Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Yes, I was part of the Live 8 Crowd.

Thanks to our nations' 229th birthday I was able to take a few days off (though most of that time was spent working on my comics at home).
So much for a vacation.

I did take some time and got out of the house. I saw a movie Friday night and on Saturday, July 2nd, ventured into the city and was part of the 800,000+ crowd at Live 8 in Philadelphia.

I had heeded the call by city officials and rode the train into town. Got to the city about 12:30 and as I walked up through the massive crowd, to find a space to hang out, Will Smith was ... doing something. (singing? I don't think so.)

The lineup that we had here in the U.S. wasn't that enticing, but since I lived so close to the only city in America to be part of this endeavor, how could I stay home and not be a part of it? The Dave Matthews Band had a great set, I was also impressed by Maroon 5 and of course Sarah McLachlan is always good. (luckily I had arrived AFTER Bon Jovi had performed, now that's good timing!)

The weather was great, around mid 80's and no humidity. Perhaps the most impressive thing from the entire day was the crowd. I heard later that there were only 4 arrests. 4 out of 800,000, that's not too bad, as the throngs of revelers just came to enjoy the show. Though because of the poor stage design (it was much too low) lots of folks scrambled for a high viewing point, climbing trees and sitting on (thus destroying) the many porta-pottys that lined the venue.

I also understand that if you stayed at home and tried watching the shows on TV that the coverage was HORRIBLE! At the live show, between every act, they showed sets from a lot of the other concerts on the big screen. So we got to see Green Day in Berlin and U2 in London, to name a few, without the annoying MTV announcers talking over the music.

I left about three songs into Stevie Wonders' set (he was the last performer) and that turned out to be a VERY prudent move on my part. I mentioned earlier that the city of Philadelphia had stressed to everyone to take public transport, to avoid a massive traffic problem. Unfortunately no one told SEPTA this (SEPTA, the South Eastern Pennsylvania Transport Authority), sure, they added a few cars to every train but for some unknown reason, they stuck to their Saturday schedule!!!! The train stations were packed with people, sitting, standing and waiting for trains. luckily, because I left when I did, I was able to catch my train with only a 15 minute wait, I found out later that people waited for HOURS for their ride. Yeah, I guess things were going too smoothly, something had to be screwed up.

Looking back on it, I'm not sure this day, Live 8, will be remembered much. The day of the huge massive shows for good causes may be passe', compared to how it was 20 years ago, but hell, I'm glad I went. If anything, to say I was there. And while I didn't buy a T-Shirt, I do have dorky photos of myself at the show.

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