We got back from NY around 10pm, it was great to get a good nights sleep without a show and be able to have a lay in bed, well till 8am! Kami and i were planning to have 3 days off now until the DC show, however as i posted below, it was 9am as we were having breakfast that we both decided we could easily drive down to Raleigh today for the show tonight and then drive back to home, it was only a four hour drive each way. I sent a text to my friend Ron who I’d known for nearly 14 years but had never actually met in person. I knew he was in the Carolinas but had no idea how far from Raleigh he was. He replied saying he was a good four hours away, i then asked how far he was from Charlotte to which he replied about a 90 minute drive! I asked if he could make the drive up to see the show if i made it there, he said yeh no problem and Kami and i then decided we would go to the Charlotte show too after Raleigh and then drive home early Wednesday morning.
We left the house at 11am and arrived in Raleigh around 4pm. Id jumped on Hotwire earlier that morning and managed to get a Red Roof Inn motel about 5 miles from the venue for $34 plus tax. id also spoke to my friend Greg Hampton to let him know we were gonna be able to make the Charlotte show too. John, Stuart and Tommy whom we had seen in NY has also flown down for the two Carolina shows and after an hour chilling out at our motel we headed over to a restaurant across the street from the venue and met up for a bit to eat.Tonight's venue was an indoor arena but it wasn't in the city centre of Raleigh, it was a good 10 miles out and in the middle of nowhere. We drove along country roads before seeing the arena just in the middle of fields and trees, there was nothing else around it apart from one restaurant across the street. We parked the car in the restaurant and left it there for the show too. As it happens there wasn't even a fee for parking in the arena parking lots but parking off site made sense and worked well for getting out away from the traffic after the show, after seeing this many shows (117 shows for me is tonight's count) you get used to all the little things, reverse parking in a space so you can get straight out, parking near the exit and not the entrance, heading straight out of the venue after Outside The Wall etc just little things that you don't realise until they happen and hold you up, nothing big but things that help.
Stuart, Mark, Kami, Tommy, Butch and John Raleigh Venue
I met up with another friend before going inside the arena, Matt Sides, he had been a friend since 1999 and again we had never met, we had been at the same shows sometimes but didn’t know till after. Matt and i used to be on the old Pink Floyd newsgroup AMPF and recalled a few of the people, flame wars and other weird crap that used to go on, AMPF really did used to be the armpit of the internet! Was great to finally meet you Matt.
Once inside the arena, we were all surprised just how small the wall and the whole set up looked! after us all seeing the two New York stadium shows tonight's set up seemed like it was a performance in a place as small as most of our living rooms! the wall itself just looked so short, the stage itself even looked smaller.
John and Stuart were front row in front of Dave tonight, Tommy was the left section towards the rear of the venue and Kami and i were…….. well do i really have to tell you by now ? middle block, row 13 on the aisle.
I was hoping the crowd would stand at tonight's show and my hopes came true for In The Flesh but as soon as it finished and the excitement of pyros, planes and smoke had died down, so had the crowd! well no, that's not true, the crowd were excellent tonight, very appreciative and pretty loud but they just couldn't make their minds up wither to sit or to stand. As much as i do like standing at the shows i also courteous and thoughtful of others behind me, I’m not the smallest guy in the world and it always seems to be that the person directly behind me is the shortest in the arena and can barely see around me let alone above me!
One thing that was noticeable at tonight's show was how loud it was, there was no distortion at all and the sound was fantastic in the arena it was just very VERY loud, something i was constantly reminded of when i laid my head down on the pillow when we got back to the hotel, my ears were ringing like the fire alarm was going off in the hotel!
Kami and i were sat next to Dave’s two guests tonight, neither of them had seen the show before and were excited to see it. He was a guitarist in a band and had met Dave through his love for Guthrie Govern. We talked about Dave’s shows at The Bassment that he does on Thursday nights back in the UK. His wife was more excited by the fact it was the first time in months they had been out and away from their three kids who were back home with the baby sitter who had been given strict instructions she wasn't to call then unless there was blood or broken bones involved!
I did see my friend Angelique who had was dressed up as Vera Lynn complete with fibre optic lights that said “We’ll meet again” she looked fantastic and is obviously very passionate about Rogers music and the shows as i know she’s travelled around to 4 or 5 shows on this leg.
Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn? Tommy, Butch and Mark pre show. Kami and i at the venue
I’m not really sure what i can say about the shows now, as i said above, tonight's show was number 117 for me and I’ve used all the superlatives i can in my show reviews but to repeat a few it was loud, the band were on fire and the performance was flawless. I didn't take a single picture of the show tonight and just sat back and enjoyed it.One thing of note at the end though was that Dave again took a good 45 seconds to come out for Outside The Wall, i asked him later if he was now trying to be fashionably late or if there was anything wrong. He was actually knocked over on the stage as the wall came down!! During the 2nd half there’s a large netting rig that is pulled out over the top of the band behind the wall.This is to protect the band and the equipment from falling bricks should the wall fall backwards and not forwards from the stage.Over the last couple of years the netting has been stretched as its been hit by bricks and a few of the bricks came through the netting tonight and knocked Dave on his ass!!
After the show we headed straight out of the door and we were back at the hotel no more than 20 minutes after the show had finished!