14 Mar 2008 - Rod in Santiago - part II


Worked most of the day with a 90min break to catch some rays and went to the show about 6 for an 8pm start. The football stadium holds 27,000 and it had been sold out for a long time. Right next door is the 60,000 capacity National Stadium which is where the show would have been moved to but for the last few years it has been undergoing refurbishment. A friend of mine emailed me in January while on holiday here. He went into the main square in Santiago to be confronted by loads of fans in Maiden Ts handing over a petition to the government to get a bigger venue so all our Chilean fans could see the band as obviously where we were playing wasn't big enough!! Hope they finish it soon as it would be great to play there.

Hundreds of fans were still milling around outside so I was surprised to see the arena packed when I went up on stage. I always go up and check out stage, view, audience, sound desk positioning etc as soon as I arrive to get my bearings and the vibe of the stadium. All looked great, you knew it would be a special show. I was told that all the fans outside couldn't get tickets and had come to listen -- and listen they would as the sound was really strong here. Depending on the nature of the venue it is most nights of course as Dougie knows what he is doing after almost 29 years with us!! After San Paolo we had one negative review on the sound which surprised me, but I do like to think that most of the time it is very loud and very clear.

The show was up there with Brazil, fantastic atmosphere, almost celebratory as it has been on much of this tour, its as if the fans are thanking the band for still being around and still caring so much about every performance. Very special. Everyone had a great time on stage, and I am sure the audience did too. I cant imagine a better reaction and as has been the case around all of South America everyone seemed to know every word
So, as usual, thankyou Chile for a wonderful evening -- it will be very tough to tear ourselves away from South America tomorrow when we head north to Puerto Rica. This is not at all negative on PR, just very positive on South America following an incredible 12 days or so there. We will most certainly be back as soon as we reasonably can. The friendliness and hospitality, the magnificent audiences, the sheer beauty of the continent and the endless variations of terrain all go to make every visit here memorable. And of course the police escorts -- its  going to be tough to wait at a traffic light when I get home to Hove next week !! I make a mental note to find yet more places to play which we haven't already visited. Perhaps Peru (there were fans at the Santiago hotel and one even said he had seen my on my bike ride there!), Ecuador, Venezuela, all would be good, as would others, and even more exotic parts of the countries we do generally visit, especially in somewhere as huge as Brazil. Who knows what the future holds but its always good to have a plan!!

After the show we headed for the pool bar. The England mens hockey team were there -- it hadn't been a world cup final as I misinformed you previously, it was the world cup qualifier against India. And they won, so congratulations to the team for making the world cup. Another good night was of course enjoyed by all and sundry.

- Rod


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