Two for two.
Well, it seems that we’re airborne. The maiden flights of the Viva La Vida tour have been a success and it looks like we’re in for a good run. Admittedly, the shows passed in a blur – a mixture of concentration and panic that leaves one utterly shattered. I have to say, the standout aspect of the shows for me is how effective the acoustic section has been. This is possibly because I don’t have anything to do at that point in the show. I have a feeling, however, that it’s more because it is a truly emotionally resonant moment. You can feel the crowd pass first through confusion that all the lights have come on, then excitement that the band are suddenly wandering through the arena, to the final shrieks of recognition as Yellow strikes up.
From where I stand near the stage, the guys look very small up there at the back of the arena. They also sound pretty fragile – often being drowned out in the choruses by the roaring sing-a-long of the crowd. When they get to "For you I bleed myself…", it’s just one huge voice and the band are but a tiny part of it.
Back on the main stage, the ending to Yes is now similarly transformed, as the guys jam up a storm. Monday night saw Will exploding into life as the four of them played off each other, completely freeform. I couldn’t tell if it was the anxiety of the first show, or the excitement of the response, but Will was utterly on fire at being let of the leash like this. It was truly a sight to behold.
Thoughts of a leisurely start to day two were scuppered when word came around that, for some reason, the band’s passport photos had been rejected from their Japanese Visa applications. Things needed to happen fast, as the consulate would not release any of the passports they were holding until this was resolved. This meant nobody (band or crew) could fly anywhere until we got it sorted.
Luckily, there was a linen trolley outside of my room – where I swiftly swiped a fresh bed-sheet as a photographic background – and there was plentiful sunshine out by the pool. Band assistant EJ rounded up the guys and one by one they gazed blearily into the early morning sunshine as EJ held the white sheet behind them.
I did the electronic equivalent of waiting for the prints to pop out of the machine and we were good to go. The gig wasn’t bad either…