Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Chicago pre-show meet up and show

So after a good night out on Thursday with friends, Wendy, Kami, and I did absolutely nothing today! Today was the Wrigley field show, and we were all kind of tired from yesterday’s revelries, so we just chilled out in the apartment for the day.

We ventured out for breakfast in the morning to a great little place called Dublins just down the street from the apartment in the “Viagra Triangle.” We then headed back to the apartment and lounged around.

I’d arranged a pre-show meet up at a bar called Rockit just opposite the venue. However, they didn't open till 5 P.M., and when Wendy called the night before, they told her they were really busy and fully booked. They suggested that we show up at 5 when they opened so that they could accommodate us all in the bar, and this worked out great.

The three of us took a cab to the venue, and after a short stop at a merch tent outside the field, Wendy waited outside Rockit while Kami and I had a wander around the venue. We bumped into my friend Justin who was having a drink at a bar just outside the venue when the guy sat at the table next to him called my name. He recognised me from my blog and said that he had been reading for two years! Sorry that I cant remember your name, but drop me a name by mail with the picture you took on your iPhone, and I'll put it up on here.

Picture of John who recognised me from the blog

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Tonight’s venue                                     $50 for parking at McD’s!

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Kami and I headed back to the bar. By the time we arrived Greg, Elliot, Col, Robert, and several others had arrived too. We hung out in the bar for an hour and a half. Jessica, Doug and his wife Chris, Paul and his wife Ruth, and a few others all made the meet up, and we all had a great time eating, drinking and getting hyped up for the show.

Greg and Kim                            Robert and Col                          Doug, Chris, Elliot and Wendy    Wendy and Jessica 

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I’d spoke to a few friends a couple of weeks before the show and let them know where the best place would be to get an autograph from Roger. Kami’s sister Kim and her boyfriend Joe had been at the band’s hotel earlier in the day and managed to get a couple of things signed. My friend Rick had also been there, and he and his friend Ted also managed to get a couple of items signed. Rick was telling me at the bar how there were about 20 people waiting at the hotel, and over half of them were professional autograph hunters.

Roger signing at the hotel    Kim, pre show, venue in the background

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It was great to see Kim and Joe again. Kim and I had been messaging all day as they were driving up to Chicago, and they finally arrived at the bar around 6. It was also great to see Eric, his sister Jen, and his brother Adam arrive at the bar, too. I was “spotted” by another person who had been reading my blog at the meet up. Again, I’m sorry I can’t remember your name, but I do remember you saying you like to go by the name “Oddjob.”

Myself and “Oddjob” at the pre show meet up             Kim and Greg hold up the Fleeting Glimpse banner

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Kami and I headed over to the venue around 7 P.M. It was an outdoor show tonight, and if the other outdoor shows were anything to go by, then it wouldn't start till around 8:45 due to the daylight. We wandered around the venue a while and then headed as high up as we could so I could get a couple of shots for some cool panorama pictures. One of these is in the post below.

Flagpole with awesome flags on!                                                Billboard and seating areas built on the top of surrounding bars!

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Dave K’s CD hasn’t been selling great at the venues, and he was convinced it was because, in his words, “No one knows who the f**k I am!” So a few weeks ago, He and I chatted and I supplied Dave with a picture of him on top of the wall just as Roger “breaks” it into hundreds of pieces. He put a design together, had some cards printed, and here's the end result!

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Kami and I went to a couple of merchandise stands in the venue to see if they had any out—they are free of charge, and Chicago was the first show at which they were available, I believe. I met Tom at the merchandise stand. He recognised me from the blog and thanked me for helping him get Roger’s signature in Detroit earlier in the week. It was great to meet you, Tom, as brief as it was.

We made our way back to the floor where we hung out with Wendy and Jessica for a while, then had a chat with Chris, Meagann and Matt. Wendy and Jessica were front row in front of Dave K. tonight. Chris, Meagann and Matt were 4th row, and Kami and I were 12th row dead centre.

Jessica, Wendy and Robbie                        Jessica, Kami, Wendy and myself              Wendy and Jessica, pre-show fun

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Tonight’s show did, indeed, start around 8:45. Just before the lights went down, Kami and I noticed two men standing on top of the roof in the back of the stadium just near the plane. Kami wishes she could have those seats just once! The sunlight had just gone off the right side of the wall, the venue was packed with people, and as the lights went down, I got that same feeling I’ve had so many nights—the knowing that it was going to be a fantastic show and a fantastic crowd.

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Plane video from Wrigley Field

The weather had been just right the last few days, and tonight was no exception. There was a gentle breeze, and although the sun had gone down, it was still warm in the air. It was an ideal night for an outdoor gig.

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The band looked to be having great fun onstage tonight. While Roger was smiling and running up and down the entire length of the stage as he normally does, there was an extra spring in his step!

At intermission I went to get Kim and Joe and brought them down to the floor. I had a couple of 4th row tickets that weren't being used that a friend had given us. It was on the left side of the stage, but was a lot better than their existing seats! Kami went down on the front rail with Wendy and Jessica for the 2nd half of the show, and I stayed on the 12th row right on the aisle. Before the show, I’d seen Laurie’s (Roger’s wife’s)  daughter Amy, who came over to give me a big hug and see how I was. We hadn't seen each other since Athens, and it was great to see her well again. I was also standing next to a couple of guests (George and Bill) of Ron Delsner, one of the  biggest concert promoters in the world! We got chatting, and they had both seen and read my blog for the last two years. We exchanged e-mails and said we would keep in touch. It was great to meet you both.

Myself, George and Bill

P1050881 (Large) The second half of the show once again flew by, and before I knew it, we were all clapping to a great version of Run Like Hell! At the beginning when Roger first utters thank you, then shouts THANK YOU, he’s started to really get into the act. He ducks down, getting ready to really shout it out, and how on earth he doesn't strain his voice when he does this, I don't know! When the projected flag is shown on the wall and Roger grabs his machine gun to shoot it down, watch to see what G.E. Smith does! He now ducks down so as not to get hit by the “bullets” that Roger shoots! I will try to get pictures or video of this next show. I mentioned in an earlier review that the graphics had changed when Roger breaks the wall into hundreds of pieces. I took the following video which shows how they’ve changed. It also shows the amazing performance from Dave, which was totally flawless.

 

As the band came on to perform Outside The Wall, the crowd went crazy—shouting, screaming, and making so much noise that Roger was unable to get a word in. He tried several times to start to speak, but he was just drowned out by the crowd. This went on for at least 5 minutes before they settled down, and Roger was finally able to introduce the band. All the band members looked stunned by the reaction of the crowd. The show, the atmosphere, the crowd, and the perfect performance were simply fantastic. It has to be in my top 10 of the best Wall shows I've seen so far.

Jon Joyce wore his Cubs T-shirt. Pat was wearing a Chicago Cubs shirt, too. Roger was given the one below, as well, so I’m guessing the whole band received one!

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It was not only a fantastic night because of the show, but because of the people we met with at the preshow as well as the people we saw the show with.

Roger obviously felt the same as we did since he called into a local radio station around 1 A.M. to tell everyone just how much he enjoyed the show! He’d obviously had a couple of glasses of wine, and it’s certainly an entertaining 5 minute listen. Click the link below to hear the interview:

Roger calls a late night radio station

1 comment:

  1. Simon...it was great meeting you and Kami, agreed it was to short. Hopefully we can meet again and have a long chat. Wrigley was an awesome show, had an excellent time. When Roger called in to XRT radio, that put the perfect end to the day. Thanks again for the advice. The album is off getting framed, will send a picture once done. Take care, enjoy the rest of the tour and have safe travels

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