Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New York…

We didn’t confirm going to the New York shows till 2 days before, i had a lot of friends going to those shows only and really wanted to see them as it had been a couple of years since we’d et up. I’d arranged a pre show meet up at The Yankees Tavern and put this on the blog a few weeks ago so there were a lot of people expecting me to be there and i really didn't want to let them down. By the time we had decided to go the flights were expensive for Kami and the Amtrak train was over $300 roundtrip.

The Chinese bus that goes from DC however was still only $22 each way and it was only a 4 hour trip, unlike the 11 hours we had been on the bus last weekend going up to Boston. We booked the bus that left DC at 9am  the morning of the 1st show and that would get us into New York around 2pm. I’d been watching the prices of hotels going up and downtown Hotwire  for the last few days and had missed the lowest price of a 4* in Soho for only $99 a night! however i turned to Priceline, read some messages on the better bidding forum and worked out that the 4* Sheraton on 53rd and 7th Avenue was going for around $120 a night. I started off at a bid of $95 per night for two nights and went up in increments of $5, we managed to get it for $110 per night which for NY is an amazing price. We were al set, just had to do laundry,pack and get to Chinatown in DC for 8:30 the next day.

Beth dropped us at bus stop around 8:30 and by 9:30 we were on our way to NY, it took a little over 4 hours due to a bit of traffic on the way up. I watched four  episodes of Season two of Dexter on the way up which passed the time real quick. We took the subway from Penn station to our hotel, checked in and chilled out for an hour. The weather in NY was the same if not worse as it had been in DC when we left, very hot and very humid.

James called to say he was heading over to our hotel, going to park his car and then get the subway out with us to the Yankees stadium. The D train took us straight from our hotel to the stadium, it took us a while to figure out which trains were express and which were local but once we did we hopped on the train and got to the Yankees Tavern around 5pm.

Ellie and Andy were the only ones there when we arrived but within minutes, Col (Australia), Matt (Boston), Ralph (Florida), Steve, Elliot, Tommy, Joe and a lot of my other friends arrived. originally i had booked a table under my name for eight people but i knew that was on the low side. I counted 26 people and we took over 5 tables by 6:30!! My friend Ole also arrived from Norway, he had come over for the last four or five shows and whilst we had been in touch via facebook for a while, tonight was the fist time we’d actually met!

James, Ole and Ralph                           Col and Kami                                      Elliot, Ellie, Col and James

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It was great to see so many people at the meet up, there’s nothing i love more than introducing people who i know to each other, I’ve met a lot of really good friends while travelling and seeing the shows over the last 12 years and I've always been one to keep in touch with everyone every so often even if there's no shows going on i always keep in touch by e mail or facebook with friends. Within minutes of seeing everyone at the bar i was ever so pleased that Kami and i had decided to do these shows, looking back now i cant even begin to imagine not having been there!

Myself and Jacqueline                           Matt and his t shirt!      Myself and Steve

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Around 7pm Kami and i headed over to the venue, Ellie and Andy had left earlier and people started to make there way over in groups. It turned out that Ralph, James, Ole, and a few others were all sat within a few seats of each other!  Kami and i were 14th row dead centre on the aisle( maybe i should just tell you our seats when they AREN’T these two!!) I went for a wander around the stadium and bumped into a couple of people who had been reading my blog, 35,000 people in a venue and people whom ive never met recognise me and say hi, its still blows my mind! I headed right up as high as i could go in the venue and took some cool panorama pictures that i posted a couple of days ago after the show.It was a lot easier walking down all the stairs from the fourth leve to the floor than it was going up! but still when will these venues realise that 2 entrances onto the field then theres 10,000 people heading down there is just not enough!! I have to say that the police presence inside the venue was like none ive seen before, usually they have the venue security on each section but here it was cops!!

I saw my friend Brad on the floor and had a chat with him, he was front row left and hadn’t seen the stadium show before, as hdnt a lot of my friends that were there and i was excited for them to see it outdoors, Ralph especially as i know how much of a fan he is, he’s so passionate about Rogers music and he’s flown up from Florida just for these two shows on his own, i was happy to hear after the second shows that they were both the best shows he’s ever seen!

Another friend, Johan from Sweden had found me on the floor, we had last seen each other in Milan, kami and i were walking past the large cathedral there and heard someone shouting out my name, we looked to the left and there was Johan sat having a drink in a cafe bar!

Ole (Norway) and Johan (Sweden) meet for the first time              Tommy and Steve pre show

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It was great to just hang out on the floor with so many friends and just chat about the shows, drink and take in the pre show atmosphere. Dave spotted us on the floor and took a little video clip of us in the venue, would love to see it if you can e mail it Dave.

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We all took our seats half way through the pre show tracks. There were a LOT of guests at tonight's show,there were at least 6 guest rows, two rows in front of us and 3three behind us.The direct row behind us was full of “somebody's” models, actresses and obviously friends of Rogers!

The show was fantastic but the crowd were a touch quiet plus one minute they stood up and the next they were sat down, then stood up and then sat down, this went on most of the night!

There was a slight echo in the stadium tonight but the band sounded excellent and the visuals and performance was as we’ve all come to expect now. i do love seeing the outdoor shows even though there isn’t that energy that comes across from the stage as much and it doesn't seem as intimate as the arena shows but the visuals on either side of the wall make up for this. The fake wall fall during the effing flowers and especially at the end of the show when the main section of the “real” wall comes down and the effect of the wall falling at the ends of the wall are something that i wish could be incorporated into the arena shows but the set up is just too small for this to happen.

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I love looking at Dave’s shadow at the back of the arena but seeing the shadow in the stadiums is far better, you can see the whole of the guys shadow on the crowd and i took the video below which came out great!

Kami and i went down to the rail just as “The trial” started and watched the last 15 minutes from there. You could tell it had been a great show from the guys faces when they came out for Outside The Wall, Dave was a good 60 seconds late coming out after the ret of the band, he later told us as it had been so warm and humid onstage he wanted to dry off before coming out.

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As the show ended we met up with Ralph, James and Ole and hung around to let the majority of the crowd leave the stadium.We all headed back to the Yankee Tavern where we also met up with Michael and his wife, Col, Matt and a few others. It was great to hear views from people who haven't seen the stadium show before. Everyone was in awe of the size of the wall and the differences between the arena and stadium show. We left the bar around 1am and headed back to NY in a car service, the traffic was atrocious getting back into Manhattan and Kami and i didn't get back to the hotel till gone 2am.

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