Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We pray for moments like this XVI - Joburg - 20 Feb 2010

So where we left off the gang and i had been making robot décor and outfits all day... At around 5ish we head through to the venue to soundcheck and set up the décor. The sound hasn't even arrived yet, so soundcheck's gonna be a bit delayed. There are two extra stage blocks creating a kind of ramp out from the tiny stage. From the top down it looks like this: Lex and Kel are saying they won't be walking down it like Bono or something, so Joe moves the two blocks next to each other, extending the whole stage so it looks like this: This is totally cool, except it creates a pair of pretty massive holes between the permanent stage and the extra blocks. Everyone's showing some major concern about these deathtraps. Joe reassures the band with the promise that if anyone falls into one of the holes, he'll buy them an extra bottle of gin. We start hanging all the cardboard ghosts we've been crafting over the past month and a bit. A crapload of fishing line, tape and prestick down the line and everything's looking pretty cool, although the band have only just stared setting up for soundcheck. We leave them to sort things out and head back to my place for a quick shower. Then back to the venue, collect the band, grab dinner and Roxy's again. 30 little things making us late mean that we miss most of the amazing Eyes Like Mirrors. Missing the Mirrors is a rather depressing start to the evening, but it's pretty hard staying bummed out, seeing how much effort kids have put into their outfits. By the time Us Kids Know start pounding out their joyful twee-piece weirdness I'm wandering around the venue with a massive grin glued to my face. Christian and Lizelle show up with the Ghosty keyrings they made as Delight. They look fantastic. I skip some of Us Kids Know to pack these into the goodie bags along with the Mikado, Hello Fox and KRNGY prizes we already have. Lizelle offers to finish packing the bags so I can catch the last bit of Us Kids Know power. I happily take her up on this offer, grab a few finished bags to give out and head into the crowd. The kids are majorly on form and all too soon their set is over. I suddenly realize this means it's just Yesterday's Pupil and then we're up. I try to head upstairs to the DJ floor, but along the way I run into Renate from Ke Ai. She hooks me up with the 10 awesome vinyl bears they're sponsoring. I head backstage to add these final prizes. By the time I'm done Peach has started. I catch as much of his set as I can before we need to start getting ready to go on after him. I grab my keytar, which somewhere along the way on this tour has been named “Sea Fox”. Peach finishes and we get onto the stage. There's a mob of kids that are just standing there screaming. Yelling out the names of the band members and their songs. It's the kind of thing you'd expect at a KISS show, but over the course of the SA tour, this is the first time it's happening for Jo Fo. Once we're ready to start it's clear this is gonna be a pretty insane show. The crowd, while a lot smaller than it was the night before, are just going mad. Singing along to every song, hugging one another, screaming. It's awesome. At some point one kid tries to hold onto Sea Fox, and suddenly everyone around him thinks this is an awesome idea. We're having the best time on stage until suddenly the bass dies. I look over to the right of the stage and Kelly is gone. Just gone. Look down and realise she's plunged down one of the death trap holes. I get on my knees and try help her out of the hole. Given her tinyness and the height of the stage it's a little tricky but we manage. I look over to my laptop and see it was only a couple centimeters away from following her down the hole. I check everything out and it's still fine. Kelly's setup however isn't looking as good. Somehow, in the fall, the British plug converter powering her pedals has broken. I'm freaking out, feeling like this could cut the entire set really short. Lex on the other hand just rolls with the disaster, grabs a bunch of goodie bags , throws them into the crowd and tries to hold conversations with kids yelling at him from the dancefloor. Before long the buzz of Kelly's bass washes over the stage and it seems she's gotten the plug working again. We kick back into the next song and tear through the rest of the set. By the time we're done I'm destroyed. We retreat backstage. While we're catching our breaths Joe shows up with some kid. “Hey mense! This guy drove all the way from Durban to see you guys!”. Mystery boy suddenly becomes the hero of the backstage. I give him the prize for best dressed boy – he doesn't even have a robot outfit, but if he was willing to drive from Durban to Joburg for this than i figure he deserves this brown bag full of awesomeness. The band are chatting to hero Durban boy for ages. And then move outside to meet the small army of kids that have been hanging around to meet them. I feel like a dick when I come over and steal the band from the kids, but the Tutus have started and there's no way they can miss this. As the Tutus wrap up their set I realise I still haven't partied on the DJ floor all night. I head up and spend the last part of the evening rocking out the The Go Team and a variety of other happy noises. Eventually it looks like our little army of robots are being chased out of venue. The band, Anja and I head home. Our friend Eddie comes by with a crapload of pizza. We hang on the balcony, wolf down the pizza, talk about our night of awesome kids in robot suits and then crash, crash, crash. P.S. All photos by Paris Brummer.

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