The David Byrne Journal
Mark E pointed out as we prepped for our show last night in Warsaw (at a not so big club/venue called StodoÅ‚a) that these undersized dates are in effect being subsidized by U2's world tour. The promoter of these dates, and of much of the U2 stadium tour, is Live Nation, the global conglomerate.
A venue like StodoÅ‚a could not possibly afford to pay for us, the catering, or even their local crew given the relatively small number of tickets to be sold here -- and it's not even an "exclusive" VIP-type venue. It's not like they can charge $200 a seat and make up their losses that way -- this is a standing room club... with a floor made of plywood. So in order to book our date, they must (we figure) be losing money now, then making it up with what they expect to earn on the upcoming U2 stadium dates.
Those stadium shows may possibly be the most extravagant and expensive (production-wise) ever: $40 million to build the stage and, having done the math, we estimate 200 semi trucks crisscrossing Europe for the duration. It could be professional envy speaking here, but it sure looks like, well, overkill, and just a wee bit out of balance given all the starving people in Africa and all. Or maybe it's the fact that we were booted off our Letterman spot so U2 could keep their exclusive week-long run that's making me less than charitable? Take your pick -- but thanks, guys!
Copyright Â© 2009 DAVID BYRNE / Todo Mundo Ltd.