Saturday, September 25, 2010

With my back to the wall….

Just sat on the plane for the 49 minute flight from Chicago to Cleveland while writing the following: Didn't do much at all yesterday, weather was hot and humid and we were all feeling the last few late nights catching u with us. I walked around Chicago for a couple of hours, went and had a look round the farmers market and managed t eventually convince a vendor to sell me just one single apple rather than a $5 bucket full! Walked back to the hotel and walked past the large eyeball that's in a small park just around the corner form the hotel. Looks just like something you would have seen on the PULSE tour!
Jen’s, Maria, Thomas and Lars were all in the room just looking on YouTube at videos of the show and playing a recording of the first nights show. It was only 1pm but the beer was already flowing and everyone was looking forward to seeing the show again after a day off. before i left from the USA i set a Justin TV account up, for those that don't know about it it’s free to set up and enables you to broadcast on the net from your laptops webcam Live! you get a link to send/post to people and anyone can click on the link and see what your laptop sees! I put the laptop on the top of the TV and logged into Justin TV, i posted the link on my facebook page and we had  6 or 7 viewers watching us hang out in the room within 5 minutes! Jens did a little dance for everyone and from what Lauren said she thinks his dance  was the cause of her internet going down at home! (there's now a link on the right of this page to my Justin TV channel )
Lars wasn't going to the show tonight as his sister was in town with her daughter and they were going to hang out and have dinner before Jens, Maria, Thomas and  i went to the show. Thomas and Maria decided to go have a snack as Thomas was not originally going to the show on Friday but thought he would save his money on a meal tonight and put it towards a cheap ticket so he was able to go to the show.
Jens and Lars outside Joe’s with Sarah
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The restaurant was nice, i mean REALY nice, all the waiters were dressed in black tie, all the tables had white table clothes and you could sense just from the general atmosphere that the food was going to be good! It was that good that Jens, Lars, Katherine, Sarah and Thomas had all been the night before and were more than happy to come back tonight!
I ordered the Fillet Mignon with a baked sweet potato. Kathrine ordered the sweet potato fries as well so i had some of those. The steak was done to perfection, exactly as i like it just pink in the middle but nice and crisp on the outside
I didn't have an appetizer as i wanted a dessert,  Kathrine did the same as well. Lars and Jens weren't going to have dessert but changed their mind, however when it arrived they had room for very little of it, i on the the other hand was not letting the best looking apple pie a la mode go to waste!  I have to say its one of THE best meals I've had.
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Lars, Katherine and Sarah left Jens and i outside the restaurant and Jens and i started to walk off the food by heading to the venue. After 1/2 mile Jens couldn't take it any more! we were both so full and flagged down a taxi to the Venue!
Chicago, 3rd show
We met up with Mark & Rusty who were outside will call, then Maria and Thomas arrived about 20 minutes later. We all headed in and hung around our seats chatting and taking in the atmosphere. We met up with a couple of people who we’d seen at the pre show meet ups and took our seats around 8:15. I was 10th row centre, and Jens and Thomas were about 8th row to the left, Maria was in one of the side rear blocks.
The first half just seemed so much tighter! the band seemed a lot more “gelled” together and i think its probably just that they are refining it all the time. I chatted with Dave K earlier in the day and he did say they were going in early for a sound check to straighten a couple of things out. You really do have to keep your eyes open the whole show when your sat within the first 15 or so rows. I totally missed the plane crashing into the wall tonight!!! my eyes must have been on the band or the other side as i cant remember seeing it at all!
Roger seems to be settling into his routine now, the first 2 or 3 shows he was all over the place, things were changing and he had no set thing as such but that seems to be coming together as all his little nuances have been the same for the last couple of nights. The first half of the show seems to fly by, i watched around me as invited guests and VIP’s did nothing but stood there on their iphones and Blackberry's texting whomever about whatever!! What a waste!!
Thomas, myself and mark before the show:               Myself with Gary on the left and Bob on the right!
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I’d been talking to Joe the other night about wanting to see the show from behind the wall so i decided tonight I'd do just that. The whole stage is an amazing setup and the area underneath the stage can be pretty much walked under!! this is to allow the amps and instruments that come up on the front of the stage to be set up. There's a huge black net that the crew pull over all the instruments and the band at the intermission this is to stop all the bricks falling on the band when the wall comes down, see first and second pics below:
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I was interested to see id the band were doing anything different during “Hey You”, they weren't! they pretty much stand as they do during the show when you can see them through the wall. There were a lot more crew on the stage whilst the wall is fully built plus Rogers official photographer was walking around onstage getting some shots as they were singing and playing. Dave and G E Smith come about half way up the wall and play acoustic guitars for Is There Anybody Out There, again see pics below:
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It was interesting to see that Roger does indeed actually sing Vera!! i was as sceptical as a lot of people as that when he moves from the hotel room that comes out of the wall almost instantly Vera starts, i made sure to look round the back as Roger came through the secret door in the side of the “hotel room” holding a mic and actually singing as he went down the stairs to the lower level of the stage before appearing around the front!
What i was really surprised at when i went up to the top of the wall at the side was just how uneven and not straight the wall was! As you can see from the pics, the bricks are looking a bit “used” now after a few shows.
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I was also surprised at how quick the moving platforms behind the wall moved up and down, these moved a lot faster than i expected and i was surprised to see Dave K going up the wall that quick for his solo for Comfy Numb. I did like looking at the back of the hall while the spotlight was behind Dave K and seeing his giant shadow on the crowd. along with seeing the spotlights over the crowd during several parts of the show.
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Playing on top of the wall:
The second half seemed to go faster than ever from behind the stage, i guess this was due to me watching totally different things than i normally do at the shows and having lots of new things to watch. The highlight was obviously the wall coming down at the end of the show, this looked great from behind it and to see the crew shaking the wall to make it sway before the automated rods that go through the middle of the bricks retract down and push the bricks either forward or backwards.
The wall coming down:
After the wall had come down and the band had performed in front of it they all make there way offstage and congregate at the rear of the stage while still playing their instruments, they all gather around, finish the track and then leave the venue.
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It was a great experience to see the show from the perspective of a lot of the crew and one that most people wont have the chance to see! i made the following panorama shot which is made up of three pictures stitched together with a cool bit of software, i was pretty pleased with how it cam out!
behind the wall

Click this link to see all the pictures from behind the wall Pictures from behind the wall

After the show, Jens, Maria, Thomas and i made our way to Buddy Guys legends club and guess who was there ? yup, Buddy himself!! he wasn't performing onstage and to be honest the band that was i didn't think were very good, i stayed for an hour before heading back to the hotel and packing my case ready for my flight tomorrow to Cleveland
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  1. Jackie told me to stop by and say hello! really enjoying your blog you are having too much fun!

  2. Hey Dude, thanks for sharing this "behind the scenes" perspective. Looks great. I like that shot of Dave's shadow.


  3. Si,

    Thanks for posting the ' Behind The Wall ' pics and telling your story from the same place. What an excellent way to Enjoy The Show!


  4. Thanks for sharing all of that with us dear, maybe you can finagle a night watching from the mixing area too? I bet that's an interesting view!
    Julie :)

  5. Si, fantastic!!!! Love the Chicago airport shot. I remember being there. Love the pic's from behind the wall!