Thursday, July 05, 2018

Blind Items Revealed #35 - A Himmmm Blind Item - Part Four Of 8 Parts Which I Will Space Every Five Minutes - Reveal 5 Minutes After The Final Part

March 26, 2018

As the dark began to settle in, the crowd was an ocean of people who had been there rocking all day.  Massive.  To see over 70,000 humans – do you have any IDEA how many people that is?? A fu@&%ng entire city staring back at you.  Just the crowd chatter was pitching the mic levels near red.  The band said it was "the biggest pub crowd we'd ever played to".

H3 was going to kick off the show by himself, as their lead-in intro song was a way for the sound mixers to set the levels as each member is supposed to come on the stage and began to play one-by-one.  With a high-five to me for luck, H3 crawled and shimmied up through a trap door in the back of the set up stage, to sneak into the drum riser.  He snagged his clothes on the door, but luckily didn't rip anything.  Like a deranged elf, he was the first soldier into battle.

When I heard the video director announce in my ear-piece that it was time, I actually began to get nervous.  It wasn't quite dark outside yet, but hazy enough for dusk.  A summertime, damp London chill and no breeze that let the sound and smoke hang in the air.  The stage lights instantly dropped and PA went quiet.  H3 crawled nervously atop his stool, looking out at this sea of faces and bodies.  He held up a peace sign to signal the crew.  More people than he'd ever faced in his life, all he could think of was: "Don't f#@k this up…don't f#@k this up…okay, I'm a drummer, count to four - one hand – foot, hand, foot…".

When the fans saw H3 behind the kit, they ERUPTED into a ROAR so loud it created a blast of noise and wind powerful enough to knock you down.  Then came the announcement in my ear:  "Sixty seconds to LIVE BAND".  The band members began to gallop around the side of the stage set, running into battle one at a time.

Then: "thirty seconds", came the announcement.

The ten seconds to live rolling cameras and sound speed.  As HT gave me a wink and told me to "have fun lil brotha".  Before slapping up his own people and snaking his way to run out to the stage…he stole my lit cigarette and hot-boxed it to the filter in two draws.  Not even old enough to buy a beer in the states, but there I was.  Still a teenager and had just handed over a check of nearly two million dollars to throw this party.  Probably a world record price for a concert ticket.  As HT ran out to the stage, I followed and took my place in the shadows.

The band was working through the intro song, H3 hammering the beat, and the crowd blasts in cheers when HT galloped onto the stage.  They all were getting into the groove of the first tune, like a good warm up.  H3 beat those drums like they owed him money.  I stood there in the wings, a proud friend on the side of that stage with two stunning blondes on either side of me.  As soon as the opening song came to an end, there was applause and cheers.  I braced myself for what was about to happen, warning my dates to hang on tight – it's gonna get loud.  (When you watch the video this is the 4 minute and 07 seconds mark).

That's the moment H3 dropped the hammer, and kicked off that drum for the first major song.  It hit like a thunderbolt…

And oh, baby…did it ever hit.

That first note was like launching a nuclear explosion atop fifty tons of dynamite.  The roar and vibration of the packed stadium sent a vibration through your entire body.  Literally.  Your muscles vibrated, and the metal around you danced like an earthquake.  Your chest felt the concussion of the screaming roar.  The band didn't start playing – they EXPLODED into a blast of music, lights, and gymnastics that blew the crowd backwards.  Think I'm exaggerating? Hardly.  I'm underplaying it.

H3 beat those skins to death and blew hell off hinges as the entire crowd jumped.  In unison. Up.  And. Down.  It shook the entire stadium, and parts of the edifice were actually falling down like snowflakes.  The light towers in the crowd would've collapsed had they not been rigged right.  The damn camera cranes even shook.  Seventy-plus-thousand people all bobbing, jumping, and singing - hands over their heads to this one amazing song's beat.  It sent shocks of electricity through the air, into your body, and through your soul like a fever seizure of religious ecstasy.  The jumping and dancing of that crowd was a mass orgasm of 75,000 humans all in unison.  Nobody could sit still, and the band couldn't stop smiling.  It was the definition of epic.

 If you watch the video on YouTube, watch this second song (or the first BIG song of the show).  I was there and could hardly believe it.  Raw, pure, power.  Now my two lady friends were sandwiching me, grinding and jumping.  On me.  I totally ignored any duties I had that night.  It was okay, because the Producer and Director were the best.  I got to stand side-stage looking at my friends as two pop idols danced around me and the population of Wembley stadium went wild.  When KG the guitarist pivoted in my direction though, I noticed something amiss.  The guitar tech had grabbed MY guitar out of the rack on accident! Hell!  It was my guitar KG was now playing onstage, and not his.  I deftly jostled over to his guitar tech to warn them.  All I got was a grin in return.  So I just darted back to my spot and shook my head in awe at his band, with a flawless guitarist not even playing his regular ax, rocking it out.

What proceeded was one of the most powerful performances ever given.  Certainly in my estimate, but also by those who just watch the video without having lived it.  Live.  The band never ran out of steam or had a bum song.  No weak links.  And when my guitarist friend switched guitars and horns, he shot me a thumbs up and a grin – I shot him the bird.  He laughed.  He used my Fender for most of the rest of the show.  I was honored and proud to know that it was a part of this event, and knew – even then – that it would be historic.

3 comments:

Cameron said...

INXS

LooksLikeCRicci said...

Yup.

Pumpkin said...

Please don’t say “ behind the kit” it screams nerd

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