'Comb Your Hair'

17 Mar 2005
With band rehearsals underway in Vancouver, Show Designer Willie Williams drops us the odd hint.

Willie, who has been working with U2 since the early 1980's, is also an unrivalled tour diarist and his behind-the-scenes take on life on the road will start appearing on U2.Com shortly.

His day job - designing the show - means he is pretty preoccupied at present. And the other problem is that he doesn't want to give the game away before showtime! All the same he took a few minutes out to drop us some hints and clues as to how it's all going.

How many crew are at work on the new show ?
Seventy five.

Is it going well so far ?
So far so good - band saw it all in one place for the first time yesterday and were very excited. Bono commented he's never heard the crew so excited about a production either, which is rare.

Will the show be very different from the last time ?
Yes and no.....

Can we expect more of Zoo TV, Popmart, or Elevation in the new show ?
I commented yesterday that the spirit of all three of these shows is very definitely present in the building.

Are there songs you are especially looking forward to having in the set ?
Yes yes yes. But I can't tell you what they are. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something bluesy...

Do the crew rehearse the set without the band ?

Is that odd ?
Perhaps, but its far less trouble.

Are there particular technological innovations that might surprise audiences ?
Yes. Anyone might end up being part of the show (even if you're in the back row) so wear something smart and comb your hair.

On a scale of one to ten, how nervous are you about it all coming together on time?
Knackered, yes, but nervous ? No, not really. It always comes together on time - it has to. Whatever we've got ready by 8.45pm on March 28th is what we go with. Besides, I can already sense that this show will grow as it goes along.

Does getting a U2 show together compare in any way with getting a show together for any other act ?
No. The combined energy of their vision, music, determination, visual intelligence, humour and ambition is something I haven't seen equalled
anywhere else.
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