RTE 2FM’s Gerry Ryan spoke to Bono, The Edge and Paul McGuinness shortly after the band got off stage in San Diego. U2’s manager was scheduled to speak to the Irish DJ, but Bono and The Edge weren’t. When they heard McGuinness was about to do the interview they told their manager ‘we want to talk to Gerry’.
RTE have put the entire interview online. Listen to it in Real Audio, or continue reading. (Unable to record we interpreted our notes taken during the interview.)
McGuinness took the call, said it was their ‘best ever opening night’ then started to laugh because ‘a half naked man’ had entered his room. Bono took the phone and said that for Gerry Ryan he would go fully ‘nekkid’.
Bono seemed high on energy, a bit delirious, said it had gone ‘fantastic’. He gave a report in a Jack Charlton accent, using football jargon as if he were reporting on an Irish team game, something like ‘the team gave 110%’.
When Gerry Ryan asked how the show looked, Bono began to describe that the singer looked great and that he had come through his fat Elvis period!
When talking about the songs he said that ‘Streets’ had been great, and ‘Elevation’ was crap but that the crowd carried it for them. He commented that one the best things was seeing a newer younger crowd. ‘Very smart young people.’
Ryan asked The Edge if the band had been nervous for their first night, and what had gone through their heads. The Edge said they had been concentrating on what to remember, since there were so many details and so many last minute changes. The band had tried to work out a flow for the concert, and trying to figure out which songs would connect. But at the last rehearsal they did not like the setlist and so they rewrote it, making changes till late in the afternoon before the show. The Edge admitted this way of working was ‘a nightmare’ for the production people, the sound and light engineers and that they were taking a big chance.
Asked what he thought of the result, The Edge whole heartedly said it ‘turned out a strong running order’. Did he like it? ‘I really liked it. I had a great time and there were some really great surprises, little turns of the songs.’
Apparently, ‘Elevation’ had come out ‘arseways’ but ‘it was kinda cool’. Ryan and The Edge then discussed how everyone comes out feeling differently about the shows and whatever might work for some, would be ‘fucking great’ for the other. The Edge then apologised for swearing: ‘Oh sorry, can’t say that.’
Commenting on his bandmates, The Edge thought ‘Larry was amazing. Adam is in great form. Everyone is having a really good time.’ He then told the Irish listeners ‘we miss everyone back home, we can’t wait to show you all what we’ve been up to.’
Paul McGuiness said the band were in a remarkable good mood and that the concert was a ‘great success’, the band set high standards for themselves and since the rehearsals ‘tonight was the first time it all came together.
He seemed a little amused and in awe of the band, joking ‘I don’t understand why anyone would want to be a performer. It’s completely unnatural. I was very proud of them tonight, they are better than ever.’
(Thanks to PL for Bono’s part of the interview)