Thursday, May 05, 2011
Its been nearly 10 years since I was last at the Globe arena. I saw the In The Flesh tour here in 2002 and will always remember the venue. It's very unique--the best way to describe it is as a huge golf ball! It's a perfect sphere both outside and inside!
The Globe arena, Stockholm
I took the metro to the venue and got off a couple of stops early to meet up with a facebook friend--Monika--and also say hi to Anders and Johan whom I met up with in Chicago, Milan, and a few other places in the US and Canada. We chatted for half an hour before I made my way to the venue to meet up with Kevin.
Had to take a picture of the window display in a shoe shop that I passed by on the walk to the metro station!
Kevin and I had decent seats tonight--20th row on the floor, slightly to the right of the stage. When I looked on the floor for my seat, the place was nearly empty. The show was set to start at 7:30, and it was nearly 7:00. Where was everyone? I said hi to Jon Joyce and wished him well for the show, then took my seat and people watched for 10 minutes.
Robbie and Pat came over for a chat for 10 minutes, and we started talking about the technical problems in Oslo. Robbie said that Roger took it all in stride and was so professional about it. I started to tell them how the Roger of “old days” used to act--ranting and raving about security and fireworks and minute details.
The guys headed off to get changed, and I wandered down to see Anders and Johan in front row centre thanks to the excellent Roger Waters pre-sale. I saw Dave K. wandering around, and he and I had a chat for 15 minutes before I headed back to my seat and he headed off saying he had somewhere to be. He was at The Wall gig--I wonder where he had to be? He should have watched it with Kevin and I--he would have seen his blonde Swedish fan club sat behind us!
It was two weeks since my last show, and Kevin complained it had been two days for him! As the Spartacus intro came on, I turned to Kevin and said “I feel like I'm back at home now. This is just like putting on a pair of old shoes. I've missed this so much the last two weeks.” During the intro now spotlights flash off into the crowd in time with the vocal track playing “I'm Spartacus.” Each time, it picks someone out in the crowd, and I think this works really well. It seems that the two guards bringing pink onstage has permanently replaced them throwing him on from the front--it's better because everyone can see what's going on!
I noticed what I think was a new graphic during Another Brick part 2. It could be that I just haven't noticed it before--that's to be expected with a show of this size, isn't it ? I also noticed that the words projected on the wall during Mother are now in different languages than before! I presume they must have started doing this over the last couple of shows--the ones I missed. The new regular, “No Fuckin' Way” writing in the native language, was projected on the left side of the wall. Roger finally changed the date when he talks about performing The Wall in London for the second time around--he now says it was in 1981, as he should!
As I said earlier, the venue is a perfect globe. While Trip can usually sort the sound out in most venues, I think this was the exception. There were a LOT of echoes bouncing back from the rear of the hall. If you turned your head so that one ear was towards the stage and one towards back, you could hear two voices, two guitars, two drums, double everything--all within only milliseconds of each other, but it was the first time it was audible at any of the shows I've been to on this tour. The quad sound was incredible, though, due to our location--I think we were right in the middle of the “sweet spot,” and I've never heard quad like it! the helicopter at the beginning of Another Brick sounded incredible.
Performance wise, it was incredible too. The band are becoming even tighter, if that’s possible, and even without attending the last 5 shows, I noticed an improvement from the last one I had seen in Poland!
Roger now sits on a chair onstage during One Of My Turns. He sits to sing most of it, then stands up, takes the chair in hand, and throws it across the stage when he’s done.
Intermission came and went, but then Hey You sounded different tonight. As soon as the vocals started, Kevin and I just looked at each other. Something wasn't right. Neither of us could figure out whose voice we heard singing! It just sounded ever so different for some reason. Towards the end of the song, it was clearly Roger's voice, but the first part didn't sound like Robbie or even Jon Carin. Very odd. I'll get to the bottom of it and let you know, though!
Roger's taken to “freezing” onstage in another part of the show now--at the end of Vera, he freezes for a good 30 seconds before singing Bring The Boys Back home. It's cool, but there's a fear it will be over done now!
For the whole show, the row behind us was a bevy of Swedish blonde models! (The Scandinavian branch of the Dave K. fan club--well, according to him!) I'd say at least a dozen of them, all with hospitality passes, were texting and facebooking away on their iPhones and Blackberrys throughout the show! Comfy Numb did grab their attention, though, and brought them (and everyone else) to their feet in awe! Whenever Robbie appeared on the wall, the girls would go crazy clapping and cheering and shouting to him! The crowd was very relaxed up to this point--everyone stayed sat in their seats through the the whole first and most of the second halves until then. During the first half, Roger tried to get the old “Thank you! No--thank YOU,” thing going, but it just didn't happen. He tried it twice then just gave up!
At the beginning of Run Like Hell and Waiting for the Worms, they are really pumping the “hammers, hammers” chanting through the rear quad speakers. Even this didn't get the crowd going much, although everyone looked to be having a great time--especially during Run Like Hell.
The wall came down at the end in spectacular fashion! The top three rows all fell forward, then the remaining rows teetered backwards, then forwards, but finally all fell forward in one big drop!
It was a fantastic show even with a few echoes due to the venue and a pretty laid back crowd--but an incredible CN solo by the only Dave deserving praise and glory for this tour! There were a couple of other nuances/changes that I noticed. I will continue to add them as I update!
* The wall was about 40 feet shorter at the show--only 36 bricks wide, as opposed to the normal 48.
Posted by Simon W at Thursday, May 05, 2011