Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roger Waters "The Wall Live" Tour, Brazil 2012

25 March 2012

Whou would have thought that I would have the opportunity to go to a world famous rock concert in Brazil?  Thanks to the generosity of one of my Brazilian friends, I was able to do just that and see the Roger Waters "The Wall Live" tour in Porto Alegre.  Since the first concert I ever attended was Pink Floyd after Roger Waters had left the band, this was like completing something unfinished.  As far as putting on an amazing show, these were without a doubt the best I've attended, especially in terms of visuals and special effects.

It was held in a soccer stadium called "Beira Rio" in Porto Alegre, far and away the largest venue I've ever attended.  The fuzzy object in the background was supposed to be the airplane in the next picture.
The airplane was part of the special effects of the show and runs down on a wire to explode behind the wall.
The "line" to get into the stadium was not organized in any way - it seemed to be done by word of mouth, everyone asking everyone else which line was which, resulting in chaos and frustration.
When the "line" finally got moving, the lines merged again into a sort of mob and reformed, with may people jumping the line, which was quite frustrating.  Here we are within sight of the sign indicating the start of the three types of lines, which was the only organization outside the stadium.
We had to wait in line again to get through a security checkpoint - finally here we are walking up the ramp to the stadium.  Above is the flag of the soccer team, and in the back is a smaller covered arena used for other sports.
Looking down, you can see the people taking up one lane of the street in the mob/line.  It doesn't look like many people, but they must have arrived gradually because in the end it took five hours to get everyone inside the stadium and the concert started about an hour late because of it.
Finally inside!  The white thing in front of the stage is The Wall, made of styrofoam bricks about a meter wide.  It was used as a projection screen throughout the concert to amazing effect, and as the concert went on they added bricks one by one until it was completely obscuring the band behind it.
The plane was almost directly above where we sat.

There are sellers of candy, snacks, water, soda and beer circulating throughout the show, which surprised me.  I guess in a stadium this size it is best not to have everyone going up and down to the snack bar, although this was also an option.
Popcorn, both salty and caramelized.  Yum.
Sunset, and still you can see that the stadium isn't full yet.
Now it's nearly time for the show and the floor of the stadium is quite packed.  There were no floor seats, it was standing only.

We were asked not to use flash photography once the lights went down, so the rest is on video.  Sadly, you can see just how many people cannot follow instructions, as camera flashes were going off constantly throughout the show.

Having massive problems with my video editing software, so I'm going to go ahead and publish this post and hope I can get it sorted out later.



Saturday, March 17, 2012

27ª Festa Heróis do Tempo (Heroes of Time Party)

17 March 2011

So, instead of celebrating St. Patrick's Day, which is really not the thing here in Brazil, I was invited to go with a group of my students to a club event called Heróis do Tempo (Heroes of Time).  What a fun evening with a fabuloous group of people!

The party featured an "oldies" theme, which apparently these days means 80's music.  I guess I'm now an "oldie" too, because I knew just about every song they played (most were in English).  The first couple of hours was DJ'd but after that they had a live band that did some extremely good covers of 80's and 90's songs.  

Why go to all the trouble of spiking and coloring your hair when you can just wear a wig?  I think they have somehow missed the meaning of "punk".
 The decor was really cool, this is the view from the upper level, which is a balcony running around the outer perimeter of the dance floor. 
They were giving out various types of candy as party favors, one of which was an ice cream cone topped with some sort of coconut marshmallow candy to look like an ice cream.  Cute idea. 
And they were fun to play with, too!  They made good silly props for goofing around. 
 Sing it girlfriend!
Nothing sexier than a guy carrying ICE CREAM!
Ahhhh, free smoothies!  
Now we can really start getting silly.
Dancin', YEAH!
It looks like "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"...
 The guys dancing (yes, guys actually dance in Brazil, awesome isn't it?), BEFORE...
 ... and AFTER realising they are dancing to the song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".  Look at those red faces!
Another view of the dance floor, now that it's filled with people.
 A shot of the live band.
After two or three hours, we finally reached the point where we wanted to sit down. 
Doesn't she have the face of an angel?  Unlike me, she looks beautiful in every picture. 
 What does this mean, anyway?  Peace on my eye? 
Well anyway, whatever it is, we've all got it!

Saying goodbye to the Time Heroes.  Notice the vintage TV which is considerably older than the 80's.
Us early birds headed home around 3:00 - the others stayed until morning!  People just don't sleep here. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Yellow and Green Caipirinhas

16 March 2012

Friday night - it was looking to be a quiet one and I was getting ready for an evening spent reading in bed, when I received a call from a friend to go out for drinks.  So off I went, bringing another teacher with me, to a bar called Santa Fe, where we met up with my friend and her (Brazilian) English teacher from another school.  Yes, I was fraternizing with the competition!

It was the first time I'd been upstairs, and I was glad that I did because there was live music.  A male guitarist/singer and a female singer performed many songs I remembered from the 80's... sort of a warm-up for tomorrow night's event, but I'm getting ahead of myself now.

We had a good time and tried new and exciting flavors of caipirinhas in Brazilian flag colors - maracuja (passionfruit) and kiwi.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Free Concert: Nenhum de Nós

15 March 2012

I was invited by a friend (thank you!!!!) to go to a free concert at the local university campus (UNISC), featuring a prominent band from this region called Nenhum de Nós - I guess you could call it "gaúcho rock" because it was popular music with just a hint of redneck in the accompaniment: banjo, accordion, and acoustic guitar.  The accordionist even wore one of those flat black Zorro-style cowboy hats.

The crowd, mostly university students, was very enthusiastic - unfortunately the venue was just a food court so it was spilling outside the area and difficult to see.  I wish I had been standing where some of these photos were taken instead of peering over people's heads - although I suppose it was cooler on the outside.

This photo is from the band's official site.
I think that this photo was taken by a photographer from the university, since they were up on the roof of the concession buildings.  After the concert, I found out that not only had many of my friends attended the show (I didn't encounter a single one), one of them was even responsible for the "Free Hugs" sign in the middle.
 These were taken by a friend and are much closer to the stage than off to the side where I was standing.

Ironically, one of the band's most popular songs is a cover of David Bowie's "Starman" and they performed it as an encore.  Later at home I watched David Bowie perform it on YouTube... I had somehow managed to erase from my mind the freaky and embarrassing things people wore in the 70's, but now they are burned onto my retinas.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 4: Parque das Aves

25 February 2012

Very near the entrance to the national park where the waterfalls are, and often overlooked, is the Parque das Aves or bird park.  It was not on our itinerary, but when we saw the signs for it, we made arrangements to go.  It was time very well spent - in fact, we wished the tour guide had allowed us more time here as we had just about 90 minutes and didn't get to every exhibit in the park.
 There were parrots in a wide variety of colors, very beautiful.
 This one had feathers that reminded me of an eagle.

 This guy was hanging out where the people were, but in the background, the others were playing on a hanging perch together.  It was really cute.

Closer view of the birds playing. 
 Some very sweet macaws getting some lovin'. 

No idea what bird this is. Looks like Thanksgiving to me!

In one of the large aviaries, I saw my first toucan!  (and second, and third, and...

I have some videos to upload from this aviary too.
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 Between the exhibits the park was like a rainforest.

 The harpy eagle is one of the biggest in the world.
 I only got to see it from a distance, but it looked like it would be about a meter tall!  Wow!
How handsome...
 Actually, despite that hideous poster, he spread his wings just as we got there and was really quite beautiful. There was also a "chick" in the cage with half down and half feathers... bigger than a full grown chicken!

 Inside the butterfly and hummingbird house.  This butterfly was as big as my whole hand, and the inner side of the wings iridescent blue.

 There was a large macaw aviary that we could walk through.

I was unable to get a good photo of the birds in flight, but they are absolutely stunning.  In this enclosure they would fly past so close that sometimes the feathers would brush my skin.

I am laughing here because as soon as this guy was put on me he quickly started running up my arm. After sweeing those others biting through wood chips for fun, I was a little concerned that he might be going for my ear.

 Brazil is famed for gemstones, and in the gift shop were these amazing birds carved of semiprecious stones.