30 March 2011
'Glove Thrown Down'Buenos Aires. Show 1.
I should have counted my blessings on the round trip to the stadium last night, because trying it with traffic during the day was significantly more traumatic. Well, that's probably overstating it but a commute of around 90 minutes each way made for a very long day.
It was a long day to remember though, with the glove of Real Thing being thrown down and everybody rising to the challenge. The band arrived at the stadium for 2pm, allowing two hours on stage before doors opened. There was some discussion in the dressing room prior to taking the stage as to what the approach would be, but then they just went out there and did it. First of all they played without the P.A. being turned on, to allow a gesture towards privacy (I was loving hearing everything with my new ‘ears’) and figure out how close to Dec's remix they could play live. The intro of the remix has the guitar riff and the drum part deliberately out of time with each other, before rationalising into a single rythmn at the huge kick in. This kind of thing is easy to do when cutting up a studio recording but playing it live is a whole other deal. Larry pointed out that if it was a drum part that was entirely new to him it would have been a lot easier, but the fact that it was so very familiar and a part that he'd played for years, to try to un-learn it and then deliberately play it out of time was a complete and utter 'head-wreck'.
However, professionalism won the day and after just a few stagger-throughs this new version of Even Better Than the Real Thing began to take shape before our very ears. The decision to play it or not was made later in the dressing room and after much discussion. Clearly the song was still in nascent form and an attempt at it this evening would be something of a busk. 'It’s our opening night in Argentina, why would we take such a high risk of egg-on-face?'. 'I guess it depends on whether you like the taste of egg...'
The rest is now history of course, as they went for it and for all its rough edges, the sheer manic energy of it got them through (that and 70,000 Argentinians going ape-shit, of course.) I was really proud of them for taking the higher-adrenalin route. Even in their position, that's still what being in a rock band is all about, surely?