Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sound Relief

Hello out there. Beautiful day here in south Sydney. Just about 80 degrees with some sun.

I had a pretty fun weekend. I went to Sound Relief, which is a rock concert to benefit the Bush Fire victims in Victoria and the flood victims in Queensland. Roughly 50,000 people packed the Sydney Cricket Ground and 75,000 attended the concert at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Both concerts had live feed to the other concert so while we were waiting for bands to come on, we could watch the bands live in Melbourne.

The bands that you may have heard of in Sydney were: Coldplay, Jet, Taylor Swift, The Presets, and Barry Gibb.

The bands you may hae heard of in Melbourne were: Kings of Leon, Midnight Oil and Jack Johnson.

I went to the concert with my roommate Steve, and three of his friends. The day started off pretty slow actually. After a 45 minute train to the city, a 30 minute wait to get a bus to the cricket ground and an hour wait in line outside the stadium, I just wanted to hear some music. The first band was Coldplay. They were pretty entertaining. We weren't too close, but they had video screens so we could see the stage. Coldplay isn't my favorite, but they're one of the top acts in the world right now so its great to say I've seen them.

After Coldplay, we wanted a beer. So we picked a real bad time to get a beer. Another near hour wait and we got our three beers. We brought them down to the the cricket field where we were standing/sitting and were pretty immediately told by police that no beer was allowed down there. Long lines, restricted beer drinking areas... I was getting a little frustrated. Our group then found seats that ended up being a great location to spend the next nine hours.

I didn't know much of the music I heard all day, but there were some great parts of the day. Australians are very patriotic and everytime there was a song everyone knew, it was just fun to listen to the whole statium sing. One thing I'm proud of is that my group started the wave. I've never been the starting point of a wave before, but when it happens and it goes around the stadium 4 or 5 times like ours did, you get a sense of pride. Thousands of people standing up and then sitting down again for about a half second, all because of our group.
Other entertaining sights were the fans who lined beer cups together so they stretched along three or four sections. When you have all day in the sun, you find creative ways to entertain yourself.

The entire infield or "oval" as it is called in cricket, was separated into three sections. Of course, depending on how much you paid, determined how close to the stage you could get. So our tickets were general admission which was the furthest from the stage. This ended up being great entertainment after we found our seats because of the runners that tried to upgrade themselves by jumping the fences. Early in the day, the police would escort the runners out of the stadium. They may have arrested them too, I am not sure. But as the day went on, more and more people tried running, so people were slipping through. Some of the venue staff made some amazing tackles on the runners. And the audience loved it, cheering on any runner that made it through without getting caught.
A lot of Australian celebrites made cameo appearances including the mom from Little Miss Sunshine and The Sixth Sense....not sure of her name, but you know her face. My favorite moment was when Kylie Minogue came on stage. Well she came on stage in Melbourne, but we got the live feed. Kylie is one of Australia's biggest celebrities. She sang a song called "I still call Australia Home" as everyone in Sydney and Melbourne sang in unison.

Here's a lyric from the song:

I've been to cities that never close down,
from New York to Rio and old London town,
but no matter how far or how wide I roam,
I still call Australia home.

Then Kylie introduced two special guests: Prince William and Harry. I still scratch my head at Australia's obsession with England but it was a nice message that they gave via video message. (Australia is still technically under the Queen's leadership, but I'll get more into the England/Australia thing another day)

Following Kylie and a beautiful sunny day, the rains came. I mean it poured down. We made it until about 8:30pm and decided to leave. Too bad too! I would have seen one of the only remaining Bee Gees. But I will get over that in time. What is sad or ironic even is that this fire relief concert was cut short by rain. Thousands of people were leaving when we left as well.

Overall, I read the concerts have raised over $5 million so that is good news. It was a great day and I'm glad I was a part of it.

Not much else going on, still unemployed but I did sign up with a new agency last week as Australia's unemployment went up to 5%. We lost in Hockey last week 13-4. We were missing our best player. I did get the hat trick which makes losing feel a little bit better. Tomorrow night is our next game, but we should win that one.
That's it for now. See ya


Danielle said...

You are so tan! .. and I'm so jealous. Miss ya RyGuy!

Jon said...

What did you think of Kings of Leon? Get to hear their big song?