Monday, October 18, 2010

Welcome to Canada!!

For some reason I'd had a bad nights sleep last night, i woke up every hour and looked at the clock and the night just seemed to go on for ever! I had a quick workout for 25 minutes in the Gym before i left my hotel around 9:30am, had to drive the 20 miles to Newark, drop the car off and check in for my flight to Ottawa.
View of New York from Newark airport          New York from the plane
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All went straight forward and i was checked in and in the airport lounge 90 minutes before i was due to fly. It was only an hours flight so wasn't going to be too bad, plus it was the same time zone in Ottawa as what i was leaving.
Flying over the giants stadium on game day!
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My flight was due in at 2:30 and Bob from Toronto was picking me up on my arrival, he told me to call him when id collected my bags and was through security.
I've been to Canada a few times before and four weeks ago when i got to Toronto i was pulled over by customs to open my case, they were fine and it took an extra 10 minutes to get through. This time however it wasn't so fine!! I cleared the passport control entry into Canada and was then sent to another immigration department. I was asked why i was coming to Ottawa and replied to see the Roger Waters show. He looked at me as though i was crazy. He then asked how many bags i had and told me to go collect my bag  from the carousel and then come back to him.
I returned five minutes later and was bombarded with a deluge of question including:
Why are you really here?
Who are you travelling with
How much money do you have in the bank!?
He kept trying to trip me up about things as well. After me telling him i was travelling alone, a few questions later he said “so the girl your travelling with is collecting her bags now?” i repeated that i was travelling alone and he just moved on to another question, he didnt eve look up at me. He then asked if i had even been in a bar fight! WTF!! anyway i was polite and replied No. He then said “ so you've never smashed a bottle over anyones head” jeez, what the hell! by this time i was statring to get  a little worried and my mouth began to go  all dry! i just kept thinking to myself I've done nothing wrong so have nothing to be worried about. I replied no to his question and he said “ oh it must be someone else” i said “ someone by the same name as me has done that ?” he then just looked at my passport picture and  said“ no, you just look like someone that  has” again I've no idea if he was messing with me to try trip me up or what, he just kept looking  at my passport and then at the computer screen and pushing buttons. He took my laptop out and had a good look through that before asking me to follow him into another room (at this point i was sure i was going to be hearing the snapping of rubber gloves and requested to touch my toes!! had that been the case i would happily gone straight back to the USA and missed the Canadian shows!) I was introduced to a female officer and told to open my case and she went through it with a fine tooth comb, again asking me all the same questions id been previously asked and more.  After searching through my dirty laundry and again looking in detail on my laptop  (even asking me what all the videos were on my desktop, im so glad i had caught up with all the Gossip Girl episodes and had delted them!) she walked me back to the first officer whom id seen before, had a few words with him in private, he then called me over. My face changed from worry to delight as i saw him pick up the rubber stamp and proceed to give me an entry stamp on my passport!
All the above took over an hour!! Bob had called me while i was going through the above and i hadn't answered my phone. I called Bob as i got through and he picked me up 30 minutes later, Bob told me about their problems after the Buffalo show which I'll type up in another entry soon.
Seriously, i just want to get into Montreal, do the shows and get back to the US!A As anyone knows that read my blog a few years ago, the last two times i was in Montreal were not that great, the first time with hotel, travel and GPS problems and the second time having my GPS stolen from Bobs car at the hotel!!
We drove over to the hotel in Ottawa and Maria called to say they were an hour away. She also said she was travelling in style in her friends 1969 convertible Mustang! i was really looking forward to seeing that, and Maria as well :) The girls reminded me of Thelma and Louise and said they had had a great drive over with the top down most of the way. I love my cars and before moving down to London  18 months ago i had had to seel my old classic 1974 Ford that i had had for twenty years and  that was based on the US Mustang!
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Bob and i checked in the hotel and twenty minutes later Zo arrived, he waited in the lobby for us for ten  minutes and as Bob and i came down another friend whom id not met before arrived, Brent and his wife Sophie. They had been reading my blog as he had seen a link to it on Echoes and had “known” me from the Echoes list for several years. Thelma and Louise  arrived 10 minutes later and we all made our way to the venue so Bob could pick up his tickets before driving over to Jack Astor's to try get somethgng to eat for dinner
Brent and I
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We tried Jack Asters and several other places but everyone that was going to the show had the same idea and the wait time for a table was anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes! it was 6pm by now so we made the decision to head back to the hotel (which incidentally has no restaurant or bar!) drop the cars off and then eat something when we get to the venue.
It was about 1.2 miles to the venue from the hotel and i rode with Thelma and Louise in the Mustang, they insisted on playing their iPod music in the car  but i couldn't understand why anyone would want a stereo in a car like that when that 351 V8 rumbling away under the hood was all the music i would need!
Me in the mustang                              Zo wandering along to the show.           Dave and Bob before the show
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The venue wasn't open yet so we all waited inline, 10 minutes later we were inside eating a slice of pizza! Brent and his wife hadn't seen the show yet and Brent had stayed away from any spoilers. We chatted a little about the show without giving anything away before he took his seats and Bob and i made our way down to the floor. Zo was 4th row centre tonight, Bob was 13th row dead centre, Brent and Sophie were off the floor on the first level towards the rear and Maria and Nancy were the same but the opposite side of the arena. I wandered around the floor a little taking in the atmosphere and saw Marias friend Casey whom we’d all met up with in Toronto a few weeks before, we had a quick chat, he introduced me to his son and we made plans where to meet after the show.
Talk about space cadet glow!
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For the first half of the show i sat on the first section from the stage up off the floor aright next to the wall and to the right side, right underneath where the plane comes over. I like it here, you get a good view of the stage and the wall, however you don't see Mr Screen at all.
Just how does pink apear onstage!!

The plane
First half of the show seemed to pass by so quickly tonight, i was watching the wall images a lot and as i was so close (approx 10 feet away) it was easy to not only see things up close by also spot things i hadn't seen before. The subway train only came through once during tonight's show and Bob came up with a great question and wondered if the train comes through say once if they are only playing one show in a town, twice for two shows and three times for three! something i will definitely watch out for at future shows, this is the sort of thing that Roger would indeed do!
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I headed over to see Maria at intermission to see how Nancy was enjoying the show and she was loving it! best show she had ever see.n she said, I then went over to see Brent and Sophie who both said the same, they were so impressed with it. I told them to watch out for the second half as it just gets better!
There was an empty seat next to Bob as the guy had moved out of it to be somewhere with his buddy so i took the seat and sat next to Bob for the second half.
It was the ideal place to see the show especially for the sound, even though it was 13th row it was slightly further back than it would have been in most venues and the spacing between the seat rows was a lot bigger, thus 13th row was more like probably 20th row at most shows, it was dead centreand the sound was probably the best id heard at any of the shows so far. The quad was just right, The stereo seperation was excellent,  the bass was right in your chest and the highs were right there in front of you.
Bob is a lot like me, he likes his sound to be spot on at the show and he likes to watch a show without chit chat and just enjoy it. We both stood there watching Dave K do Comfortably Numb and we both never took our eyes off him. At the end of Dave's solo we both turned to each other for a quick comment that it was good but there were just a couple of gaps towards the end of the solo that weren't filled right but Dave made up for it with the hammer ons at the end.
I didn't spot any major mistakes or technical problems at all. I have noticed the last couple of shows that they are pumping a lot more smoke out from behind the wall as the wall is about to fall down and Bob asked me after if it was normally this smokey. It wasn't the best “wall fall” of the tour but it also wasn't the worst. The ends of the wall kinda stayed where they were and didn't tumble down onto the seats at all. I hope they haven't stopped this after the audience getting covered by bricks  at the second Nassau show, it would be a great shame if they have!
After the show we headed to the bar in the venue which surprisingly stayed open well after the show till midnight!! It was great to chat with Brent and Sophie some more after the show and hear what they had to say about it. We all left the bar around 12:15, Thelma and Louise had to drive to their hotel which they had no idea where it was, Zo and his crew headed back to their hotel and Brent and Sophie headed out for their 20 minute drive home. Bob and i walked the mile or so to our hotel from the venue and got back around 12:45.
Sophie and Brent post show              Thelma and Louise post show and post drinks!
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View all the above and more pics below:

6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness I'm so sorry you had to go through that hassle...I can only imagine what the guy they thought you were had done!

    Julie :)

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  2. Thelma and Louise ... LOL!

    Great blog today, Si!! Love it!!!

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  3. It was also the night of the first international 'waiting' sing-a-long!

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  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAYMJnO9LBQ

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  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgZezt_ADEY

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  6. great pix and sounds like it was grand! I can't help thinking why it seems everyone else gets to met someone from the band but me. haha

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