The boys were on fire again, but the sad fact was that the crowd was kind of not. Sure, subsections of the crowd were having that religious experience, but there were enough people that had shelled out $100-$225 for tickets who seemed relatively uninterested. The worst of this was the slow and old songs. Ripples being the slowest and oldest of the songs on the set list... people were downright disrespectful. That said, it was a moving experience... they all work so hard putting on that show not to mention all the stuff that might go on behind the scenes... come to find out form the forums Phil's son Simon was lurking around too!
Tailgating was neat, obviously it's fun to be around people who get you but I still felt shy - I had a great time talking to Cyrus who seems to be more like me than some of the other peeps and come to find out his fiancee plays the harp professionally. She had a cd in the car so I snapped it up, as it had a cover of Horizons on it. I cannot fathom how she arranged that for celtic harp, but it sounds terrific. I also got to meet the rep from the website/merch management company who does most of the communications on the forums; she was very nice and I thanked her again for the front row seats for DC. It was a great gesture that she came out to party with the fans. Polo was there with his rebuilt VW bus - the infamous shaggin' wagon - but I am kind of scared of him since well, we don't agree on much outside of Genesis. :)
Giants Stadium itself was not the worst venue, but it had its disadvantages, like people on the floor had to get a special pass to go up into the concourse, so that meant ALL porta-pottys unless you wanted to make a 15 minute trek. The chairs on the floor were awful and stuck a little close together, making dancing difficult. Hell, sitting, too. Naturally, once the lights came up, NONE of this mattered. They signal the opening of the show with that incidental music from American Beauty, and then launch into Duke's End. Very powerful - more powerful than just starting with TIOA. Which is what they go into next. :)
Both times for TIOA I was so overwhelmed with the ohmigod-ness of it all, that I confess I barely heard the song. I started the air drumming early (having studied this one a little) and Kevin from NY had joined me in my row - his original seats were way off to the side and I had co-opted some space from the row behind me which was, by the way, EMPTY. They were comp seats that I guess they hadn't given away. Kevin is a real honest-to-god professional drummer so seeing his reactions made the whole experience more fun. Kevin is also one of the first people I met from the forum way back in '05 when I went to Atlantic City to see The Musical Box!
Highlights included phenomenal performances on IKWIL, HBTS, Domino, Los Endos, and Carpet Crawlers. I really can't wait to get the soundboard recordings.
When I put these, I always hope people will click through and look at some of the other photos. So click through, and check out some of the other photos. :)
After the lights died down and the crowd filtered out, we got on the road pretty much immediately. One of the best parts of this whole experience for me was being able to share the love with fellow fans, and on the ride home we had a great sing-along to the Lamb album in the car with the wind in our hair - I do that alone, but it's more special with added togetherness. I slept in the cool PA night with the windows open, very satisfied and comfortable with the state of things. I haven't yet felt the keen depression other fans are describing - I'm sad it is over but I also know that it's highly unlikely that these artists will stop creating, in whatever format or group. They'll still be putting magic into the world. That's how I feel about it.