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.
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.
The Rolling Stones show number two in Mexico City Thursday March 17, 2016 was so different from the previous show on Monday. First of all the crowd was just fantastic. Secondly the mood on stage and the smiles and great interactions were unique. Add Mick Jagger spending all his extra energy on stage, Keith tuned up to maximum, Ronnie closing his eyes belting out the most beautiful solo playing, and Charlie keeping the engine running, plus the entire band on fire, and you have a show to remember for a long long time.
The first of two Rolling Stones shows of the Ole Tour 2016 in Mexico City was on Monday Mach 14. I was staying half an hour walk away, so it was easy to get to the show, in theory. For real, I had to walk for a couple of hours, because they had arranged the entrances in such a special way. Anyway, I got to the venue around 7pm, still plenty of time before the show start.
I had settled in here in Bogota at a hotel in the socalled Finance area, a nice area with bouquet bars and restaurants. Having a meal at 4pm, I had to stay inside, because it was a heavy thunderstorm. As I was watching the lighting strike just outside my restaurant widow panorame view, I counted half a second between the lighting strike and the thunders, which means approx 150 meters, i.e. 500 feet. Pretty close. I also understood why the sidewalks in Bogota are so elevated, the streets were flooded by water like 15 cm high i.e. half a foot, never seen anything like it before.
It is show day and I have already printed the boarding card for my next flight to Bogota. That is the sad part of the tour. When you go to the show you are already making preparations for the next city, and for leaving the current city soon. Anyway, I was in Lima, working hard on my deadline, to leave my hotel at 1:30pm, because I had early entrance. I had to be at the venue by 3pm.
It had been such a great weather in Porto Alegre Brazil since I arrived here on Sunday afternoon three days ago. Then on show day it got cloudy, and by 6pm, as I was about to go to the show half an hour away from the stadium, it started pouring down. A true rain shower. I had my poncho so no worries.
It is São Paulo and Saturday show day Feb. 27. No heavy workload today. I am free to plan the whole day with 100% focus on the show tonight. As a control freak, with my stupid “walk the city” all day before the show on Wednesday, today it will be all different. It will be “business as usual”. Like I use to do it.
São Paulo Brazil Feb 24, 2016 and it is show day! The first time The Rolling Stones will be performing in São Paulo since 1998. It took 18 years for them to return. I have been working all day Monday and Tuesday, and wanted to see the city with some hours walking in the afternoon. Showday. Not recommended…
The Rolling Stones at Maracana Stadium Rio De Janeiro! It was a large crowd and a large stadium. The band used the wings and the walkways a lot, due to the size of the venue, so even if I was not center stage, I got to see Mick, Keith and Ronnie close up many times. Even Charlie with his “Brazil” inspired bright yellow shirt was easy to spot.