Friday, July 17, 2009

The highs and lows of yesterday

Okay then, so we got to the concert yesterday - Vieille Charrues and I hobbled around due to the back ache (see previous post) and thought how mad I must have been. There was no way we were going to go up to the scrum at the first half of the concert area so we resigned ourselves to watching the stage action on the giant screens.
I'd smuggled my camera in down my bra and we must have looked pretty honest because our bags were barely looked through and they didn't pat us down as they were doing to hundreds of others. It is years since I've been to an open air concert (this was the first day of a four-day festival) and, because Springsteen was topping the bill, all 44,000 tickets had been sold.

There were quite a few interesting things that I could have taken photos of but, being slightly paranoid about having it confiscated, I saved my camera for what I thought would made a good picture.
Like the toilets!
Even thought I've always been a fan of The Boss, my main reason for getting these tickets that sold out in a day back in February was because The Killers - my favourite group - were the support act. I put myself through the pain barrier of a really bad backache and the thing is that unfortunately their sound was absolutely terrible. Every song they began sounded tremendous and then, as soon as the band joined in with Brandon's opening vocals, this reverberation started. People were walking round with their fingers in their ears and if I had not known each song that they performed, well I would not have been able to recognise any lyrics. (Ann - this was so disappointing, you can imagine).
Every image I have of them is from afar and I'm just glad that I could see their image on the screens fairly well.

I tried taking a few of Springsteen and the amazing E-Street Band (Nils Lofgren is such a legend) but by the time he came on at 9.15 there were thousands and thousands of people in my way. I was too short to reach up and get a good shot of them on the screens. But they rocked - they are easily the best live band I have ever seen, even surpassing The Stones who had been my Best Live Act up until last night. I've been lucky enough to have seen a lot of big names live - Clapton, The Who, Led Zep, Free, Ten Years After, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Dylan, Aerosmith, - to name but a few, but Springsteen wiped them all away.

I just wish that my back didn't hurt so much more today. Still, it was more or less worth it, even though I am upset that the sound for Brandon and the boys was so bad.

To give you a French view of it - I've c&p'd an opinion from another site

*un vrai moment de pur bonheur pour les oreilles hier soir!!!! Merci a ce grand artiste qu'est Bruce springsteen!!! Pas de born in the USA soit mais un show de 2H30 non stop!!! Ca c'est un prince du rock!!! Et cette version de twist and shout! A couper le souffle!!! Merci à ce grand monsieur qui m'a entrainée à faire mon retour aux vieilles charrues après 10 sans festival!!!Même s'il n'aime pas ce titre... il est quand même LE BOSS!!!!!*


Cynthia said...

On the other hand, you did it, Mrs. FF! Imagine going to that rough and tumble scene with a bad back and a smuggled camera. You are amazing! To bad about the reverberation on your fav group. Who would imagine that that sound debacle could go on without someone heroically stepping in and rescuing the audio and audience. Today is a day of well earned rest, no doubt. Relax with a few pain killers-er listen to some recordings of The Killers a maybe take something for your back! <3

Lulu LaBonne said...

So glad at least Brucie sounded good, but what a shame about The Killers. And your back - is it a set back or are you on the road to recovery?

I'll be working at WOMAD in Wiltshire next week and hoping to have time to catch some music - I don't normally think of myself as a 'festival sort of person' but I do love these ones. Decent weather helps too doesn't it?

willow said...

Springsteen almost bought the house next door when it was for sale a few years back. Can you imagine? "Oh, hi, Bruce, how's it goin'?" His wife is from our neck of the woods.

Fun to see your pics.

Elizabeth said...

Do hope your wretched back is better?
Better you than me
but wonderfully brave and thrilling.......

word verification (I kid you not)

this was/is the village in Essex where I grew up
veeeeeeeeeery strange

Nora Johnson said...

So glad, FF, you enjoyed the concert despite the bad back! And yes, Springsteen truly is THE BOSS!!

Have a wonderful (and relaxing!) weekend,

xxLOL LOLA & Nora:)

PS Love to Misty & Poppyxx

Ayak said...

I knew Bruce wouldn't be a disappointment..shame about the Killers though.

Glad you enjoyed it in spite of the pain..get some rest and get well soon xxx

Contemporary Troubadour said...

You are intrepid, FF. Hope the back heals quickly -- very glad the trek was worth it, even if the Killers disappointed.

Steve said...

Glad you had a good time. Your photos remind me of watching U2 at Wembley for their Pop tour... if it wasn't for the screen I'd've seen eff all - apart from the shoulders of the guy in front!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

I hope your back is better very soon, Madame FF! I am glad that you feel it was all worth it for the legend that is The Boss! Sorry to hear the Killers were ruined by poor sound quality - If they got it right for Bruce, then they should have managed it for them too, non?

Thank you for the lovely French review - Always sweet to see how language is developing and being modernised... When I speak it, I must sound as old as Flaubert's Parrot!

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah, I have been allowed onto your site! I usually get bounced off and closed down. I hope your back is better soon and I envy you seeing the Boss. Shame about the sound, I suppose that is a hazard of open air gigs.

Lulu LaBonne said...

Sorry - I answered your question with an accompanying anecdote over at my place but the short answer is David Sancious. He's not been in the band for years.

Blu said...

So glad that Le Boss was good and made it worthwhile.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

Blu x

Ann said...

Been watching golf for 4 days FF.

Oh no, oh how disappointing FF, oh jeez, and worst of all you waited so long to see them, and I waited so long to hear your account of them, did they not do a sound check, did nobody bother to step in and tell them about it, was it so bad that you did not recognize " Human ", jeez that was a crying shame, I can imagine how disappointed you were FF, sort of like going to the dentist for a check up, and ending up with a root canal, though this is surely worse, sorry my friend, I know how this must have upset you.

Friend of mine as already mentioned, have seen " The Boss " in America, and last week he was in Dublin, friends who saw it, raved about his performance, saying it was the best ever. I have the CD, the 2009 limited tour edition, and though not a particular fan, this is really good, and found myself enjoying his music.

Pictures were good, the man is so gorgeous, worth smuggling in a camera, yeah ha!.

Was there any explanation from anybody as to why there was this reverberation, I am just amazed that nobody tried to sort the music out.

Hope your back is improving.

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous concert. I'm envious.

Brother Tobias said...

So glad you made the gig, and that Springsteen rewarded the pain(I can match you for the Stones, Clapton, The Who, Fleetwood Mac and Dylan, but am deeply envious of the others). Hope your back and bruises improve rapidly. As for the camera ban, what was that about? (I'd have patted you down, though...)

Clarity said...

I hope you feel better soon, back pain...oh.

You are so blessed girl, you not only saw his band live, but The Who?? and Fleetwood Mac?? wow.

I think your erm... camera transportation was rather daring if not uncomfortable! Shame about the reverb, next time perhaps.

Anonymous said...

You might have been in pain but SOOOOO worth it!


marc aurel said...

What are those green things, (last photo), with orange scoops at the top? Some king of stage lights?

I've never been to an outdoor concert, although I did get suspended above "Steel Wheels" at the CNE, when the old teleferique broke down.

Nora Johnson said...

Hi French Fancy!

Yes, they are all beautiful, aren't they? I preferred the hound at first but now, after studying them all again, am not so sure! I wonder if you had a favourite too?


Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi FF, Hope your back is feeling better? I hope so. It seems I haven't got a trapped nerve...maybe more of a slight variant of Guillane-Barre syndrome. Hey...I like the irony of it "GB syndrome" but with a French name (the BNP...British National Party NOT the bank would love that!)

Glad the concert went well (apart from the Killers sound that is)...

I need to start blogging about Mr.H's reminiscences. He was social sec. and booked a lot of bands before they got famous (and that includes Elton John).

The other thing that I need to mention I can't do the you want your donation back? The RNLI have insisted that I approach everyone who donated to ask them this question.

BTW...I'm blogging about "GB and all that" on my diet and (ex-run) blog!! ;)

claire p said...

It sounds like it was worth it really. Good memories to store. I haven't done much giging. But those I have been to have been great. SHame about the killers though.

French Fancy said...

Cyn - almost a week later and I'm still suffering but on the last bit of it now. Thanks for your lovely words

Lu - good on you getting involved with WOMAD. You must know some very interesting people

willow - oh imagine having him as a neighbour. He'd be just the sort of strong person to open jars.

Elizabeth - how weird about the wv - I'll feel equally amazed if Finchley or Hampstead come up :)

(have to do other comments later - can't sit down for very long)

French Fancy said...

Nora - love to you and the beautiful bichon Lola

Ayak - I was so disappointed but it didn't stop me singing along - all on my own amongst thousands of French

contem - with hindsight I reckon I was mad to go

Steve - without those screens a titch like me would be lost

AWONI - if I had had the 'oomph' I would have moved around the arena to try and find a better spot - perhaps it was just where we were. Backache prevailed unfortunately

CA - how weird that we have this block between our systems

Lu - no worries - I've googled him and he is (was) gorgeous - you lucky woman

(back later for balance of cmments)

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Bravo prince du rock! Oh I loved that review, it takes me back to my quebec days. Shame about the sound though. Hope the back gets well soon.

French Fancy said...

Ann - I've just been looking at some vieille charrue 2009 uploads of the Killers on youtube and they took the images from the tv (It was on Virgin channel out here). It sounded pretty good for the crowds at home watching it - you can see all the remarks I've left, it's obvious which are mine :).

If I had spare cash I'd go to the US for September when they do concerts in their homeland - imagine the atmosphere for those. The French crowd last week did not appreciate them - they were all there for Springsteen

Blu - thanks :)

Mr WO - it sometimes is better just to sit and watch it at home. Two mins ago I was watching tv uploads on Youtube with perfect sound and vision - and it would have saved the old back

Bro Tob - yes, the stupid camera ban - people around me looked shocked when I fumbled in my bra and held aloft the banned substance.

Stupid French rules!

Clarity - yes, there will be anext time. I've promised myself that when the Killers release their fourth album I will spend some time and money in London watching (I hope) the concerts they will do to promote it. I won't bother watching a group I like again in France

NWBD - well, it's taken me over a week to get my back better so not really sure if it was worth it in hindsight, although Springsteen was magnificent - superb.

marc - they were coloured lights scattered around this vast plain - they were tremendous and at least I could see them clearly - not like the blobs in a distance on the stage.

Stuck at the top of a broken down machine sounds terrifying - I don't like heights

Nora - after bichons all other breeds are an equal second. I just adore dogs.

Hade - so sorry you have had to abandon your run. No I don't want the donation back because it is such a worthy cause. What a shame you've been in such pain though - I don't have much faith in doctors when it comes to backs - I could tell you some stories from when I had my back trouble 22 years ago. You have to be careful even with the back specialists, although since MRIs became the norm it is rare that diagnostic mistakes are made now though

claire - I love live gigs

Reasons - I didn't know you had lived in Quebec. I've been to Montreal and Toronto but never Quebec.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thank you, FF, for the donation and the sympathy. Glad too that your back is feeling a bit better and I imagine you are too! :)

Carol said...

Awwww hon, that is such a shame about The Killers!! They are usually superb live (not that I have seen them but I have many friends that have!!). I do hope that your back is starting to feel a bit more normal.

And can I just say....Aerosmith, The Who, The Stones, Pink Floyd....I am most jealous!! We clearly have the same taste in music!!

C x

Ann said...

Laughing at all the comments, you don't happen to be pcyy by any chance do you ha!.

Listening to them, just wonderful, still cannot understand this, T in the Park, they played, it was live on the beeb, those watching insisted they were the best they had heard, yet your acoustics were appalling, sounds as if the French crowd were very docile.

Well if nothing else FF, at least you were breathing the same air as the beautiful Brandon, and that has to be worth everything.

Most of the French comments say .

Love all that music as well Carol, real music.

david mcmahon said...

A couple of great images there and yes, I'm a S[ringsteen fan too.

Deb said...

Hi ~ I saw the Stones in Boston at Fenway and it was the most amazing concert I have ever been to - I am not always a fan of open air concerts because of the sound quality but the atomosphere is fun. Hope your back is on the mend. Take care.

French Fancy said...

Hade - today (fri) is the first day I can bend down - 'oo 'er missus

Carol - I used to love going to see bands but this was the first such event for about 15 years

Ann - yep Ann, I am that pcyy :). I don't understand the direct feed into the tv being better sound but TAF has attempted to explain it in the post above (with the youtube clips there for your repeated delight)

David - somehow I knew, just knew you would be a Boss fan

Deb - I've seen the Stones a couple of times and they are awesome live aren't they?

Brian Miller said...

sorry your back was hurting so. a little adventure is always good though. congrats on the POTD mention.

French Fancy said...

Brian = thanks for this and now off to find out about you

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