The Rolling Stones were booked for two shows in Las Vegas on Wednesday October 19 and Saturday October 22, 2016. This was a short “mini-tour” of four public shows, plus a couple of corporate/private shows, not available to the public. The Las Vegas crowd is very different from any other crowd in a city in USA, or any other country, as most of the fans travel into Las Vegas, not just from nearby, but from all over USA. For these two Stones shows, there would be fans coming in from all over the world.
Coming from Palm Springs California into Las Vegas Nevada was a bad experience for me. I had enjoyed every minute in Palm Springs of friendly service, fresh air, mountains close up, and numerous outdooon dining places including Mexican food which I love. Also, most of all the peace and quiet. You could walk or run for an hour or two in Palm Springs, not much traffic, not many traffic lights. I arrived into Las Vegas and had no hotel. The plan was to get a car and drive to Grand Canyon for a couple of days, but I changed last minute. Don’t like driving a car, don’t like to spend extra money on sights when I already spend a lot of money on Stones touring. So I booked two nights at the Tropicana…
Desert Trip #1 was great, but I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, at my hotel in Indio. My good friend Jim had taken me from Los Angeles to Indio, but with the first of two concert week-ends being over, I was loking for a nicer place to stay for the coming week. It seemed like Palm Springs was the place to be, and I planned for the Days Inn hotel, they had cheap rooms with balconies, and the mountains were right next to the city center.
Continue reading “Palm Springs Desert Trip 2016 second week”
There had been talks about The Rolling Stones playing the Coachella festival for some time. What we did get was not the actual Coachella festival in the spring, but a new event called “Desert Trip” during October 2016, at the same site as the Coachella festival, with six mega-acts on the same bill: The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Neil Young, The Who and Roger Waters.
Continue reading “Desert Trip 2016 first week”
The summer of 2016 was my first summer back home in Norway since 2012. The Rolling Stones were on tour in North America and UK in 2013, Europe 2014 and North America 2015. Add travels to Asia, two times to Australia and New Zealand, and the great Latin America tour, including Cuba, it has been four great years with around one hundred Stones shows, rehearsals, meeting friends on all continents, but still one important part missing in my life. Summer in Norway!
Continue reading “Summer in Norway”
The band a-ha is the best selling band from Norway. They sold out Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with 200,000 fans once, they have a large following from worldwide fans, and they are right on my doorstep at home in Norway. They did their farewell tour late 2010, and I saw the three final shows in Oslo Spektrum then. It was real farewell shows, many tears from the superfans, great shows. Now they have returned for another 2015/2016 tour, and I was able to catch up with their three shows in Oslo during the four days from Saturday April 30 to Tuesday May 3, 2016.
Mick Jagger walked out of Hotel Saratoga twenty minutes past noon on Saturday March 26, and left Havana escorted by police motor cycles with blue lights. The rest of the band and the management left around the same time. I had my last night at the Saratoga because the Sevilla was full tonight. Most fans and friends were on their way back home, and I had a flight out of Havana early moning Sunday. This was my last day in Havana, and my last day on tour. When Mick walked out of the hotel door, as I was watching the crowd outside from the lobby, the tour was over for me. The band was on their way back home, and so was I, soon.
Hotel Sevilla Havana Cuba is part of the Mercure brand, under the French Accor chain. If you ever go to Havana Cuba, then make sure you vist this hotel. It is a truely hidden gem. I stayed at the Sevilla for eight of my nine days in Havana during the Rolling Stones travel March 2016, and that was my third stay at the Sevilla since 2000. It is still my number one Havana choice, and I will return to Havana Cuba and the Sevilla some day for sure. Even if you just do a day visit, make sure you enjoy this great originally Biltmore branded hotel, where once Al Capone and a bunch of other well known names used to hang out, before the revolution that is.
I have seen every show of The Rolling Stones tour in Latin America. This was a new crowd, the Cuba crowd was a “virgin” crowd. The Rolling Stones have never been to Cuba. I expected the same kind of crowd we had in Montevideo Uruguay, Porto Alegre Brazil, Lima Peru and Bogota Colombia. The “new” crowds in South America were curious, pleasant, relaxed, and you had lots of space in the crowd. But I have been in Cuba a few times, I thought may be I should go early to the show. Friends asked me what my strategy was for Cuba. I did not have any strategy until the day before the show. Then I was in for a front row position.
It is Thursday March 24 – the day before the day. The Rolling Stones are expected into Havana Cuba this afternoon, and I go out to the concert area to check out how it looks like since I was there last Friday. An open air Coco takes me there in 20 minutes. I meet friends and fans, there are now approx 200 people out there plus the crew of some 300 people working on the finishing parts. The sun is up and it is hot, +34 C i.e. 100 F.