T0p D0g Reloaded
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
For my less fortunate readers
I have just realized not everybody knows John. What John who? John, the Romanian roadie for Placebo. Luckily I know John. So do our other friends. It's good to know John in general, but it was particularly good to know John this time, in order to find out if cameras were allowed "in", for instance. I might be wrong on this one, because we, not me, but the generic we, know other people in charge with the production. Also we had a number of questions. So we either called John or we have asked John face to face. As a matter of consequence, a number of conversation started with "John said...", "I have talked to John and ..." and "Should I call John?". It's good to know John, if you want insight. Well, without further ado, I have brought the camera to the concert, and then brought back pictures from there. Knowing John was a good conversation topic with the gendarmes, as well. I doubt they knew who John was, but my the dialogue, preceded by a lot of pushing and getting through the inefficient and bugging bag screening gate, went like below.
First gendarme: Open your bags, don't push.
Second gendarme: Do you have a ticket?
Third gendarme: What do you have there?
Me: My camera.
Third gendarme: No video camera allowed.
Me, moving on: It's no video, just photo.
Fourth gendarme: Let me see that. Sure it's no video?
Me: No, it's photo.
Organizer: No photo allowed either.
Me: ...but I called and they said photo is OK.
Fourth gendarme: ONLY pocket size. (Maybe they meant digital?)
Me, for lack of a better argument: This IS pocket size.
Organizer: This is bag size.
And indeed it was, but my bag is very small, Robert can vouch for that, there are much larger bags than mine. Also much smaller photo cameras.
Me, on the verge of a nervous breakdown from all the excellent organizing at the entrance, notice the inverted commas, from the sweating and from being thirsty and from being left behind by my pack, they were already in, with my voice from slightly hysterical to wining, but loud: OK! do you want me to call JOHN? I am with friends, they have invitations...
Organizer, slightly puzzled, I wonder if his eyes were really like "Who the fuck is John?", but he caved in, mainly from the pressure to advance: Go through!
And my friends did have invitations.
To start with, we all loved AB4. Ok, maybe not all, but I happen to think they were a decent opening act. I also happen to have their music on my computer. At work.
But just before that, finding a beer seemed particularly challenging. The first "piss boy", actually a girls, started spurting foam shortly after I "cued around" her beer backpack. The second, a boy, had to run to refill, so we didn't waste any time on him. With the third we have managed to get one beer. By this time my frustration was directly proportional with my thirst. So I started organizing the queue. Tough luck. It seemed like all were running close to empty as soon as I wanted to place my order. Managed to squeeze one more pathetic beer from this one, before I climbed the stairs to beer heaven. Hardly a queue there. Two guys in front of me. First one says: "Ten beers, please". Instead of strangling him on the spot and facing a lifetime sentence in a less then auspicious Romanian jail, I said "Boy, you are thirsty!" and patiently waited some more. Fortunately there were two beer taps, so second guy and me moved to a newly arrived beershopassistant. Second boy says "Three beers, fillemup". Bartender goes "2 hundred grands", second boy reached for his mobile to call for help. In short, I bought him one beer he was short of money for, and three for my own party. Could I also mention that these were my very last dimes? Just to see how noble I am, to the rescue of felow beer drinkers in distress. Must have also been about the best beer I had in a long long time.
There was little to do until the actual concert, apart from being pushed by people trying to get somewhere, making jokes with friends about the people trying to get somewhere and taking pictures of friends and the surrounding nice people not trying to get anywhere. So I shot a couple of unsuspecting neighbours.
You might want to play "identify the crowd". I have spotted one of my friends in the picture, although I have not actually seen him at the time. He is the one taking Brian Molko's interview for one of them teenage music magazines. Not that you could tell from my picture, two pictures before.
Then the-real-thing started.
I have only managed to take a ghost like picture of Molko. This guy did not stay put for my camera and there was always too much light on him the moment I pushed the button.
But here is my true love for the night, sweet Stefan Olsdal. Quite kissable and apparently openly gay. Almost to faint when he descended from the stage. The irony is we left the very spot only minutes before, because Vava needed the air. I guess, for one reason or another, one of us just needed to faint for this concert. Nevermind, we danced our asses off and shouted and sang. Like two crazed teenage-girls for their pop idol.
This is the last picture before my camera went off. Only had enough battery for 15 minutes of pictures. Bad planning like always, but managed to wing pretty well, like always.
The night ended at Shorley, where we discussed with T and N among other things about Indian movies and Mr. Shorley, we fed Belze, the little black kitten. Belze, short from Belzebuth, because of his, we suppose "his", black fur and disproportionately large bat-wings-like ears, enjoyed the cream from the tripe soup. Everybody was happy and high and well. Music is the best drug. We tried some more loud music in the speakers of my car on Splai for Vava to audition in the other car. When we returned we drove one next to another so she could hear more tracks. We managed to listed to Juanes' La Camisa Negra, Justin Timberlake's Cry me a river, Mary J. Blige's Family Affair before I was left on my own blasting and hollering The Killers' Somebody Told Me. No car was hurt during the performance of these.
at 2:58 AM