This past Wednesday April 27th, a friend was checking on the U2 website (or a fansite rather) and read that the band was going to be doing a music video shoot in our city's arena that very afternoon! He told me that the first 4,000 people to get to the arena and obtain a wristband from the security, starting from 3pm onwards...they can get in and take part of the filming! I got this notice at 3:15pm and spontaneously/quickly decided that I should get my butt to downtown and try to get in!
Lo and behold...20minutes later...I was a proud wearer of a wristband!!
Unfortunately my friend, a huge U2 fan moreso than me!, wasn't able to attend because he was at work and didn't get off till 5pm -- which was the entry time to the arena. Although I tried calling everyone that I know who might be interested...but they couldn't go, or they didn't pick up -- thus I went to this thingy by myself. I actually didn't really care if I was alone. (PS - one friend did want to go, but how am i supposed to know that she was interested?! whoops. guess I should've called..)
With the people that were lining up around me... I got a chance to talk to them and become friends! Now I'm not lonely anymore, nor was I going into the filming without being bored (in terms of during breaks).
The time I got to the arena was about 3:45pm and I started lining up. There were about a couple hundred people in front of me already. And since we won't be going in until 5pm... I was like "okay, that's not too bad". BUT!!!!
Another lo and behold, knowing when it comes to events like these, we ended up waiting in line till 6:30pm! So during that 2hrs 45mins of standing in the blazing sun, we were complaining a bit about the lack of water/food. 80% can be my fault because I didn't bother walking elsewhere to get food and drink .
Throughout that time, I was making good conversations with my newfound friends...where one of the gals was actually a same high-school-but-different-year graduate. I was like "woohoo! someone that I kind of remember". We were also told that we will all be getting an assigned seat, and for those lucky randoms... they will get a special yellow wristband to join an inner mosh pit of U2's stage. If you know U2 concerts, pretty much all their stages have an extended circular track coming out into the audience....so in that "little pit" of where the track circles around...those special wristbanded people will stand there at some point in the music video.
Eventually at 6:30pm the lineup started to move, people's bags were being checked and all electronic devices (including my cellphone) were being stored with security. I enter in with 3 (out of 6) of my new friends into the section where our tickets directed us. Of course everyone's ticket were in one of the sections closest to the side of the stage... since that's how U2 wanted it. I was in row 15, yet due to many more seats being free... I migrated to row 12. This was pretty dang close!! LoL.
A cool thing about my section was that I was apart of the Air Canada club seats which meant that the seats were wider & comfier! not that it really matter much..but still! =P I love these seats and they are always one of the most expensive during hockey games...
Ok...after many random claps & cheers and the stage manager telling us what to do...the band comes onstage and eventually we begin our 1st shot of the video. Not sure what time this was.
Luckily each shot is the entire song itself... so we didn't need to stop & go, cut, etc.
Oh yes, did I tell you the song we were doing was called City of Blinding Lights? This is the 4th single that is to be released from their How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb cd. Cool stuffs!
Anyways with their awesome lighting effects, and awesome intros... all of us were jumping/shouting/screaming/singing and clapping along to the song, to show our "enthusiasm". Hahahaha!
So after that first shot... we did another shot before a small little break. Those 2 shots really only took about 25mins, and even before the break... Bono was entertaining us by talking & trying to make jokes. He also did a little hokey-pokey dance for us! Wahahah! which of course we all joined in and sang/danced as well! ;) *ahem* and Larry would like 'world peace' for his birthday, thank you very much. LOL!
After the break we did 2 more full shots before everyone were shifted to other positions in the arena. Mind you...during those two shots... although most of us were still happy-clappy and excited...you can tell that the energy was fading off a little bit. Hehe! =P
It's not because we were getting bored of listening to the song over-and-over, but the fact that it was about 9pm or later (it's been close to 6hours for most of us already since lining up), and also cause a lot of us were running on adrenaline and we didn't eat dinner (same for me!). Also felt bad for the band because they kept walking up and down those stupid stage stairs (which looks cramped btw)...but don't ask me why they kept doing that. Go figure.
La dee da..... so after those final 2 shots of the audience being on either side of the stage.... we started to migrate onto the floor.
As I've said... the yellow wristbanded people get to go into their little inner-mosh pit, while the rest of us where on the outer perimeter of the extended stage...and all the way back towards the sound system (filling the rest of the floor space). By the time everyone and everything was ready, and that took a good half hour+, we were ready to shoot for the 5th time.
Here is the most awesome thing that happened during this video shoot!!
*during the song intro, Bono would slowly make his way to his mike from the opposite end of the extended stage... but this time since everyone was on the floor... he came out from a very different spot!
I was actually sitting on the gate that surrounded the sound system & it's workers...and my friends & I were ready rock it all out when I noticed that Bono was making his entrance right beside me! Well a few feet away. Some people were running up to him...but of course the filming was already beginning so we can't do too much to distract the video. And I was actually a bit lazy to hop off the gate, because 1) no use..we were filming, and 2) getting back on the gate is tough stuff!
After that 5th and final time of shooting...U2 was so kind enough to do a mini concert for us and played 3 songs!! They did Vertigo, All Because of You, and Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own. We were all jumping/screaming/singing/clapping like mad-people while they were doing those songs! We were just having such a good 'ol time... it was sooo much fun!!!
Oh yes, the full-blown light effects that went with the songs.... plus the sound cranked up...that was even more fun!
During that last song... my 3 friends and I have migrated back to the seats where we came from and listened to the music from there =P It was soooooo gooood!!!! Oh yes (again)... my fave song from this new album is SYCMIOYO.
Eventually the band left the stage after much stalling (The Edge really likes to wave and walk away slooooowwwwllly), and everyone was beginning to leave the arena.
One thing I learned from being apart of this music video filming was that with the 3,300 people that they had...through all of us moving around throughout the arena (the sides and the floor)... the filmers are able to merge together both shots and combine to make it seem like there was A LOT of people watching them. Hehehe! I would not be surprised if I catch some people twice in both the side seating and floor shots! ;) And oh! I think they even purposely fill the arena with a lot of those (annoying) fog/smoke stuff inorder to cover the "empty" spots with no people. LoL!
Anyhow I am not sure when the people plan to broadcast this new video, but when it does.. I hope I can find myself! This was definitely one interesting and rare experience that will keep me satisfied for many years to come.... since I was not able to attend their actual 2 concerts in Vancouver. Booooo!!
Here are some photos. There are no photos of the inside since we weren't allowed and everyone's belongings were stored elsewhere.
(i'm not drunk! the lighting was just bad that my face looks really red)
(my lovely seat ticket. read carefully if you want to know the details written on it)
(okay, i'll help. it says "Sec 104/Row 15/Seat 105"...which if were my REAL concert seats..they are freaking excellent!)
I know this post has been super long... but I really wanted to share my experience with other people out there, esp. if they are U2 fans!! I am very, very thankful for such an opportunity! Hope the video will be out quickly =)
PS - The staging wasn't too bad...kinda cool in some ways.
The really cool thing is that on the circumference of the extended stage & their own stage...there are a lot of mini lights that will light up and go around really fast (blue/orange colours I believe).
As for their "backdrop"...it was like huge, sweeping black/white beaded curtains where some sort of animation is displayed when they play their songs. There's 5 in total, can be controlled to go up and down, and can go multi-coloured all at once. And yes..there were some cool yellow lights on the back portion of the stage (as well as moving ones), 5 blue ufo-like light thingies that go up and down which are hung above them, and then this one huge ufo-thingy (hung in the middle of arena) that carries the rest of the white spotlights.