the 12th and out again after the show that same day. In short a very major drag, particularly as we were relying on the first day off to load in all the additional equipment required for the proposed Big Video Shoot on the 9th & 10th.It's widely known that I personally couldn't give a rat's ass about sporting events of any kind anywhere on this planet or any other. However, I can see the seriousness of this situation so have relied on the sporting knowledge of my colleagues to appraise me of the precise range of possible scenarios, which runs, I believe, as follows: If the Bulls win or lose on game six of this series, we won't have to load-out at all, which would be the ideal situation. If they win or lose in fewer than six games, we won't have to load-out after the first show (which at least prevents the video shoot from being plunged into crisis) but we will have to load-out after the third show because the second series games will begin sooner. In tandem with this, apparently we also have to care about what Miami are up to. If Miami goes the full seven games in this first series, it will push the start of the second series games back beyond our Chicago dates, meaning that we are homefree for the days off.
To cut to the chase, we're looking for a Bulls victory on precisely game six to keep the venue free and have our audience be happy with a local win, so I call upon the collective karma of the entire U2.Com community to send out positive vibes for this result. Those really keen on assisting us, can find the full game schedule at ChicagoBulls.com. Naturally we'll be keeping you posted on Chicago Day Off Developments as they unfold.
Meanwhile, back in the present, I spent my morning answering a flock of e.mail which had gathered in my in tray whilst I slept. It gave me a fairly typical selection of tasks to deal with, European show, Chicago video shoot, pending guests lists, etc.
Into the gig at 1pm where I was promptly dragged into a meeting withproduction manager Jake Berry to sort out the design of the carts for the followspot gallery for the outdoor show (try to stay awake here), then into the arena itself to carry on with the video shoot for 'City of Blinding Lights'. We spent three or four more hours doing run-throughs primarily for close ups, and all seemed to go well. It looked great on my little monitor at the mix position.
I spend some time pulling stills from my surveillance movies to send to Wired magazine, had my tea, then finally, to round off the day, did a big rock show.