Monday, November 22, 2010

Houston day two and show….

It was nice to wake up in the same bed for a second day! i had no plans at all today, no one to meet no one to see no where to be apart from be at the venue at 8:15pm to see the show. I was up and in the Gym by 10:30am, the hotel gym was fantastic and was probably the cleanest and most well equipped Gym I've been in while I've been out here in the US.
I Looked out of the window and the weather while wasn't clear and sunny there were breaks in the clouds and the temperature was in the low 70’s according to Google! There were a couple of people by the pool already as the treadmills in the Gym looked right over the pool area. After working out for 40 minutes i jumped straight in the pool, it was absolutely freezing! felt great though and i then headed over to one of the sun loungers, turned it round so it faced the sun which was now breaking through the clouds a lot and didn't move for about three hours! I did however keep waking myself up with the odd snore here and there, i looked round to see if anyone could here me and fortunately i was far enough away from the other people that were there.
I surfed online for a few hours in the afternoon and had a chat to a friend of mine John in Houston who was due to have gone to the show but had had to have surgery on his hand two days earlier and was stiff doped up on painkillers so he was unable to make the show. My friend Mark Strand had flown in for the show tonight and was also driving up to Dallas and then flying on to Denver for his last show there before going home to Wisconsin. He text me to see where i was and i asked him the best place to get a decent steak as i knew he’d been out there night before for one.
I ended up at a Sawgrass steakhouse after Marks recommendation, its was 5 miles down the road from me and 5 miles nearer to the venue that i was. I ordered the baked potato soup which i have to say wasn't good at all and i left most of it, it was covered in cheese and tasted awful to be honest! I then ordered a New York strip steak with deep fried crispy thin onions and a crab dressing on the steak. This was fantastic and the steak was cooked just how i like it, just pink in the middle without anything ripping out of it!
After dinner i drove the 4 miles down to the venue and parked up in a parking lot across the street from the venue for $10. 
Guys playing basket ball                     Cool sculptures outside venue            The reason i was in Houston!
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Just before i sat down to diner i had a call from Gabriele, a guy who posts on one of the Roger Waters message boards, he was on his way to the venue and we arranged to get in touch with each other when i got there. I parked the car and gave him a quick call, he was inline outside the venue waiting to see the merchandise. I met up with both him and his son and we had a chat about the show and where he lived etc etc he also told me that when i drove up to Dallas the next day that i must stop in a convenience store on the way up called Buc-ees and make i used the restroom and took my camera!! this caused a little concern and i did wonder what sort of a guy he thought i was! i had visions of a George Michael LA experience!!
Gabriele left to go put his merchandise purchases in his hotel room across the street and we agreed to meet up after the show. Mark arrived 5 minutes later, he had just parked up across the street. We stood outside the venue for 20 minutes and chatted about the shows and the projections before  making our way into the venue around 7pm.
I had a text message when i got in the venue it just said “ hi, were in the lobby where do you want to meet” a few times i forget about people who are coming to the shows who i know and i forget to add their phone numbers into my cell phone so i know a few of you have had texts from me after sending me a text saying “ who are you?” sorry about this,lol Anyway it turns out it was a friend of my friend Tony and Keith, they had suggested he get in touch to say hi so he did. I made the ten minute trek up to his seat in the high 400 section and chatted to Tom and his son for 10 minutes before making my way back down to the floor
Me outside the Houston venue                    Tom and myself.
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In 2000 i made the trip over from the UK to see Rogers shows in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Vegas. It was a 10 day road trip that i will never forget. At that time i knew only a few people at the shows and didn't know anyone from the band at all. It was the first time i actually got to meet Roger as well in Dallas. We waited outside the venue most of the afternoon and as the vans pulled up he opened the door and posed for pictures and signed a few things including the back of my T shirt. There were a couple of people there that i became friendly with while waiting outside the venue, Patrick from Dallas and Jeff from Dallas.
I didn't get Patricks e mail address so never really kept in touch with him however we actually bumped into each other at the Dark Side show in Dallas! i was walking around the venue to the entrance and there he was! We had a chat and it turned out he had moved away from Dallas and moved to Hawaii a few years earlier. Well as i was walking on the floor tonight guess who i bumped into!! Yup, Patrick! Was great to see him again and we chatted most of the night before the start of the show. He hadn't seen any of the wall shows and had stayed away from every website and picture and video of the show!! i told him he was in for a surprise and would be blown away by the show!
Kipp Lennon came past and i asked him if he wouldn't mind posing for a picture with myself and then with Patrick. I hadn't met Kipp as yet but id met all the other backing singers while been backstage at one point or another along the tour. he was more than willing to pose and we had a good chat for 5 or 10 minutes.
Myself and Kipp                                        Kipp and Patrick
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I was saying how cool it is that there are new things been added each night and he proceeded to tell us how Roger takes a DVD of the show back to the hotel with him each night, sits and watches it, takes notes then destroys the DVD and then implements changes at the following show!! he des this every night without fail! If you read the link below it tells you how they implement the changes in the projections and how these are rendered at the production studios and then sent out for the show the next day!


It was great to meet up with Patrick again, we exchanged cell numbers and said we would meet up in Dallas as well as maybe LA for the two shows that he is seeing.
Patrick was front row of the second section back, an ideal place to see his first show and i was 13th row right on the aisle between the centre and left section (i swear one night I'm gonna turn up to this seat and it’ll have my name on the back like a directors chair,lol). Kip had mentioned that Roger had again made some changes to tonight's show and i was eager to see what had changed. I totally missed the plane crashing and all the pyros at the end due to focusing on the projections and lighting.
I didn't notice much for the first few tracks  however i did notice some projections changes at the beginning of Young Lust and also some lighting changes during young Lust and Empty Spaces, kinda hard to explain them but they were there and they were apparent and did look better than at previous shows.
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There was yet another glitch in Dave's guitar at the beginning of Young Lust, not as bad as last night where it cut out completely for 5 seconds but it was a glitch and it was clearly audible.
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The band seemed real tight tonight, all the endings of the songs were flawless each member of the band played the last note dead on time, i know when i spoke to Dave a few shows back we were talking about the click track and how sometimes its actually difficult to go by as some of the band play slightly slower (Snowy) and some of the band tend to be slightly ahead (Dave and Jon) i guess tonight they were all dead on and this certainly showed.
Got a few nice shot of the flashing projections tonight, a couple of different ones. Still cant seem to get the Toyota logo or the Mercedes Symbols that flash up though.
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At intermission i went back and saw Patrick for 5 minutes and then took my seat again and read some of the Fallen Loved ones on the wall. The intermission seems to go a lot quicker after they cut it down to 20 minutes and it always amazes me that even though they have an announcement over the PA telling everyone there's five minutes to go there hundreds of people still walking around at the beginning of Hey You!
Patrick and i looking a little stunned at intermission
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One thing i haven't mentioned yet is the crowd, they were bad, i mean REAL bad, they sat down the whole time, there was no real interaction or any real cheering just a few appreciative claps and that was it! Obviously they stayed seated for Hey You, if an audience that stands the whole show stay seated for this then Houston was certainly gonna do that!
Hey You, ITAOT, Nobody Home, Vera all went by rather quick, didn't spot any changes at all in these tracks, i love the bit at the end of Nobody Home from  the wall soundtrack where the fighter pilot guy shouts “ where the hell are you Simon” always makes me smile.
Roger now has a metal tube that holds his machine gun by his side during the second half! he still looks down at Robbie to pas it up to him but as also now added flashes of light on the wall behind as he fires the gun off, this looks great and again shows how things are changing each night.
Run Like Hell was fantastic and once again the new graphic was used and i managed to capture it on video tonight.Roger again took his Machine gun and shot down the graphic.
They've also started using the flags at the top of the wall  for the last 5 or 6 shows and this works really well, they have a fan at the end of the wall behind it which blows the flags and keeps the motion going on them.
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The wall came down ok tonight, nothing really special but the one thing it did do was get the crowd on their feet!! there were a few people on their feet for Run Like Hell and Waiting For The Worms but nowhere near as many as there is at most of the shows.
Wall falling in Houston
All in all a great gig with the exception of the crowd been pretty laid back. I was due to meet up with Gabriele after the show however my cell phone had run out of battery and i was driving up to Dallas early the next day so headed straight back to my hotel after the show.

Album with all the pics below :

4 comments:

  1. It's really wonderful to know Roger is committed to making the show the best it can be, that it's a dynamic and evolving situation, like Jon J. said, "a work in progress."

    And how nice of Kipp to hang out for a bit; you just need a pic with Pat and you'll have a complete Lennon set!

    Julie :)

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  2. I have to be honest with you, as a huge Roger Waters fan and an attendee of the show, I am put off by your trashing of the local audience.

    The group with whom I attended the show, lifelong and knowledgable Waters fans all, agreed that this differed from a garden variety rock concert in that the presentation and feel were much more theatrical. As such, I though the crowd was appropriately reverent during the performance. By the same token, they weren't lacking at all in exuberance in their expression of appreciation between numbers and when Roger was addressing them directly.

    Frankly, I'm not sure how you could characterize the cheering as simply a "few appreciative claps and that was it." I think you've missed an opportunity to draw comparisons and contrasts between the different types of crowds you've seen. The Houston audience may have received the show differently than others, but I found the response to be vibrant and enthusiastic and completely different than your characterization.

    Perhaps Roger makes the comment about "feeling so close to you guys" at every show. But somehow I don't think he'd have said it in Houston if he wasn't feeling it.

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  3. A lot of what i feel at the shows is down to where im sat to be honest, but also to what people in other cities have been like and compared to other cities both Houston and Dallas were very, VERY reserved!

    Im sure there are groups of fans and pockets of people around the aucience that ARE apreciative a lot more than most but in a stadium with nearly 18,000 people you can usually tell what the crowd are like by seeing what the majoriity of people are like.

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  4. I also attended the Houston show and found the audience to be very into the show. From up in the second level seats, you could clearly hear when the crowd was singing along and cheering.

    Having attended other concerts in Houston and Dallas, I will agree that people were a little more reserved and stayed in their seats, but I actually found this refreshing. The folks seated around me were definitely into the show as we heard plenty of commentary between songs and during intermission. It was definitely in my top 5 concert experiences.

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