Thursday, March 08, 2012

Buenos Aires 1st show (part 1)

We headed out to the show around 5 P.M., had a pizza and a drink at the bar a couple of blocks down the street, then walked the 6 blocks to the bus stop to catch the number 15 bus to the Stadium. It's about a 5 mile journey to the stadium and a 25 minute ride on the bus, all for the cost of 1.25 pesos. (About 25 cents US.)
Kami on the wheel well on the bus                   Almost everyone going to the show
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Kami was a touch worried about where to get off. I’d looked on the map prior to us getting on the bus and had a rough idea where it was. I said to Kami that the best thing is just to wait for the people wearing the Jimi Hendrix, Motley Crue, AC/DC, and other band T-shirts to get off. Sure enough, they all did as we got to the stadium, but the bus driver gave us the heads up anyway. It took us 15 minutes to walk the rest of the way to the venue but only 5 minutes before we saw the “Kevins” of South America. The first thing we saw for sale along the side of the street were "hammers" armbands--red material, fully printed hammers and Velcro adjustable! Then the T-shirts popped up the nearer we got to the venue.
A HUGE thanks goes out to my friend, Thomas, in Austria, who had General Admission tickets for tonight's show. Thomas was unable to make the trip over, but kindly sent us the two tickets. General admission wasn't on the floor, it wasn't on the 1st tier, nor the 2nd, nor the 3rd, but it was as high up and far back as you could possibly climb! As most people know, I don't like being at the back AT ALL. However, this was different. It's a football stadium that holds nearly 70,000 people, and I couldn't wait to see the show from this vantage point. I wanted to take in all the crowd, too.
We found the correct entrance for General Admission after some roaming and made our way in. we had a quick look at the merchandise store and saw some great promotional round cardboard hammers signs that were marked in Spanish as not for sale. However, they also had some great gift bags with crossed hammers printed on the side. I'm not sure if they are for sale individually, or if you only get one with a purchase.
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We had about 7 flights of spiraled steps to ascend, taking us directly to the top of the venue. I resisted looking across into the stadium as we went past each level, as I wanted to be surprised by the shear size of the place and the larger wall only when we got to the top.
Main entrance                                            Seating chart
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You can get an idea of our seat location by viewing the Mexican Wave video below:
I caught a glimpse of the wall from the 4th or 5th level but kept my head down, and we carried on marching up the stairs. As we entered the stadium seating, we saw the wall emerge across the fields and the crowds of fans all sat all around in the various tiers. While the wall was a lot bigger than in the US or European shows, I have to admit I was a touch disappointed that it wasn't as big as the one in Chile. Had I know how big it would be in Chile, I would have, without a doubt, attended those shows!
First view of inside the stadium                    Our 1st show in South America
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I was surprised how much space was left on the floor of the stadium. It was blocked off without any seating at all. I guess the majority of fans prefer the cheaper tickets, even though they are further away.
Panoramic view
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We took our “seats” around 8 P.M. I say seats, but they were nothing more than row after row of painted concrete steps! The show wasn't due to start till 9 P.M., but it was great to sit there for an hour just to take in the atmosphere. I got talking to the guy sat to my right.Luciano, a Buenos Aires local, was attending his 2nd concert ever! His 1st was the red Hot Chilli Peppers some 10 years ago. It was great to meet you, Luciano, and I hope you enjoyed the concert. See you Friday?
Luciano at his 1st Roger show             Coupe of random crowd shots                     
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The stuka plane that comes down at the end of In The Flesh was even further back than we were. It must have been a literal quarter of a mile run down the cable before it hit the wall! Before Kami and I headed down to BA, we looked at the weather, and it predicted thunder storms every day for the coming week! Luciano also mentioned that there was talk of the show being postponed if the weather took a turn for the worst! Fortunately, it was an ideal evening for an outdoor show. It was sunny all day, the rain held off, and the humidity had died down a bit as it grew dark. Conditions were near perfect approaching 9 P.M. Sure enough, at about 8:45 the sound of the 1st pre-show track, "Take This Hammer," a now familiar sound, came through the PA, and Kami and I knew we had about 20 minutes till show time.
There were a few things instantly visibly different from the indoor arena shows of the last couple of years. The main one was the three projector towers and three lighting towers above them. When Kami and I initially took our seats, we kept moving around and checking behind us to make sure the towers were not obstructing our view. This might be a problem for people who don't have general admission tickets at the outdoor shows and whom have assigned seats! We were lucky enough to find a seat with a view of the whole stage where “the guys” were, and the only area that was blocked was to the left of the wife-mantis and the right of the teacher puppets. It wasn't till we really started to look that we realised just how much longer the stage was and how small everything on the stage actually looked! The bricks looked miniature, and the drum kit was hardly even visible! Obviously, the guys selling binoculars outside (and inside) the stadium were aware of this before we were!
After each of the pre-show tracks finished, we let Luciano know how many were left. The rest of the crowd was clueless, and it was now past 9 P.M. They were starting to get a little anxious and whistling for the show to start. One thing that was VERY off-putting was the smell of Marijuana in the air. According to our local friends, it was recently legalized for small-scale use. The people around us seemed especially aware of this. I hate the smell, and it was coming from every direction.
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As “People Get Ready,” the last track of the pre-show, finished, a Spanish announcer gave the “flash forced off” speech, and Luciano laughed as I relayed the announcement to him in English even though I don't speak a word of Spanish. The stadium lights went off--it was the darkest I've ever seen for a show. You couldn't see the stage or the equipment at all, the air was warm, the crowd were going crazy, and I was thinking how it had been 7 months, 3 weeks and 2 days since I'd seen the last show in Athens, and how I felt like I was back in the best place in the world again, seeing Roger Waters perform “The Wall” in South America.
 
More to follow…

3 comments:

  1. Such a great pre-show write up! I have goosebumps!! :0)

    W

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  2. Aug 25, 2009 – BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's Supreme Court decriminalized the small-scale use of marijuana on Tuesday, opening the way for a ...


    DrWho

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  3. Ahhhh.... just like an old pair of shoes Si. Glad you're back on the tour front!

    ReplyDelete