Top ten most intimidating college football stadiums
As the band plays the first ethereal chords and pounding bass drum that start the first song of the album, "Where the Streets Have No Name," the screen explodes with light: soaring black-and-white footage of the empty two-lanes of the American West. The diehards suddenly find themselves stuck in the front row of a movie theater—still not a bad spot, in this theater—while the people in the cheap seats (which are not cheap at all) experience a stunning panorama. Eric Geiger, the band's chief LED engineer, wearing all black and a headset over the top of his ball cap, is at the front of the audiovisual booth, at the edge of the singing and swaying people on the floor of the stadium, 40 yards back from the stage.
Rather than bask in the glow of the movie, he's scouring the 2,418-inch flat screen for anything that looks off.
The harness straps pull taut under his thighs, digging into legs not used to sitting. The band bursts into "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." The screen roars into life. She's wearing a maroon Eastpak backpack and carrying a lunch bag.
Less than a minute after getting the first radio call, he's ready to work. She has removed her lanyard, which is strung with badges and a BIC lighter, and taken her cigarettes out of her back pocket. "You've gotta get comfy if you're going to stay here all night," she says, dropping the lanyard and cigarettes in a plastic bowl.
Deschacht stretches both hands upward, squinting, to receive the frame that held the damaged panels.
He's expecting to be working for the next day and half straight. To get more people (or money), you've got to book more shows. The people at the barricades had to come to the stadium on two separate occasions to secure this spot. The people whose backs are lists of old U2 tour dates; the people draped in Irish flags. It fills the end zone and red zone of the north end of the field, blotting out entire sections of stands.They came to Met Life Stadium last night, when everything was barely set up—the spotlights yet to be tested, the sound mix yet to be perfected—just to get a number inscribed on their wrists in permanent marker. It's the most advanced touring screen in the world, built specifically for U2: 11.4 million pixels of almost unnerving 8K clarity.Jimmy certainly keeps mementos from all kinds of past gigs, including from U2's first American tour, when he worked their show at the Palladium, a legendary New York City venue. But like any job, once they're in it, it becomes a thing of discipline. The tone on the PA is deafening, but Jimmy and Rocko negotiate, unfazed. Jimmy's going to pull a few people from the show and call a few people in early. Today, another screen tech, Justin Welch, wears the harness, hanging through a hole of missing panels.
The cable was enough to get them through the show last night, but when they couldn't re-create the problem this afternoon, they decided to replace the panels with two of the 24 spares they take to every tour date.After all, they've been here five days in a row now. There are 12 departments of union guys—lighting, carpentry, sound, and on and on—and each wears a different color so they're easy to spot, especially during load-out, when 180 International Alliance people will be working. When Met Life was built—maybe eight miles from his house—Jimmy would still sometimes take gigs in New York City.