POPMART Leg 1: 1997, North America

Jun
08
1997

Philadelphia show - Gay old time.

08 June 1997
Philadelphia show - Gay old time.
High spirits and high jinks post-show with Radiohead, R.E.M and, finally the Puerto Rican Gay disco in NY.

The band party stayed on in New York after the Giants Stadium shows, so commuted out to today's show in Philadelphia. Two large buses took the whole entourage on this 90 minute drive, so it turned into a bit of a Sunday school outing. Much larking about on the way and much reminiscing about the old days of touring by bus. Mind you, I don't think the sense of nostalgia was quite strong enough to get anyone to volunteer going by bus on the 32 hour road journey to Winnipeg from here, but it was a fun trip all the same.. There's never been a rock show at Franklin Field before, but it worked well as a venue. The guys from Radiohead came out to see us and laughed very loudly throughout the whole Lemon sequence. I think the more subtle nuances of the Spinal Tap aesthetic must be more apparent to English road crews. Radiohead joined us on the bus journey back to New York, so more juvenile behaviour followed.

On arrival back in New York everyone was way too wired to go to bed so headed out to party. The first stop was some Jazz club on 31st St., which appeared to be serving as the aftershow party from the Free Tibet show. The DJ was occasionally being interrupted by some dodgy karaoke singing, but otherwise there was a good enough vibe in the place. Michael Stipe and Mike Mills were present, Mike threatening to join in the karaoke at any minute, but common sense prevailed, at least for as long as we were there. The U2 party moved on to a club somewhere off Times Square called "Expo". It was Puerto Rican Gay Disco night, this being Puerto Rico day in Manhattan. The club is a converted theatre and was packed to the gills with people in wild costumes, doing every conceivable style of dancing. Incredibly loud music, drag acts......the place was just heaving in wild celebration - I tell you, these people know how to have fun. The uncontrollable energy and enthusiasm of the Puerto Rican dancers made the mainly white rock business crowd at the Jazz club look like a night out at the local lending library. Staggered back to the hotel around 5am.
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