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Reference for articles on U2's Turin rehearsals

This article is a sequel to our reference to the Barcelona rehearsals last year. U2 did not rehearse for as long at Stadio Olimpico in Turin as they did in Barcelona, and a considerable degree of mystery and uncertainty surrounded acitivty in Turin prior to Sunday, 1 August 2010. At the end of it all, however, the activity proved to be fairly substantial, with a few surprises for fans.

The articles from 21/07 to 28/07 (which constitute part 1 of this article) do not cover any musical activity, just the assembly of the stage, uncertainty about when U2 would arrive, and other associated goings-on in Turin. If you are only interested in the music played in Turin, skip down to part 2, covering 29/07 to 05/08.

Part 1, or "Where is U2?": Stage assembly, lighting tests, and rumours

21/07: The first trucks carrying the stage arrive in Turin, but nothing much else - this is an introductory piece more than anything else. At this stage, U2 were rumoured (incorrectly, as it happened) to begin rehearsals as early as Monday, 26/07.

22/07: First photos from Turin of work commencing on stage assembly.

23/07: Cranes move into Stadio Olimpico to help assemble the stage; the concert promoter and city officials lock horns.

24/07: Construction continues apace on the Claw and more photos are posted online. Rumours of rehearsals beginning as soon as 26/07 are unchanged at this stage.

25/07: Not much happens besides work on stage construction. Most of this article is given over to new album and tour rumours.

26/07: U2 don't begin rehearsals, but the stage is nearly ready. Now rumours suggest that rehearsals will begin later in the week, possibly as soon as 27/07. U2 are reported to have been arriving that day, but this later transpires to be false.

27/07 afternoon: Spire is fitted to the Claw. The stage may not be ready, however, leading to doubts about the rumour that rehearsals could begin that evening.

27/07 night: Stage is lit up for the first time. Reports that U2 had arrived in Italy on Monday are proven false; now they are rumoured to arrive on Thursday 29/07.

28/08: More light tests, and the first sound tests. This was not U2 as some initial reports claimed; it was just the crew testing the PA. Photos show the stage is now completely assembled.

Part 2, or "Where is Bono?": Sound tests begin, more rumours, and finally Bono arrives

29/07 morning: The first soundcheck takes place, but it is likely the crew. This is the only time Breathe and No Line On The Horizon are heard during rehearsals.

29/07 night: Some of U2 have been sighted in Turin by fans, but nobody knows where Bono is. Lighting tests take place well into the night.

30/07: More soundchecking, again probably by the crew. Pride is heard for the only time during rehearsals; an inauthentic recording of it circulates online. Seemingly authentic video of the Breathe soundcheck is also posted. (There was an earlier afternoon update that was superseded by the night article.)

31/07: The mystery of Bono's whereabouts thickens. Meanwhile, more soundchecks take place in Turin, possibly by the techs or possibly involving some members of U2. Bad is heard for the only time during rehearsals.

01/08: Full band rehearsals begin. Bono finally arrives! The big surprises are that U2 rehearse Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, a new song (identified by prominent lyric about "the flowering rose of Glastonbury"), and Miss Sarajevo. Gone's intro may have been rehearsed. New Year's Day is rehearsed for the only time.

02/08: Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World is rehearsed for the only time, but it is rehearsed extensively. A second new song is rehearsed, identifiable by prominent lyric "I can't wait any longer for your love", and the new Glastonbury song is rehearsed again. The riffs of Unknown Caller and Gloria feature in a midday soundcheck probably by Dallas Schoo; they appear in no other rehearsals. In the evening, the band rehearse what appears to be the first half of a full concert setlist.

03/08: U2 seem to pick up where they left off the previous day and rehearse the second half of a full concert setlist. A new intro is rehearsed in place of Soon, the 2009 concert intro. In a separate article, recordings of the two new songs from 02/08 is posted.

04/08: The only day a full setlist is rehearsed. This article also features audio of the new intro.

05/08: Final rehearsals take place. This includes the only rehearsal of Ultra Violet in Turin. After rehearsals, U2 deliver pizza to fans outside; this is covered in a separate article that includes a recording of the Glastonbury song being rehearsed on 05/08, and it has noticeably changed from the earlier recording. Meanwhile, we publish the most evil setlist article ever written.

In conclusion, like last year, both Matthias (webmaster) and myself (Ax the setlistorian) would like to extend our sincere thanks to everybody in the U2 fan community who has reported from the venue or otherwise offered assistance. It is impossible to thank everybody personally, but we are especially grateful to Italian-language websites U2Italia and U2Place. Although rehearsals were shorter than last year, the amount of rumours and counter-rumours made this year perhaps more of a challenge to report. As always, however, responsibility lies solely with me for mistakes, errors, misrepresentations, and bleary-eyed typos made early in the morning, not with our informants, who were as fantastic and generous as last year's.

Now it's time for U2 to get back on the road for the first time in over nine months. Joining them at most concerts will be Matthias, camera in hand like last year, so look out for more of his fantastic footage. Unfortunately, I cannot be in Europe this year, but I will be here in Melbourne, anchoring the ship and keeping the site in order and up to date. We both hope you enjoy our coverage.


Posted on by Axver


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