Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Los Angeles show….

As you can see from the pictures below, mine and Eric’s  seats tonight  were very high up in the venue, right at the back. Id seen the show in Buenos Aires from this very position and loved it.

At around 8:45 after the extra few tracks of pre show music the lights went out one by one in the stadium. The great thing about this show outdoors is when the lights go out its SO dark! there’s very little light comes from anywhere and tonight there was just the glow from a few of the merchandise stands down below. We were all warned about setting our cameras to “Flash Forced Off” and then the Spartacus intro started.

It was great sitting up so high and seeing the spotlight all around the stadium shining on and off people and the shouts of “Im Spartacus” relayed around the arena through the surround towers.

Darker than normal due to the late start   Eric has the stadium in his arms          

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Pyros shot up from the to In The Flesh and then continued to shoot out of the roof of the canopy, this is a great effect that's often missed if you’re within the first 20 rows or so. Eric had missed it at the San Fran show and i think was suitably impressed.

Pyros from top of stage                        Smoking aftermath for several minutes

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The crowd were fantastic and erupted in cheers as the pyros went from one side of the stage to the other towards the end of in The Flesh, this lit the whole audience up and once again it was great to be able to see the faces of the people watching and their senses overloaded both visual and audio as the airplane noises ran around the stadium in the surround speaker stacks from one side of the stadium to the other.I turned to look at Eric and saw the amazement on his face, i don’t think he’d heard surround like this ever before.

We were in a great place to see the plane go down to crash into the wall. As it was a stadium it was mounted right at the back and took at least twice as long to get from the back where it was mounted to the bricks on the wall!


The crowd went wild at the end of In The Flesh and i have to say it was probably THE best version, musically, crowd wise, and visually.I knew from then on that the show was going to be special and i wasn’t wrong.

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I’d forgot how the drown were in LA as regards arriving at a show, they are very laid back and even though the show had started 30 minutes late there were still people walking up the concrete steps looking for their seats, pushing past us and wandering around seeming to care more about spilling their cardboard plate of nachos rather than watching the show.

The Thin Ice started as normal musically, however when Roger went up to the mic and started singing their was no vocals at all(proving its one of the songs that doesn't have vocal assist tapes!) the band played on for at least 30 seconds before Roger stepped back and waved his arm in the air sweeping it across the stage from side to side, “stop, stop, STOP” he said several times till the band realised he wanted them to actually stop. There was clearly a problem with his mic as the audio from his mic was non existent. He stated to the audience that there was obviously some problem and he wanted to get it fixed as he “wanted to sing this song” he talked to the crew through the onstage monitors asking them what the problem was and to get up here and get it fixed. He also told the audience that he had some of the finest technicians there is ad that they would start the track from the beginning when they had fixed the problem.

The technical hitch lasted just under 4 minutes long, the band started The Thin Ice from the start and everything was back to normal. I love when things like this happen, it just makes the show a bit more special and unique, you also know that Roger and the whole band are gonna perform the best they can after something like this happens.

The rest of the set went without a hitch with the exception of the crew having big problems getting the last brick in the wall  at the end of Goodbye Cruel World. Took them a lot longer than normal and they were hitting the others bricks  side to side around the last one to enable it to go in, they got there eventually.

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At intermission Eric and i made our way down to the floor to meet up with Mr Hooter and Eric’s wife Lisette. We hung around on the floor for a while and decided to stay on the floor for the 2nd set. There was an area to the left side of the front floor blocks set aside for guests and Eric and i pulled up a plastic lawn chair and sat what seemed like 10 feet from the wall, realistically it was probably 60feet!

Our view for the second set.

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Eric later told me it was a bit too close for him for the size of the wall but it was an experience and he was happy that he was able to see the show from all different positions.

I’d noticed a couple of shows back that Roger has taken sometimes to not hitting the wall with both fists to crack the wall but he’s started “sneaking” up on the wall and touching it gently with his finger, as you can see in the picture below. The graphics have also changed as to how the huge wall breaks up into boulders, its not changed for the better either i don’t think. Whilst the left side breaks up and scatters around and falls similar to how it used to, the right side now cracks and all falls downwards toward the bottom of the stage. I’m not the only one that’s noticed this either, my friend Tommy e mailed me and wondered if it was just him seeing things as he thought the motion had changed and didn’t look anywhere near as good as it used to. i went back and watched a few clips on you tube and until you see some of the older shows you don’t realise just how much of a difference there is! i really hope they are still playing with it and change it back.

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I have to say i really enjoy being this close a lot more than being further away, as much as i do like seeing the wall from afar at the stadiums there’s just something about the energy that’s there when all you see in front, to the left and to the right of you is WALL!  kind of like an IMAX screen, you can look as far left or as far right but the wall totally fills your field of vision.

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The 2nd half seemed to go ever so quickly too, before i knew it i was on my feet throwing my arm in the air shouting “tear down the fucking wall”! the wall fell great tonight, the top few rows going forward then a couple backwards and then one hugs piece falling forward! i do have to say though i miss the “good old days” of 2010 when the wall was unpredictable, its a lot more controlled now and takes away that element of surprise as to where its going to fall and when.

I have to say this show was definitely in my top five shows, probably top three, the venue itself was so ideally suited to this show, the technical glitch,seeing the show with Eric  and the sheer size of the wall all made up for a fantastic night.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Harry Waters Ft Lauderdale concert details..

Community Arts & Culture Present
With Special Guests From The Wall Concert
Harry Waters, 33 years old is the first born child of Roger Waters, founding member of Pink Floyd. Roger is currently touring the world performing “The Wall”, where Harry is featured as one of two keyboard players on tour. The Wall comes to Bank Atlantic Center on June 15th. On June 18th, Harry returns to South Florida to play at Revolution Live as a fundraiser for Community Arts & Culture. He will play in a quartet setting with local musicians that are internationally known, with many years of touring and recording experience. Harry released a solo album in 2010 featuring his original jazz compositions (and one cover tune). Harry is inspired by musicians such as Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans, and is equally inspired by Randy Newman, Little Feat as well as The Grateful Dead and Phish. Harry has toured with Marianne Faithfull, Ozric Tentacles as well as performing with Primus, and has been an active touring member of the Roger Waters Band since 2002.
Also appearing at the show will be members of The Wall band Kipp, Mark & Pat Lennon, who along with their cousin Michael Lennon are part of the Venice, California based band, conveniently called Venice. Venice is well known for lush harmonies and smooth California sound. In an interesting twist, they found great success in the Netherlands when a Dutch DJ discovered their music and started playing it on the radio. The result has been a string of regular tours of The Netherlands to sold out audiences. Founded in 1977, they have released 13 albums.
Another member of the Wall band who will be appearing is Robbie Wyckoff. Robbie is a Michigan born, Los Angeles based singer who is highly sought after for recording sessions and touring with artists such as Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Diana Ross and many others. He recently released his own album called “Lose Control”. Robbie is the lead singer for The Wall and will be sharing his talents for this fundraising event.  
Special guests Spam Allstars featuring DJ Le Spam will be performing a set joined by Harry Waters and other surprise guests. Rounding out the roster of great musicians is Bobbie Lee Rodgers, whose jazz trio appears regularly at the Green Room, part of the Revolution Entertainment Complex.
The Harry Waters show at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale on June 18th is a fundraiser for the Miami based charity Community Arts & Culture
The mission of Community Arts and Culture is to foster appreciation and understanding of a vast assortment of arts and cultures by educating individuals of all ages and social backgrounds through workshops, lectures and artistic performances in local communities. Community Arts and Culture strives to provide underserved areas with an outlet to participate in outreach programs and to nurture an array of local artists who exemplify the diversity found in the South Florida community.
MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2012, 8PM
(954) 727-0950, (954) 449-1025 (box office)
ON SALE: NOW AT THE REVOLUTION LIVE BOX OFFICE (No Fees at Revolution Box Office) Buy tickets online via Ticketmaster AND ALL TICKETMASTER OUTLETS
OR CHARGE BY PH0NE: 800-745-3000
$25.00 – DAY OF SHOW
All dates, acts and ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All tickets are subject to applicable taxes, and service and handling charges.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Quebec City—an 800ft long wall for the final show!


The show will be performed on the Plains of Abraham (pictured below) in Quebec City on the 21st of July, 2012.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Mic going down in L.A.

Roger’s mic went down at the beginning of Thin Ice last night, and after waving his arms around and telling the band to stop playing, this is what happened next:

Los Angeles pre show and Santa Monica day 3…

Another lazy day by the pool today, its been great to be based in one place for 3 nights. Tonight is the last night in Santa Monica and the show in Los Angeles at the Coliseum.

Eric’s wife Lisette was driving down this morning for the show and would meet us early afternoon at the hotel. Mr Hooters was ducking and diving in the pool when Eric came back from the room and surprised Matt with a little gift he bought for him last night.

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Lisette arrived around 1:30 and i headed up to pack my case, have a shower and get ready to head out to the show.I was getting picked up by the airport shuttle tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of 5am for my 8am flight.I wanted to get packed this afternoon as i knew it would be late when we got back from the show and didn't want the hassle of having to do it then.

Eric’s cousin Matt had offered to drive us all to the venue in his car, he did however want to have a drink before the show so i had offered to drive us all back as I’m not a huge drinker, especially before a show. Eric, Lisette, Mr Hooters and i walked down to the bar O'Brien's where we had been a couple of nights ago, Matt's wife Mandy works there and we arranged to meet up around 4pm. There was a Dodgers game in downtown LA at 7pm, a Lakers basketball game at 7:30 and Rogers show at 8pm so traffic was expected to be pretty heavy all night. I’d arrange a pre show meet up at a bar about a 10 minute walk from the venue and was looking forward to seeing a couple of people there. After a drink at O'Brien's we headed downtown and the traffic was surprisingly easy going, especially for LA.

We parked the car and arrived at the bar around 5pm. Id been chatting to Jason on facebook and by e mail for a couple of weeks, he’d emailed me after reading my blog and i said it would  be great to meet up and say hi face to face. I recognised him as we walked in the bar and headed over to him to have a chat with him and his dad.

Jason, Dale and Mr Hooters                        Myself and Jason                                      Eric and Lisette

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Next to arrive was Chris Kirby and his friend whom we’d met in San Diego, then Patrick and his girlfriend from Hawaii.

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We hadn't eaten all day so we grabbed a table inside and order some food. I sent a message to my friend Tony whom id known for over ten years and had last seen at the shows in LA in 2010. He was parking the car outside and came to join us at the table while we ate.Tony was one of the people who were on one of the original Roger Waters forums, Small Candles back in the last 90’s early 2000’s. We had kept in touch via email and facebook and always tried to meet up when we were around. Tony’s great with Photoshop and never ceases to amaze me with what he comes up with.

Some of the pictures of me that Tony has Photoshopped:

Always walling!                                       My favourite one Tony did                      Tony and i in LA

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After saying goodbye to Jason and Dale, Tony and i headed over to see Thomas from San Diego, (another person from the Small Candles forum) he was in on of the parking lots with a couple of friends. As we chatted to Thomas i saw my friend Donna walk past with Snowy, i gave Donna a hug and said hi to Snowy and we all then headed into the venue.

Thomas and Tony                                      Thomas, myself and Tony                          Thomas and Snowy

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Tonight's venue was a huge outdoor football stadium but the wall itself had been set up at the half way point on the filed, thus only half the arenas seats were being sold for the show. It was an odd way of getting down onto the floor, from entering the venue complex you had to walk up steps to get to the entrance to the arena, this then brought you to half way up the seating area and you then had to walk back down steps to get to the floor. The last time I’d seen a stadium show was in Buenos Aires, while the stadium there was bigger this one was certainly wider and had no separate levels as such as it was all one level of seating around the arena, kind of hard to explain but i guess it was kind of like a bowl, you get the idea from the pictures below

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I climbed right up to the top of the bowl just below where the plane was anchored to take the picture above.I was a huge place and i’d guess seated about 30,000 the way it was set up. I wandered around all over the venue to see it from different angles, the stage itself whilst looked very long didn't look that high and i commented to Eric later on that it wouldn't have looked out of place if the wall had been twice as high! The surround speaker stacks were spread all around the venue and was set up very similar to how it was in Buenos Aires, if the sound was the same then we would be in for an amazing show.

Few pictures taken behind the stage and the other side of the wall.

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I headed back down to the floor  bumped straight into Robbie and Victoria, love you guys and looking forward to dinner in DC. I again met up with my friend John Slanina from San Fran on the floor, chatted for ten minutes and walked over to where Mr Hooters was sitting, i heard a shout of “Simon” come from my right and a guy I’d met in LA in 2010 had spotted me and said hi, i have to be honest and apologise for forgetting your name but it was great to see you again and meet your girlfriend. Hope you enjoyed the show and drop me an email through my blog and I’ll add your name to the picture below.

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Eric had text me to say he and Mr Hooters were still outside in the will call line, i then got a text from Patrick and headed over to his seating area and chatted to him for ten minutes. Had a chat with Pat and Jon as they were wandering around the floor and then headed right back up to the top of the venue as Eric’s seat was up there and i decided to sit with him for the 1st half of the show as I’d really enjoyed the view from that high up and i hadn't seen a show sitting with Eric yet. Lisette and Mr Hooters were on the floor tonight, right section row 9. The climb up to the top of the venue was incredible, each of the concrete steps was about 14” high and i lost count at 85 steps. I sat in the seat next to Eric, he had bought the ticket online a couple of days before the amazing price of $30! however the fees and taxes had pushed it up to $47 but all those people that are complaining about the ticket prices and how expensive the good seats are have it totally wrong! The best seats for tonight's show really were the cheap $30 ones!

The pre show music started around 8:20pm thus normally making the start time about 8:40, however there were 4 extra tracks added tonight in the pre show music making the start time a few minutes before 9. The extra 30 minutes certainly made all the difference as when the lights in the stadium went out for the start of the show it was more or less totally dark.

Panorama taken about 8:30pm, Eric in the left hand side of the picture.

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To be continued…..

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Santa Monica day two….

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Woke around 9am and headed straight down to the pool, have to say i don't think I’ve ever been in a pool that's heated as hot as this one is, you have to get out of it to cool down!

Matt, Eric and i stayed at the pool for a few hours in the morning, i sat and typed my blog up while dipping in and out of the water. The weathers just right here, not too hot during the day like Phoenix but it does come cool in the evenings.

I was trying to work out how many times I’d been to Santa Monica and was working it out by counting in the my head which hotels I’ve stayed at. I think I’ve been 11 times over the last 15 years or so, i love this place, its my favourite place on earth (that's I’ve been to so far) and I’d live here in a heartbeat. I think its a combination of the beaches and the ocean air, there’s just something about this place that makes me feel at home.

Matt went for a walk down to Venice beach around noon and i headed out for a walk down the beach around 1:30, its not a crazy down the boardwalk as it is at the weekends, its a lot more relaxed but you don't see as many “crazies” wandering around!

Beach houses in Santa Monica

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I walked the full length of the pier and watched the surfers out in the ocean then headed further down the beach.

Rings and bars on the beach              

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I headed back to the hotel a couple of hours later and again Eric, Matt and i sat out by the pool for a few hours till gone 4pm. Eric then headed down to the Kings Head pub to meet his brother and Matt and i joined him about 5:30.

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Matt’s friends Donna and Greg arrived and we all headed over to the cliffs above the beach to watch the sunset.

Matt and Eric looking so romantic!       The pier at Sunset                              Sun setting over Malibu

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Matt’s a huge fan of the Hooters restaurants out here, well when i say huge i mean he’s been in 3 of them and likes them (or maybes its the girls he likes!) As soon as his friend Donna told him there was a Hooters just down the street that was it, he was on a mission. The five of us headed down there and got a table outside. There was a basketball game on from the Staples centre where we had seen Roger in 2010, the place was pretty packed out with people watching the game. I ordered five wings which took over 30 minutes to arrive and to be honest were nothing special at all, in fact probably the worst I’ve ever had!

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Eric came back from the bathroom with a bumper sticker for Matt and a roll of paper stickers. Don't think I’ve ever seen Matt as happy, he had stickers, girls on his arms and girly cocktails! I disappeared to the bathroom 10 minutes before we left but on the way and on the way back i disposed of my stickers on the back of Matt's jacket which was hanging on the back of his chair. Eric realised what i was doing and could hardly hold his laughter in, all we had to do was make sure he put his jacket on without seeing the back. Matt, (who will from now on be known on this blog as Mr Hooters) stood up to get his coat and i offered it up to him before he had time to pick it up.

Mr Hooters wandering oblivious through the restaurant.

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It wasn't till Eric slapped him on the back to make sure the stickers were staying on there that Mr Hooters realised and took off his jacket.

Moment or realisation                          All good fun (childish but fun)

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