Saturday, March 10, 2012
A good friend of mine, Georg from Austria, had come over to Buenos Aires for the shows. My friend Mario from Peru had also arrived in the city for the shows tonight and tomorrow. I’d arranged with both of them to come to our apartment at 5 P.M. We were also joined by a local friend, Alex, whom I'd been chatting to on Facebook.
Mario arrived first. We hadn't seen each other in over ten years! The last time we met was at one of Roger's Wembley shows in 2002 at the pre-show meet up. Alex arrived next and it was great to finally meet face to face. He posts regularly on one of the Roger Waters forums, but we had kept in touch for the past few months via Facebook. Alex plays bass guitar in an excellent Floyd tribute band called Ummagumma and had seen Roger's Dark Side shows and a few others. Check out some of Alex’s band here: Ummagumma videos. George arrived 20 minutes later. Georg and I also first met in 2002 on the In The Flesh tour and had met up in various countries around the world to see shows.
We took the 20 minute walk to the bus stop to catch the number 15 bus to the stadium. On the way we paused to look at all the magazines emblazoned with Roger and "The Wall" at a news kiosk. Once on the bus, the traffic was far worse than it was on Wednesday, and it took us nearly an hour to get to the venue. Apparently, along with it being Friday, there was also a major transportation strike or protest of some sort. Again, the bus was full of fans.
Alex, Mario, and Kami on the bus Georg, myself, Mario, and Alex
After getting off the bus Alex waited outside for his girlfriend to arrive, and the rest of us headed into the supermarket to get some drinks and snacks. The service in BA is certainly not the quickest. There is no rush at all everywhere you go for anything! If you order food, then you usually have to wait a lot longer than normal. It's the same when you ask for the bill--you're lucky if it arrives quicker than your food did! It's a way off life here and takes a bit of getting used to. The supermarket was no different--it took us a good 20 minutes to pay for a bottle of soda and some snacks, and there was only one person in front of us!
We made our way back over to Alex and parted ways as he had to use a different entrance. Mario was 20th row dead centre tonight, and it was his first time seeing the show. He stayed away from a lot of spoilers including my blog for the last TWO YEARS! He’d seen a few video clips, but that was about all. Georg didn't have a ticket and went to the box office to see what he could get. Kami and I had the same “General Admission” seats, and we headed up the tower of steps to the top of the stadium.
We sat quite a bit further back tonight--about 5 or 6 rows from the top row of the stadium. You can see the view from our seats in the pictures below. It appears similar to the 1st night, but moving up the 20 or so rows certainly made a big difference to how high up we felt. We had one of the surround speakers a lot nearer to us, and this became evident as soon as the show started.
Mario was down there somewhere! Our view tonight
The crowd were just the same as the night before and started the Mexican wave going about 30 minutes before show time. I'd say it was just as full as the 1st show, if not moreso.
In The Flesh suits the stadium shows ever so well--the pyros, the lights, the flag bearers--everything just works so well in a stadium. A lot of the slower tracks don't have enough “ooomph” to come across as well in the stadium, however, in my humble opinion.
The sound and video were still out of synch on the “live” feed projected at each end of the wall. Mario later confirmed it was the same from where he was sat up front, too.
Plane from tonight's show.
Both last night and tonight before the start of Roger's speech at the beginning of Mother, the crowd started chanting “Ole, Ole, Ole,” forcing Roger to wait a good 60 seconds before he could get a word in edgeways. He spoke briefly to the crowd in Spanish, his favourite words being “muchas gracias.” He then went into the “Miserable, young, fucked up little Roger” speech in English. The crowd didn't react as much as I thought when the Spanish words “NI EN PEDO” were projected on the wall. The same was true for the line “Mother should I trust the government?” I've been to shows where the reaction and crowd were a lot louder in the response. The projected “live” feed of Robbie singing during Mother is fantastic, even if it's out of synch. It's a real nice close up, and it's great to watch from the rear of the stadium, as it's something that I do think is lost from watching the show too close to the stage.
I really have enjoyed seeing the projections from our seats the last two nights, if only because of the scale of the stadium. I enjoyed it a lot more than the one or two shows I saw from the rear of an arena. Goodbye Blue Sky is a good example. The bomber planes and the falling symbols completely fill the long stretch of wall in the stadium and look absolutely fantastic. All the new projections in the 2nd half of the show look especially good, too.
Its kind of hard to explain in detail how they have integrated the videos shown on the sides of the wall and the original centre wall projections, but at certain points, it's so well done that it's hard to tell where one ends and the other starts. The “Fecking Flowers” sequence is especially good. You see the flowers on “Mr. Screen” in the middle, and then you see them "break through" on either side of the wall with a bit of sharp 3-D animation, where the bricks fall at the side and below the flowers. It's difficult to explain and needs to be seen. There are a couple of projected white doves that fly up across the screen and the wall towards the end of that track, too, which I believe were added for the 2012 shows.
Seamless integration between video and projection Bricks around and below flowers
The sound was a touch off to us, but not due to any technical issues or anything like that--just due to the position of the surround speaker to our left. You don't realise how much sound actually comes out of the surround speakers till you are right next to them! However, the sound was crystal clear again tonight, and each instrument had its own sound stage and was clearly defined and audible.
We stayed in our "seats" for the intermission. The crowd in our section sat down for the whole show. Last night our area stood up the instant Roger walked onstage and stayed so until he left, but tonight they just remained seated. I’ll never understand the reasoning behind this. Victoria, would be proud of us, as Kami and I defiantly stood the whole second half. :) (We weren't really blocking anyone, anyway.)
The stadium size show really does come into its own during the second half, due to the size of the wall fully built. The scale of the projections are incredible. Look at how small the “hotel room” appears in the picture below, and then look how cool the video feed of Roger appears to the left of it. As you can see below on the 2nd picture, the new projection towers do block some of the view depending on where you're seated.
Last night and tonight Kami and I were finally above Robbie and Dave when they were atop the wall during Comfy Numb! We had a great view of the guys, even though they looked so far away. The spotlight behind Dave shone in our eyes a bit, and it was a touch distracting, but seeing Roger hit the wall and watching it crumble away from this vantage was certainly a sight worth seeing.
When Roger shouts "thank you" at the end of the 2nd In The Flesh, the word “Gracias” is projected on the wall. When he shouts "thank you" louder the second time, the word is projected on the wall again 100 times larger. It is simple, but effective! When he asks if there are any paranoids in the audience, those words are also projected on the wall in Spanish for all to see.
The new graphics for Run Like Hell are the best I've ever seen and are definitely the best in the show for me. Words fail me again--you have to see it, and hopefully the video below gives you a little bit of an idea.
Just going back to In The Flesh part 2--below is a video that was filmed on a green screen in New York and for the projections on either side of the wall. Notice the added effects for the gun shots--the flares coming from the end of the gun and the casings ejecting. The quality of the video on the wall of this particular part is stunning and very well executed.
The pig was carried around the venue on two lines by two handlers last night, not guided by remote control. It was then brought down in the large space behind the soundboard as the wall was falling down, and the crowd were encouraged to go in and rip the pig to bits! This happened the previous night, too.
Just as the centre of the wall actually falls down, they've cleverly used projections on the ends of the wall to make it look like the wall is falling there, too. This is a fantastic effect, and hopefully it comes across in the video below, even though its a bit difficult to see.
The pictures below give you a bit of a better idea. As the band then comes onstage for Outside The Wall, a real live feed is shown on either end of the wall. Again, the quality is stunning, and the added effect of the projected fallen bricks below the band looks great--it really does appear almost 3D.
It was another great stadium show, and I can now say I 100% prefer the stadium shows to the arena ones! Our seats for the remaining shows will be a lot closer to the stage, and it’ll be interesting to see just how the projections and the “live” video feeds looks from there!
I've not finished the review of the 1st show because I forgot a lot of the detail. That's what happens if I don't get it down on the blog the same night or next day! I’ll certainly try and finish it, but more importantly, I’ll try to get my reviews of the shows up the same night or next day in order to preserve more detail while its still fresh in my head.
On the walk back to the main road after the show there are hundreds of people selling bootleg goods--everything ranging from t shirts, mugs, armbands and even stickers!
Full album of pics below:
Posted by Simon W at Saturday, March 10, 2012