DH has had long term connections with an American company who do the on tour sound for many big bands out of America. It all started when The Red Hot Chilli Peppers visited our shores in '97 and their managers were looking for something for the boys to do on their day off. DH hired out bikes at that stage and also did accompanied tours and it was arranged that he and Business Partner would take out a couple of band members and some of their roadies for a tour of the sights of Perth and its surrounds.
And thus began a long association between us and the guys from Rat Sound. Tommy Rat was in charge and he is a great guy - loads of fun, loads of energy, a little crazy (in a good way!) and very open to everything. He joined us for a big Aussie barbie and has been in touch eversince. Whenever he's in town with a band (the next one was the Offspring for the Big Day Out) he produces a bunch of tickets for us and our friends in return for a ride on a motorbike and some good old Australian hospitality. Tommy stopped touring for a while in order to take over the parenting of his beloved daughter, Nicole. At that stage he put his colleagues George and Dave onto us so there've been plenty of concerts attended and band members met.
This week REM were in town and George was in charge. DH has been excited for weeks. George is a great guy who seems to know and get on with everyone and he rustled up a couple of other sound guys to go out for a moonlit motorbike tour of Perth, Freo and the ocean. The guys were blown away and certainly cleared out a few cobwebs that had lodged themselves during a few drinking sessions in the nights before.
For the concert they lined up 6 seats for us just behind the sound desk on a raised up platform and gave us access to the AfterShow lounge (it stank of school kitchens and was full of people like us trying to catch a glimpse of the stars but it did serve free alcohol and the security on the door made us feel special!).
The show itself was fantastic - they performed many of the favourites but also the new stuff which was suitably impressive. There were incredible video graphics, impressive lighting displays and, of course, impeccable sound. Actually, although I know I was paying particular attention to the sound because of having spoken to the guys about it the night before, I have to say that it really was great. The crowd were enthusiastic (well, those on the ground had to be cos once the guys at the front stood up the others had to follow suit, but those in the stands mostly remained in their seats for the entire performance) and we felt pretty pleased with ourselves and our excellent viewing spot.
The good news is that we might get to see REM again in the UK because they are playing in Cardiff while we are in Bristol (only down the road). And there might be a chance that I can get the commemorative t-shirt of choice there because they'd run out here.
For now though, we have to get back to our normal quiet life (ahem!)