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Day 288 - March 9 - Mexico City - Off

So for a wander I go and see some things to be seen. The pond of radio control boats was cool, looked like you could rent time and pilot a tug

But easily the coolest watercraft was this innovative design seen here with it's proud creator

With full RC control, this is just too cool!

Next stop, is a quick look in the liquor store where they not only sell alcohol but also guns

Two great tastes that go great together. But there guns are filled with tequila and what a wonderful way to spend a day swigging shots from the end of a firearm.

**** Issue of Yesterday Continued ****

But wait, rewind the tape and look! A glimpse of a man in a black suit walks into the camera view and back out, almost right behind me unseen by me, as I turn left away from the tea table and walk towards the bags the flash of a hand is seen and then the black square of my phone vanishes. Then, still out of my view as I rotate back to the the table he is seen for a flash walking back past the camera. Look, the guy got the phone!

Rewind, I ask but Jose, the hotel operations manager stops the tape and says, "ok, give us a half an hour, where can we find you then?" It seemed like that they recognized the person and also appeared that the scooper was wearing the same black suit as the hotel employee. Forty-five minutes and several free margaritas later, Jose informs me that they have located the person but he is not telling them where the phone is, I have this image of a not so friendly interrogation in the basement and someone losing their job for acting on a not so good idea in front of a camera.

I was 20 minutes late for the crew dinner when Jose Portocarrero walked up and handed me my phone. Relief, happy, stunned and a bit tipsy, I must say that the and the staff here at the W Hotel are truly awesome and I can not thank them enough for caring and going above and beyond, the actions and effort made by the staff not only erased the negativity of the trauma but actually left me feeling happier than I did before. What runs through my mind is; like so many things in life, something negative occurring can bring out the positive. Perhaps also, but I will never know, though it would be cool, that this event may be the trigger for the phone-pocketeer a glimpse to see things a bit more clearly and follow a better path that lacks capturing items belonging to others.

Oh, and ha ha, I knew someone captured it! For once I did not lose it all on my lonesome. Now the extra shirt I brought to the crew dinner, well that is another story and a short one at that. Brought it in and left without, bye bye shirt. Now that I think about it, where did I last see my sunglasses? Arrrgh.

**** End Issue of Yesterday ****

Finally, as a farewell image to leave you with, look how playful roadies can be as I was able to snap a shot of two in mid frolic.

Till we we meet again,

Dave Rat

Day 289 - March 8 - Mexico City - Off

Mexico City, you can feel the altitude when you breath and welcome to one of the largest cities on the planet earth rating somewhere between 10th and 3rd depending on your definition of city. What do we love about Mexico? Well, the food, the people, the weather, the oceans and the very human feel to everything surrounding. It is ok to be happy here and ok to have fun. So what happens when you mix a bunch of roadies, stir in some tequila and ship them all to Mexico, well....

they take pictures of course!

But all is not perfect and that brings me to

**** Issue of the Day ****

Ok, as y'all are quite aware, I am not renown for being the best keeper of things. Items love to escape me and like the boy who called wolf, when I lose something, I am rarely afforded much more than a smile and when I claim "I swear, it is not my fault, someone has captured it, I did not lose it." Well this was one of those times. I am at the hotel bar chatting with fellow roadies. time to head to the room and look, a roadie Lee has left his bag. I pay the bill, text message Lee about his bag, grab my bag and his and head to the elevator.

I then see an ice tea cart and being thirsty, walk over, grab a tea, toss the cup, press the elevator button, do a quick pocket check and poof, no phone!

Five steps back to the ice tea table, nope, back to the bar, nope, in my bag, nope, in Lee's bag, nope, everywhere, nope! It is crazy, just vanished, so hotel security picks up on my searching distress and offers to review the security camera tapes. In my mind rolls thoughts of how I am going to replace it, how I will deal with the ongoing stream of things while in Mexico phoneless, then only two days off before Japan at home aaargh, bad timing, not good, lack of phone bad, aargh. Nearly 45 mins and several free margaritas later, they return to say they see me put it in my pocket on the security video, would I like to come look. Ok, there is me at the bar, there I am texting Lee, there I am paying the bill, there I am putting something in my pocket, but that is my camera and laminate combo. Look, there is my phone still in my hand and I walk out of view with the two bags. Switching to the next camera, rewind and there I am, I drop the bags head over to the ice tea table out of view and wait, there is my hand setting a black square on the cart, barely in view, that is my phone!

Ok, I walk away from the tea but the black phone square is still there, take four steps, check my pockets, turn around and walk back over to the tea table where there is no little black square anymore. But wait there is..... to be continued.....

**** Pause Issue of the Day ****

So we are staying in the W Hotel in Mexico city and check this out

Yes, that is a hammock hanging over a bowl shaped tub and an overhead rain shower. That is just one aspect of a hotel that has graceful and beautiful design and function intermixed, everywhere you turn. This hotel rules!

**** Dear Ratty ****

Hi Rat,

I was wondering, how large is the space you use for the Front of house control centre. I remember seeing one pic of it in the blog but that seemed huge to me. Personnaly i prefer i really small position, as it are almost always the best places in the house. I often don't even want to use a barricade or something because i want to feel the atmosphere in the audience if you know what i mean. With a jumping, beer-throwing crowd of course you take your precautions but i often see people having a half football pitch garded with barriers when only two lighting desks and two digico's are placed on a gig that has crowd that you can hardly separate from furniture. ( i refer to North Sea Jazz) Do you have something like a shot from above from the front of house? And what is your opinion on this issue? And i do not (yet) have arena-large gigs but doesn't the management complain about the space you use? (and how is this often discussed on tours this size)?


Maarten (NL)

Hello Marten,

FOH size is actually something that Scott and I have put much though and effort into optimizing. Typically on a tour this size that has a headline console, support console, main lighting/video console and a secondary lighting/video console, it would be pretty typical to see a 24 feet wide by 16 feet deep sound position and a 24 feet wide by 12 feet deep lighting position directly behind. Typically sound is 18" high and lighting commonly is 24" high or more. So here is what Scott and I came up with:

1) Normally sound boards are in front with lights boards behind on a taller riser but since Scott and communicate during the show and also like to hang out, we moved his lighting board up next to me so we can work side by side. This was one of the best ideas we ever had, so much better to have us in synch.

2) Typically, I like mix sound from the floor with no riser and Scott need to see better than I do and usually uses a 6" riser. We compromised on a 3" high riser. The reason I like to mix from the floor is because I want to hear what the surrounding audience hears. Plus, having a tall riser usually causes obstructed view seating kills behind.

3) We put the secondary lighting console which doubles as a support lighting console behind Scott and the support sound console behind me. So, the support light and sound engineers are side by side as well.

4) We dropped 8 feet off of the width bringing it down to 16 feet wide.

5) Since we combined sound and lights onto a single 3" high riser, we wasted less space and crunched the combined depth down from 28 feet down to 16 feet. In order to make this work, we break down the support audio console after they play which opens up room enough for us to run the Peppers show.

6) Part of what would have been the lighting riser which is about 6" to 8" high is now a VIP riser that holds contest winners and band guests. Our VIP riser dimensions are typically 16 feet wide by 8 feet deep.

7) Scott and I also take VIP guests down in the light and sound area as well.

8) Sound engineers for most tours are usually very adamant about being a consistent distance from stage, usually something like 80 to 100 feet from stage on an arena tour, I used to be that way as well and it does make mixing a bit easier. Instead, I let them slide mix position much farther back, often against the back of the arena floor. This opens more seats and block less views with some shows I am upwards of 150 feet away.

9) All of this was created by Scott and I on our own without pressure from management or the band. It just made sense for the betterment of the overall show.

10) Finally, in order not to be an eyesore of techno-visual-jibberish, Scott and I decorate our FOH area to hopefully add a smile or two and bit more dimension to the gig for those that come to rock out.

As far as barricade, well, we need it for general admission shows but for seated gigs, bike rack is good enough. Plus we get 2 to 4 security guards as well to keep out the riff raff and keep an eye on things. So all in all that means that from the generic FOH riser of 672 square feet, we have dropped to 385 square feet and that includes the VIP riser! Keep in mind that there is a two to three foot buffer area as well that surrounds the area so actually square footage occupied is more like 896 Sq feet on a normal tour down to about 520 sq feet (we use no rear riser buffer area) for us Peppers roadies.

As far as management complaining, far from it, they appreciate the concern and effort for the common goal of optimizing the rock show.


**** End Dear Ratty ****

Ok, off to more bed as I am done computing with one eye closed to stop the computer screen from being double,

Dave Rat