Tuesday, April 05, 2011
We heard the day before about a metro and public transport strike in Milan from 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. which would continue from 6 P.M. to midnight the day of the first show. This wouldn't be a problem if the venue were in the city centre like in Madrid or Barcelona, but it wasn't--it was a good 30-minute drive outside the city!
I had arranged for a pre-show meet up at a bar local to the hotel at around 5 P.M. We walked down to the bar around 5:30 and met up with Jens, Rainer, Judith, Nigel and several others who only just arrived earlier in the day. In the end about 18 of us all met up. John from Uncut magazine even made it there--he obviously saw the details on my blog and decided to come out and join us! Renate from Switzerland, Rocco from Milan, and Frank and Troy from Phoenix, AZ arrived a little later on.
Most people who know me know that for me this is the best part of seeing the shows and traveling around. I love chatting with everyone and enjoying a drink together. Sometimes it's the only chance we get to see each other--even though a lot of us still try to meet up away from Rogers shows.
Unfortunately, I used Kami's camera to take pictures at the meet up, and I could not upload them to my crashed computer, so I don't have any pictures of the meet up. I'll update the entry when I'm home and sorted out with a few pictures of us all.
After hanging out for a couple of hours and grabbing a bite to eat at a cafe bar around the corner, 12 of us met at our hotel at 7 P.M. I had booked three taxis earlier to take us to the venue. It was about a 45 minute and 50 Euro taxi ride due to the strike and the amount of traffic on the roads in Milan. A few of us had to pick tickets up at the box office, and a few of us had to try to find tickets outside the venue. Kevin did his magic and managed to secure a couple of tickets for those needing them, although it wasn't easy--tickets were scarce, and demand was certainly out weighing supply!
I had purchased front row tickets for Mark, Beth, Kim, and Kami through the pre-sale late last year--Joe had managed to pick up a ticket in the front row that my friend Thomas had for sale,and ended up sitting next to the girls. My friend Brett, his wife, and I sat 10th row, same as Kevin and Jens. Troy and Frank were 8th row centre, and the others were spread around the venue in various areas. I finally got to meet up with Alberto who runs the Italian "Hey You" magazine and who interviewed me for his magazine last month. There were a couple of other people who picked me out and came over to say hello--Mr. Pinky and Nino--it was great to finally meet you!
Myself and Alberto pre-show
What was unusual about the first night in Milan was floor was all seating, but the second night was all standing! I've always only seen standing shows in Milan, and the atmosphere has always been fantastic. It was totally different with everyone seated. Security told people to sit down if they started to stand--until masses of people stood up during Run Like Hell, then they didn't really have any control.
The crowd was VERY reserved for an Italian audience, and, to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I told Kim, Kami, and Joe that the show would be fantastic and that the atmosphere was electric! The show WAS fantastic, but the atmosphere lacking. (I spoke to Dave K. the night after. He said the band thought it was a little flat, and they never enjoy the shows where the audience are seated.)
The sound at the show was fantastic--there were very few mistakes that I noticed. It was great to sit next to Brett and his wife who had flown all the way over from Florida just to see the one show. It's a shame you guys didn't get to see the show the next night when it was a standing audience.
Beth's view from the front row
As the band walked offstage after playing Outside The Wall, Dave K. spotted us all, laughed, and threw a guitar pick out towards us. Kim managed to catch it, then he took a few more from his pocket and walked over to us before throwing them towards Kami, Mark, and Beth. They all grabbed one each, much to the smiles and amusement of Dave.
Group shot after the show Trust Dave!
After the show we all met up at the rear of the venue, had a couple of beers, and then headed out to try for a taxi back to the hotel. The transport strike was still on, so it was a nightmare trying to get a cab. We tried unsuccessfully for over an hour, and then we decided to walk to a nearby hotel and have them call one for us. Just as we set off walking, Thomas stopped a cab! Kami, Thomas, Zach, and I clambered in quickly and headed back to the hotel. It only cost us 28 Euros due to the lack of traffic at 1 A.M, too!
Arrived back at the hotel around 1:45 A.M. Kami and I wandered around for 20 minutes trying to find somewhere to eat, but everywhere was closed, so we gave up and ended up having a few Cheez-its . Thanks to Brett who had brought some over for me from the US!
Posted by Simon W at Tuesday, April 05, 2011