Monday, February 27, 2006
Whew...a long last couple of days, but good times. U2 in Santiago was definitely the coolest concert I´ve ever been to, probably ever will go to...I wish I would have brought my camera or camera phone like some of the 80,000 other people did. Anyways, it was a chaotic day full of people mainly, but also expensive taxi rides, and geared up carabineros, basically riot police. My buddy Tyler and his girlfriend Lisa, who we´d traveled with for the past 2 weeks were stay in Santiago for the concert so I met up with them in the afternoon. Emily had class and tests until 600, so we had a few hours to kill before meeting her at the metro and heading to the concert. So, after having almost everyone I´ve met here in Chile tell me that there was no way that we would get in that late to the concert, and even if we did we´d get trampled, I was naturally curious to check out if this was going to be the case. So, the three of us headed to el estadio nacional to ask some sort of authoritative concert figure. We showed up about 4 and discovered a massive herd of people, about 50 deep for about a 3/4 mily curling around the stadium fences. We started asking around and this line was just for the cancha (floor), which of course was the type of tickets that we had bought. They had several checkpoints along the line, and a type of cattle shute style for moving people ahead at timed intervals. Lisa had been a bit hesitant to be on the floor to start with, and when she observed the carbineros putting on their full gear (knee pads, vests, nut cups?) it didn´t help calm her nerves. Well, I guess all of our nerves. Anyways, we were able to ask someone who looked like they were in charge of the chaos our questions and they informed us that if you had a ticket, of course you would get in. We decided not to get in line, figuring that it was better and safer to wait for Emily and stay in a group...better for the experience as well. So, that´s what we did. Emily showed up around 830, so we had 30 minutes to take 2 metros and a taxi to the stadium...we definitely pushed the envelope...I even hurdled over a ticket machine thingy when it jammed on me...and got called aside and verbally warned by a carabinero. Just my luck. We ran into the stadium doors at 852, missing all of the opening band FransFerdinand, but who cares. We ended up finding a decent area to stand, somewhat near the exit, but midfield, and only about 200 feet from the stage...not bad. I´m sure we were within a hundred feet of people who had been there for 12 hours. The concert itself was spectacular. They played from 940 till 1200, something like 17 songs or thereabouts. They sang some different lyrics for a few songs in spanish which was pretty neat. The crowd was smoky, but fun, and although most probably didn´t know what they were singing, they still knew all the ¨words¨. Lots of soccer chanting going on, as well as the Chile chant, which was pretty impressive to hear from the floor. One thing that was particulary superb was the fact that the concert was in Latin America, where I´m about 6 inches taller than the average person, which meant a full stage view. Even the girls managed to have decent views. There were a few people near us who watched the tvs all night as opposed to the upper half of the person in front of them...but sang the whole time...pretty funny. Anyways, I can´t really desribe the concert any more than that...although they did play one song with a tiny chilean guitar that they´d been given by the president that day...pretty neat acoustic version. After the concert we managed to get out with the first thousand people or so. For about a mile outside the stadium there were food vendors lined up selling huge sausages completos (special hotdogs which deserve an entire entry of their own), and tons of u2 odds and ends. We managed to get on one of the first busses to leave the stadium and made it home to the hostel by 1. Not bad. A seriously exciting night. So, now I´m back in Valparaiso, headed home to shower and sleep, Emily has class all day and will move into the house tomorrow night...they´ve been staying at a hotel thus far. I plan to find a job this week, so we´ll see how that goes. These blogs are a great deal...if only they didn´t have such an annoying name. Oh well.
Posted by CLB at 6:15 AM