Day 8: Not hot in the city
After exploring the sale at Ikea in Porto, I headed down to the site early for two reasons, first to get pictures of the sunset over the estuary from river level and second to catch the sushi buffet. I was only successful on the first on – as the sushi buffet didn´t happen! So I decided to head off to the second stage. As the venue is small and the two stages face each other then there is music on the second before and after the main stage until 6 am in the morning. How many people are there then I hate to think! A Portuguese band called Virgem Suto were playing. A funky, almost tongue in cheek sound that interested me – I am definitely going to check out this band further when I have time.
After heading back to the VIP area for food and more soup! I slipped down to the main stage to see Ebony Bones. Surreal is not the word. It started off with lots of orange smoke welcoming the two backing singers wearing giant horse heads. Then Ebony Bones, complete with massive Afro and giant garlands around her neck burst onto the stage. The music was good but the stage performance was very bizarre. The crowd was small and not everyone appreciated it. I was enthralled to see what would come next!
I was not disappointed – dressed in a large white flowing dress with big arms, she swirled through four songs before replacing it with a fluorescent green tassel dress to shimmy her way through the rest of the set. She was mad as a box of hares, a really interesting singer whose personality burst its way onto the stage in an amazing way.
Os Azeitonas (the olives) followed – a Portuguese cross between Dire Straits and Simply Red with a big band sound. They began with the theme to Hawaii 5-0 and then launched into a series of Portuguese songs that I didn´t know, however some have been used for adverts on TV here. However, the crowd liked it and filled out to its 25,000 capacity quickly.
Billy Idol rocked the stage for the next hour and a half. Very popoular with the crowd with many singing along to his hits. The Generation X “Ready Steady Go” was his first song and then was followed by “Dancing with myself” which really got the crowd going. Hits interspersed with less popular songs followed, with “Flesh for Fantasy” and “Sweet Sixteen” belted out during this high energy set. “Eyes without a Face” followed with Billy changing into the archetypal gothic white shirt he is renowned for. A cover of the Doors´ “LA Woman”, or “Portuguese Woman” as the “Big Dog” put it followed. Billy messed up on one song, but stopped the song and re sang it well.
An awesome Steve Stevens acoustic guitar solo followed based on spanish flamenco music and Billy followed it with three generation X songs. “Rebel Yell” ended the set before the encore of “White Wedding” and “Mony Mony” finished an awesome crowd pleasing set. Billy played the crowd, throwing freebies out thoughout the set and even swapping t´shirts with a fan. “Mony Mony” was amazing – took me back to university when we used to play volleyball next to an aerobics session that used that song. I have no voice this morning! “No Hot in the city”, which would have been apt, but a really good enjoyable set that everyone liked.
Gogol Bordelo bought their gypsy rock to the stage next. Toe tapping and very danceable. However, I saw them in Lisbon last year so as I was seriously suffering from the lack of sleep over the last 6 days I gave up and headed home.
Best Song: Mony Mony
Biggest Gripe: People in the crowd talking lowdly as the concert is on – if you don´t like the music get out of there and talk elsewhere! Also the girl behing me whose bag was digging into my side all the way through the Billy Idol concert. And no sushi buffet!
Most amusing moment: Watching people go crazy over the freebie Nestle Fitness cereal boxes that were being given out – one woman had 12!