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Just watched a U2 concert....

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4,109
From Wikipedia referencing the Bill Flanagan book "U2 At the End of the World" (writer when he accompanied U2 on the ZooTV tour)
Yes...still not that uncommon to have someone on big tours that's either a dedicated understudy that knows the full set or a road crew member that pitches in from off stage on a song or two (instrument and/or backing vocals) to fill things out. Also, things happen on tour. A "name pro" friend told me that one of things he always did when he was up and coming (and now looks for in hiring support bands) is to learn and know the headliner's material. As said friend says, "you're always just one bad lunch, family emergency, or case of the flu with a band member from you being onstage". If I remember correctly, Adam Clayton's tech played at least one full show in his place on an Australian date several years ago. Two quick examples:

* Andy Summers used and credited an "understudy" who sat onstage but out of view behind his amps from at least the Zenyatta tour on. Sting more often than not has counted on his bass tech to walk on stage and finish "Walking on the moon" while he leads the crowd in a eeee-yo-yo-yo chant.

* I know someone that got hired on one of Bowie's tours in the 90s that was primarily TV and radio appearances. Typical gig was 4-5 songs with some full length open to the public gigs. Bowie asked him to initially learn 45 songs for the tour and then asked him to learn an additional 40 while on tour. Said person said that while he quickly knew he wasn't going to fit in with Bowie's future direction, Bowie's ask made it apparent that he thought enough about said person's skills to want him as "a potential insurance policy" if and when "the pretty things have gone to hell".
 

EpicEsquire

Member
Messages
2,333
Yes...still not that uncommon to have someone on big tours that's either a dedicated understudy that knows the full set or a road crew member that pitches in from off stage on a song or two (instrument and/or backing vocals) to fill things out. Also, things happen on tour. A "name pro" friend told me that one of things he always did when he was up and coming (and now looks for in hiring support bands) is to learn and know the headliner's material. As said friend says, "you're always just one bad lunch, family emergency, or case of the flu with a band member from you being onstage". If I remember correctly, Adam Clayton's tech played at least one full show in his place on an Australian date several years ago. Two quick examples:

* Andy Summers used and credited an "understudy" who sat onstage but out of view behind his amps from at least the Zenyatta tour on. Sting more often than not has counted on his bass tech to walk on stage and finish "Walking on the moon" while he leads the crowd in a eeee-yo-yo-yo chant.

* I know someone that got hired on one of Bowie's tours in the 90s that was primarily TV and radio appearances. Typical gig was 4-5 songs with some full length open to the public gigs. Bowie asked him to initially learn 45 songs for the tour and then asked him to learn an additional 40 while on tour. Said person said that while he quickly knew he wasn't going to fit in with Bowie's future direction, Bowie's ask made it apparent that he thought enough about said person's skills to want him as "a potential insurance policy" if and when "the pretty things have gone to hell".
Yes Adam Clayton's tech played the show the night before U2 filmed their ZooTV Down Under concert -- Clayton was drunk as a skunk (before becoming sober) and could not play - his bass tech named Stuart played and they dubbed that show "Stu-ropa" (a play on their album Zooropa)
 




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