Here is a diary I kept for u2.com of that night...
At the final night on the Vertigo Tour, Rocko and the Devils – led by U2’s Stage Manager Rocko Reedy - got to open the show. Here’s the diary Rocko kept for U2.Com of a day he ‘took off his my stage manager hat and put on my rock star hat’.
A day in the life of Rocko
5:30 AM - Wake up from a dream that we played the first song and the crowd just stood there in silence. Jumped in the shower and went to the coffee place for a venti latte.
8:30 AM- Arrived at Aloha Stadium. U2 had done us the huge favor of sound checking the night before so we could get a sound check. Brought our van load of gear up on the 30 semi-trucks of gear that make up the U2 stage. Grabbed another cup of coffee and went to check out the sea-containers that we would load-out U2's equipment into after the show. It would be a long night from the look of the parking lot full of containers.
10:00 AM - Rocko and the Devils set their gear on stage at the same time our good friends from the Pearl Jam crew set up their stage stuff. With all their gear as well, it looked like we had a lot of stuff too. It looked cool!
11:00 AM - Rocko and the Devils start our sound check. It is the first time we all played together in 2 months, it was strange on the big stage, but the U2 crew helped us out, and it started to sound amazing.
12:00 Noon - Rocko and the Devils finish, and the Pearl Jam crew set the rest of the gear for their band's sound check. Between all 3 bands there is a lot of stuff up there. I take off my rock star hat and put on my stage manager hat. Jake Berry, my boss and my friend, takes off my stage manager hat and tells me to go be a rock star. This is killing me! This stage has been my home for 131 shows. I could (and have) walked it with my eyes closed. It was my hell and heaven. My best pet and my worst beast. I had not thought about the end of the tour yet. I went numb for a bit, then started to giggle uncontrollably.
3:00 PM - Pearl Jam come in for a sound check. The guys in the band are super cool, and they come up and say very nice things to us. It helps calm me down a bit.
4:00 PM - PJ finish and we reset Rocko and the Devils gear. I go out in the parking lot to meet family and get to chat with hundreds of U2 fans. Very nice people. Very strange they know my name.
6:30 PM - The house lights go out and we hit the stage! After the first song, the crowd applauds and screams wildly. This is very different from the dream I had this morning! I notice several of the REAL rock stars on the side watching us. OK, now I'm a little nervous.
6:45 PM No one has booed us yet, so I decide to go out on the catwalks, what an incredible feeling! Like watching a dream from outside our bodies! The crowd is full of incredible energy, and we soak it up like a sponge.
6:55 PM - People seem to like our music. I am flying on adrenaline, so we launch into The Ramones "I Wanna be Sedated". The whole place starts to pogo dance. We go into the stratosphere. I forget how tired and sore I am from my "day job" and leap 8 feet in the air and down into the pit for the last verse and chorus. Who the hell are these guys? Why are the audience screaming? How would you feel? No words can describe the feeling!
7:00 PM - WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU MAN! I put on my stage manager hat again and get back to work. OMG! It's the last show! Gotta get set lists! Gotta do set change! 2 sets of special guests on stage! House lights! Load out! Trucks, stagehands, forklifts!
6:00 AM the next morning - We finish load out and I head to the hotel. There is a marathon going on and I get within 500 feet of the hotel and I can't get through. I finally turn around and go to the airport and fall asleep in the parking lot of Starbucks.
10:00 AM - I finally get to the hotel. I fall into bed. To sleep... perchance to dream? Did this all really happen? So they tell me...
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