In a last minute mad rush to connect with the guy who had the extra ticket for Roger Waters, Martin and I exchanged several SMS text messages and phone calls and arranged to meet in Palermo. He had one extra VIP ticket and I would be joining him. In true Argentina hospitality and friendly spirit, he offered to drive me to RiverPlate Stadium where Roger would be playing his hits and “Dark Side of the Moon” in its entirely.
I also had been SMS messaging my friend Daniel who I hoped to meet in the concert or at least connect with his Bolivar buddies after the show.
The show was phenomenal and thanks to Martin, the seats where great…about 12 rows from the stage. He even bought me drinks and snacks during the show — refusing my contribution.
You might remember that just a few nights before returning to South America (Bolivia) after fully recovering from my broken leg, I saw Roger Waters play at the Hollywood Bowl in October 2006. Now five months later I am treated to another evening of amazing music. Unfortunately, I don’t have better pics as my portable digital camera got toasted by the fireman (bomberos) at the stadium when Tim and I saw a RiverPlate futbol game. These photos are from Martin’s phone.
It’s been a long time since I’d been to a stadium gig for a music concert. I saw Sting a year or so back, Dido in San Diego and Norah Jones. But this was in a large futbol stadium with a capacity of 60,000. It was nearly full save the section behind Waters’ HDTV screen and elaborate stage set up. But the most amazing thing I witnessed other than great music, vocals and guitar playing, was the crowd chanting, cheering and “flashing” for an encore.
I saw Roger Waters and his former bandmates play “The Wall” as a young teenager in New York back in 1982. In 1990 I flew to Berlin at the site of the Berlin Wall and saw him play the Wall for the first time since those few shows he did in NYC and LA in 1982. And I’ve been to enough concerts in my day that as I do when I ride my motorcycle, I wear earplugs. But to see 50,000+ fans pull out their cellular phones and wave the LCD screens back in forth in the pitch black Buenos Aires evening is a site to behold. In those old days people would take a moment from sparking up a “doob” and raise their lighters to cheer on and show support for an encore.
But here in Buenos Aires there were no lighters. There were cellphones and the phosphorescent blue hue of LCD screens. Tens of thousand of them in the three levels of this massive stadium. Unbelievable and what an impression. Didn’t see this at Sting, Dido or other shows. Frankly, I prefer more intimate venues for concerts but this was Roger Waters and this is Buenos Aires.
Do fans do this in the United States? Have you seen this before?
Of course, Roger wouldn’t be Roger Waters if he didn’t pull an old “pig” out of the closet. And true to Roger’s persona political messages were woven in to the concert and graffiti’d onto the pig. In Buenos Aires the messages were for the most part in Castilian spanish of course:
- “Kafka rules OK!”, “
- “Encierren a Bush antes de que nos mate a todos” (Imprison Bush before he kills us all)
- “Libres al fin!” (Free at last)
- “Galtieri, Videla, Bush y Thatcher, todos dan asco!” (Galtieri, Videla, Bush and Thatcher, you are disgusting!)
- “Nunca mas” (Never again, a phrase popularized during the Argentinian “Dirty War”),
- “Donde esta Julio Lopez” (Where is Julio Lopez, in reference to a witness who disappeared just a few months ago while in the middle of testimony against Miguel Etchecolatz)
- “No mas desaparecidos” (No more missing people, in referece to the thousands who disappeared during the Dirty War)
- “El miedo construye paredes” (Fear builds walls), and “cut here” with a dotted line on the pig’s throat
“Kafka rules OK!”, ”
• “Encierren a Bush antes de que nos mate a todos” (Imprison Bush before he kills us all)
After the show and thanks to the wonders of cell phones and text messages, I finally did rendezvous with Daniel, Pedro and the crew from Bolivar. We at dinner after midnight in true Argentina style and drained many bottles of Quilmes. The next morning the gang moved back to Bolivar and I continued my Buenos Aires exploration and ticking off items on this moto traveler’s task checklist . In two weeks, Daniel and I planned to connect somewhere near Cordoba for a short little trip (viajito) with Juan. Before that, I need to get the bike road ready once again.