YES! THIS IS IT, (sorry I am shouting but this is friggin' exciting!) I get to set up the stage and watch The Who perform from a relatively close distance inside Sun Life stadium.
Let me document this evening's rehearsal experience from the beginning...I'll try not to bore anyone, but really want to make sure you guys are living through this with me:
In the beginning...(sorry, wrong way to start)...we were asked on day 6 to try to come last night, big rehearsal day, at 3 pm and had to arrive by 5 pm. I understood that we would see The Who rehearse a few extra times if we arrived early but if you knew my work/home/life schedule you would certainly understand why I got there at 4:30 and didn't make it at 3 pm.
After I parked in my usual spot (so I can find it at the end of the night in that huge Sun Life stadium lot!) I saw a crew mate talking on his cell and after waving and walking past I hear "don't rush down here for rehearsal..." and stop and turn back around. He was on the phone with another crew mate telling him that unless you were there exactly at 3 pm then there is nothing to do but wait until the 5 pm time slot. Bummer...this crew mate of mine arrived at about 3:30 and apparently was not able to get into the stadium to assist. I wish the organizers had made that clearer for all of us that rushed down to help out -- and of course get a little more listening time with The Who!
Anyway another crew mate came at about the same time and we talked for a while since we had to wait anyway to get into the stadium. We checked in at the same white tent, received wristbands and were escorted to the stadium. I totally ignored/bypassed the lunch boxes. I think if I had to eat another horrible soggy sandwich for dinner one more night I would scream...sooooo that meant going hungry (but Steve, our roadie came to my rescue, more on that later).
Funny, but I finally remembered to bring "Jennifer" our cart's mascot: a mule (or donkey or ass..really). I decked her out with our cart number: PHR 4 (not that should not mean anything to anyone but fellow cart mates but the "PH" stands for pyrotechnics and the "R" is for radial -- once you see the show Sunday you will totally understand!) and her name: "Jennifer". If you read my day 1 blog you will remember that a number of us told our first roadie/cart leader that all our names were Jennifer. Well, we do have 2 Jennifer's so it only seemed appropriate. Our mascot is a little ass, no really, and sits proudly inside the cart. She tips over a lot but we always right her -- our little ass is just as proud as she can be. Postings of photo's will be later and she has some good poses!
We were escorted through the metal detectors and, despite being told to NOT bring our cell phones in since we are not supposed to photograph or record The Who/the show, we all brought ours. I honestly was hoping that I would not have to take Jennifer, our little ass, out of my pocket (yes, I had on cargo pants so my bulging pockets would not be weird looking)...now that would be embarrassing and I don't get embarrassed easily at all. But for some odd reason I would have really been embarrassed by Jennifer the mule/donkey/ass in my pocket. You laugh do you!
All our cell phones made it through - whew! And we were seated in the first few rows on the side of the field. Our stage (I am kind of getting attached to this huge thing) was assembled by the 3 pm volunteers and glowing like a Christmas tree! It was a thing of beauty to behold even in the daylight.
Then after some speaking by our fearless leaders we saw stage hands come out and mock playing/standing where The Who will be. They ran through the songs twice. It was strange and funny to see motley roadies playing air guitar and mock drumming and singing on stage, but this gave the camera crew a great way to fully know when to shot and from what angle. It looked like the stage hands mocking The Who were close in height to each member of the band -- so the cameras, once adjusted could kind of know where they need to be shooting.
After the mock band, Roger, Pete, Pete's brother Simon, Zack Starky- Ringo's son, and a bass player who I am not sure who it was (I'm sure if you looked it up on the internet you can find out who is playing bass guitar at the show) came on stage. The first 2 times they played sounded -- and looked -- mostly pre-recorded and they were lip syncing. I think that was for timing. The stage was glowing (just wait until you see this!) with it's $3 million dollars of LED lights...yes, $3 million just in lights which we all handle time and time again...and the lasers. No fireworks yet though so we really had no idea what we were in for!
We filed out of the stands, which too quite a while since we had to all go down a two person walkway, and went to our cart leaders who then took us to our carts outside the stadium. Really, those hallways are huge if you have never been underneath a large stadium. We, on cue of course, ran through getting the carts out on the field and into position.
The next rehearsal was even better. Some of the fireworks went off - and just about scared me to death since I am just so close to them, the fog machine fired up and some parts of the stage -- OUR part started to flame. The lights of the stadium were wild and there is a part of the show where attendee cell phones are used, in unison with guides telling you what to do...no more information or I'll have to kill you, but I promise it's better than the old school lighter thing. Then we pulled it all back out...and...waited...and...waited...
The final rehearsal was completely full on as it will be on Sunday and I can assure you that you will not be at all disappointed!
To get to the part about Steve, a great guy and our cart leader, feeding me -- he very nicely offered to go to the food tent which he said was a great spread (but of course us volunteers never seem to get the "spread" but we get a heck of a lot of boxed soggy stuff). He and another fellow cart mate brought us candy - wonderful frozen candy....mmmmm. It was the best. I had a bag of peanut M&M's and that was dinner. Thanks Steve, you are the best!
This will be a show NOT to be missed and I cannot wait to tell you what happens behind the scenes.....to sum rehearsal day 7 -- our last rehearsal:
- A private performance by The Who for us
- A nervous and short Cap talk
- A great time with my crew mates who I really enjoy hanging with
- Great pictures taken by Steve, our roadie who I also enjoy hanging with (he's headed to LA to work on a Nick Cage movie set until July, what a life!)
- A great time in general...there is talk that next year, when the Super Bowl is in Texas, that we'll all take a road trip there and work it again...yes, it's that fun.
Not sure you'll SEE me during the half time show but rest assured I WILL be on the field with everyone watching The Who from about as close as you could be...now the question of the day is do I wear the ear plugs they gave us or not?
Pictures, fun quotes and Jennifer coming at ya...after this great show...catch you then ;)