April 10, 2011 - Estadio do Morumbi - Sao Paulo, Brazil - U2 Feedback

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Old 04-10-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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April 10, 2011 - Estadio do Morumbi - Sao Paulo, Brazil

Please post pics, reviews and experiences here.

Also please upload your photos to our gallery.

April 10, 2011 - Estadio Morumbi - Sao Paulo BRAZIL - Interference.com Photo Gallery (U2 Photos, U2 Concert Photos, Member Photos)
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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Please, do give us every ecstatic moment of Out of Control and Zooropa.

Spare no detail.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:24 AM   #3
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I'm waiting anxiously for this review.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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they've been stunned into silence!
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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As a piece of ancient Celtic folk wisdom reveals: some days are better than others.

I’d had a near incomparably marvellous Saturday. Like four other non-Brazilian U2 fans, I’d been pampered by Antonio, our immeasurably marvellous host. Antonio has been our patient chauffeur on airport and stadium runs, our sumptuous hotelier in his exquisite new apartment, our creative chef in wondrous exotic, organic breakfasts, and even my wise doctor, as his hospitality included taking me first to a hospital, and then to a pharmacy, and then bandaging my right hand, after I’d injured it in a fall on a dangerously driven bus in Rio on Thursday. I’d also sold four books on Saturday, and been given a free ticket for the concert by a very lovely Brazilian girl whose loveliness is only exceeded by her generosity. I’d had a few pre-gig beers and enjoyed a great U2 gig.

The three U2 concerts here are sponsored by Oi FM. (‘Oi’ is Portuguese for ‘Hi’.) Many Brazilians have told me how much they love Oi FM. They have waxed about the supreme quality of its musical output, the charisma of its presenters and how it is infinitely superior to every other Brazilian radio station. I even liked that. Hi FM! Saturday had been marvellous.

As the ancient Celtic tribal leaders discovered, some days are squeaky. I had a very different Sunday to Saturday.

I didn’t have a ticket for Sunday’s gig. I enquired at the ticket office at the stadium on Saturday afternoon about tickets for Sunday, and a guy there had told me that there would be tickets released at 10 am on Sunday morning. I think he said there would be tickets in all categories. Kiwi Damon and I had scored two GA tickets in the GA queue very quickly and easily in Santiago using a small “I need 1 ticket” sign. I was therefore confident enough that I’d be able to get a ticket for Sao Paulo 2.

GA Joe, Nick, Amp and Marty are also being indulged with Antonio, and all had GA tickets for Sunday. Nick stayed in the GA queue overnight after Sao Paulo 1, Amp joined the queue on Sunday morning. Joe and Marty went to the stadium around noon (after another delightful rainbow breakfast provided by Antonio).

I originally aimed to get to the stadium around 2pm-ish, thinking that this would be enough time for me to find a ticket in the ticket office or GA queue. But I faffed around and didn’t leave Antonio’s until 2:30 pm. Antonio had left by this time so I had to make my own way to the stadium. Nick had told me that he’d used public transport to get to the Estadio Morumbi very early on Thursday morning, and I thought that if a cocky Californian can work it out, then surely a dignified Derryman can do it. Surely. Some days are sloppy.

I walked for fifteen minutes to Vila Madalena, the nearest metro station to Antonio’s. I’d a tourist map of Sao Paulo which had a plan of the metro. I spotted Morumbi station on the plan, and even though it would involve five line changes to get there, I thought I would get there reasonably quickly. I asked at the ticket office in the metro station and the guy explained that it would be quicker to skip the subway and take a bus to Jaguaré metro station, which was on the same line as Morumbi. Buses to Jaguaré left from outside Vila Madalena.

I waited at the bus stop for fifteen minutes but the bus didn’t come. I checked my map and discovered that Ciudade Universitária, another station on the Morumbi line, looked reasonably close. It looked like roughly double the distance from Antonio’s to Vila Madalena. I decided to walk to Ciudade Universitária instead. Some days take less, but most days take more.

The map showed that a road called Rua Pascoal Vita led directly from Vila Madalena to Ciudade Universitária. It all looked so easy. Unfortunately tourist maps are ordinance survey maps. It took me thirty minutes of walking down dead-ends and doubling back, until by complete luck I found Rua Pascoal Vita. Most days you’re speedy. I can walk pretty quick, I reckon around four miles per hour. I put my head down and speed walked along Pascoal Vita.

Sao Paulo is hillier than San Francisco. Roads surge up at sharp angles for a hundred metres and then plunge at sharper angles for a hundred metres. They also bank around bend at quite silly inclines. I became very sweaty very quickly as I urgently stomped my way to Ciudade Universitária. I walked along some roughish-looking streets with fabulous graffiti art, and a couple of leafy avenues. It took me forty-five minutes to do the walk. The GA gates would have opened by now, and one important potential ticket source gone.

A Brazilian heavy-metaller helped me through the metro station and onto the correct platform. A train arrived with seconds and I exited at Morumbi, six stops and minutes later. I’d got there. Except I hadn’t. The station should have been thronged with U2 fans, and there should have been an easy-to-identify procession of people to follow to the stadium. The station was deserted. Morumbi metro station is absolutely nowhere near Morumbi stadium. Some days you feel like a bit of a baby.

The only person in the station foyer was a policeman talking into his phone. I caught his eye and subtly held up my map, but he ignored me and walked away. There was an old man sitting on a low wall outside the station.

“Com licenca signor. Como vai a Estadio Morumbi?” (“Excuse me sir, how do you go to Morumbi Stadium?”)

Using a phrasebook to mispronounce a question in a foreign language is easy. Understanding the response is the tricky part. I understood the word “omnibus” and he pointed around the corner.

“Omnibus, aqui?” I asked for clarification, pointing around the corner.

“Sim.”

There were five people at the bus-stop. They didn’t look like U2 fans. I asked a bloke if “Omnibus aqui Estadio Morumbi?”

“Sim.”

Three buses quickly passed and for each one I asked him if it was my bus. “Nao” was the response. Then he and everyone else got on the third bus. I asked the driver for the next three buses if they went to the “Estadio Morumbi?” but none did. The female driver on the next bus bade me to enter the bus. I made to hand her three reals for payment but she waved away the money saying “nao paga”. There is a second employee on Brazilian buses who receives the fares. I offered to pay her but the driver again repeated “nao paga” and gestured for me to sit.

She was talking to me in quick Portuguese from which I couldn’t make out a single word. However using the 80% of communication that isn’t verbal she explained that there weren’t any direct buses from Morumbi metro station to Morumbi stadium, and that she was going to drop me at a bus-stop where I could take a bus. And she kindly wasn’t going to charge me for the ride.

After ten minutes the bus stopped behind a shopping centre. The driver told me to sit in the seat behind her and began talking to me very quickly. I picked out “diez minutos” - “ten minutes”, as she pointed to a bus-stop a few metres ahead. I didn’t fancy waiting for another bus and decided that it was time to break the bank and splurge on a cab. I told the driver this and she pointed around the corner to the front of the shopping centre.

There was a taxi stopped at traffic lights. I asked the driver through the passenger window “Estadio Morumbi?” and he indicated to get in. Just after I closed the door he turned around and said “40 reals”. That’s around £15 and far, far too much. He was hoping to indulge some rampant profiteering at my tight-fisted expense. I replied “no” and got out of the cab, tempted to throw back an angry “fuck you”, but I swallowed it.

I checked my map. I didn’t have a clue where I was. I checked my watch. I didn’t have a clue how I’d lost the day. Some days just slip through your fingers and onto the floor. It was all getting desperate. I could feel my beatific calm crumble into tired frustration.

I asked a policeman about getting to Morumbi Stadium and he replied in English “ooh, very far”. He explained that buses left from in front of the shopping centre. “Directo?” I asked hoping it had the correct meaning in Portuguese. “Sim, directo.” It was going to have to be a bus.

There were a few young people at the bus-stop who looked like concert goers. I checked with them and they confirmed that they were. The bus arrived ten minutes later, and dropped us off at a road at the opposite side of the stadium from the ticket office.

It was 5:30 pm. It had taken me three hours to get to Morumbi from Antonio’s.

The same guy from Saturday was at the ticket office. “Tickets all gone” he told me. I wasn’t surprised. Just then a heavy shower started and thousands of people, including me, put on cheap, flimsy plastic ponchos. Some sunny days you wish it was raining.

I didn’t want to loiter around the stadium for hours in the rain so I walked along a road away from the stadium where I’d knew there were a couple of cafes. I passed a service station with a row of shops including a Subway and a Starbucks. The rain was lashing down quite heavily so I ducked under the awning of the shops for shelter.

There was a little bookshop which caught my eye. I had arranged to meet Joe and Marty after the show, which would be around midnight. So I had six hours to fill somehow. I decided that I’d buy any English language book they had, and sit in a café or bar until the rain stopped, or until midnight. The only English language publication they had was an import-priced copy of The Economist, which I treated myself to. I also bought a little booklet of Sudoku, and a little pack of lined A4 paper, thinking that I could also do a bit of writing in the meantime.

I found a café on a nearby sidestreet. I bought two chicken pasties, a can of Guarana pop and a bottle of water. I realized that I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I read the latest about the revolutions in the Middle East, about the economies in Ireland, the UK and the US. But I was distracted. I did an easy Sudoku. But I felt no sense of achievement. And I tried to do some writing. But I couldn’t because of my bandaged hand. Some days you can’t stand the sight of a puppy.

It was still raining. I wasn’t going to leave so I ordered a large bottle of beer. A Brazilian match was on the TV behind me so I changed seats to watch. God it was awful. Samba soccer evidently doesn’t carry into the local league. It finished 0-0, and even that seemed like a lucky result given the standard of play.

I could feel myself starting to wallow. All my U2 buddies here were happily in the stadium, counting down to Muse and U2. I was pissed off in a café, counting the tiles on the floor. Some days are sulky.

By 8pm the match had finished, the beer was drunk, and the rain had stopped. I walked back to the stadium to catch the end of Muse’s set from outside. However I misjudged their show time and they’d been and gone and I’d missed them.

Some days you hear a voice taking you to another place. For no particular reason I ambled In a desultory mood back along the damp road past the ticket office, not really expecting to see anyone holding a ticket in the air for sale. There wasn’t.

I was approached by a bubbly bloke wearing the flaming red outfit of a local company. He was working to promote Oi FM.

“Oi!”

“Hi ...”

(something in Portuguese)

“Eu nao falu portugues muito ben ..." (“I don’t speak Portuguese very well.”)

“Ok! Very good! You want to play a game?!”

“Sure ... I’ve got a bit of time to kill ...”

He showed me a piece of card with fifteen photographs on it.

“Look at this card for five seconds.” I looked at the card, confused. Then he turned the card over showing the numbers one to fifteen where the photos had been.

“Ok! Go!”

“What?”

“’Choose two numbers!”

“What? What’s the game?”

“Choose two numbers of the same photo!”

He wanted me to match two photos. I had no idea, and less motivation.

“9 and 11” I said randomly.

“Choose two more!”

“6 and 10” I said without bothering to think about it. Most days you’re lazy.

He turned the card over. I’d failed. I suddenly cared.

“Ooooh! Bad luck! Well, here is a gift for you for playing!”

He passed me a pack of Trident chewing gum.

“Thanks ...”

“Where are you from! America!”

“No ... Ireland ...”

“Ireland! You came to Brazil from Ireland to see U2! Cool! Do you have a ticket!”

“No ...”

“You don’t have a ticket! Why are you here!”

“I had one for last night ... I thought I’d try to find one for tonight ...”

He called across to one of his colleagues. “He is from Ireland! He doesn’t have a ticket!”

His colleague came over. He was wearing an earpiece, wearing a bum-bag and looked like a supervisor.

“You are from Ireland?”

“Yes.”

“You don’t have a ticket?”

“No.”

He reached into his bum-bag, fumbled for a bit, took out a ticket and passed it to me.

As an ancient Hibernian sage somewhere once declared: some days are just way, way far more out of fuckin control than others.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #6
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Please tell me you're going to write another book with all your adventures.

(Also, please tell me you'll be in Seattle. I need to buy you a massive drink.)
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:53 AM   #7
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Cathal, your adventures never cease to amaze me.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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What flavour Trident did ya get?
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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Cathal rules.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corianderstem View Post

(Also, please tell me you'll be in Seattle. I need to buy you a massive drink.)
That'll be just before I buy him a meal and drink in Anaheim!!

BTW you're amazing...I knew that story would end well!! And your thoughts on the concert????
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:10 PM   #11
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Cathal - I was at that gas station with the Subway/Starbucks as well - waited out the deluge drinking Brahma next to the gas pumps

I may have an extra GA for Wednesday - PM me if you need one
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:46 PM   #12
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Had that fuzzbox solo running through my head once I finished reading that.

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Old 04-12-2011, 06:55 AM   #13
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Thanks guys. It surprised the bejaysus out of me too, as I'm sure youse can imagine.

Haven't opened the pack Kev, it's a sacred object

I'm gonna miss the show on Wednesday, beershack. I'm flying down to Iguazu Falls. My next show is Mexico 1.

Sounds like there's gonna be some beer flowing in the US in a few months, bring it on
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:30 AM   #14
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I will buy you a margarita in Anaheim!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:46 AM   #15
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Cathal is the man!!!
lucky bastard
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