Roger Waters South AmericanTour 2018

I will be touring with Roger Waters playing saxophone on his 'Us + Them' tour during 2018. This blog follows my day to day activities on the road.

My blogs from previous tours during 2006 - 2008, the Sandy Relef Concert in 2012, Desert Trip / Mexico City 2016, the US and Canada tour 2017, Australasia 2018 and Europe 2018 can be found here along with additional tour pics on flickr.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018 : Sao Paulo / Salvador / Sao Paulo : Our fourth show of the tour so far is today. We leave in plenty of time and get to the venue with time to spare. This is good, as Roger wants to check out my 'Money' solo spot and make sure that I can be seen better than in Brazilia. I am more central, which is good. The platform isn't any higher, which is not so good. Once back on earth we run through 'Two Suns In The Sunset' from the Final Cut. He decides to perform it tonight. Yay!! There is a sax solo at the end. The show is great even though the Salvador audience are a little quieter than many South American crowds. I had a bit of an issue with the follow spot operator, who not only missed thhe opening of the 'money' solo, but failed to follow me as I moved around during 'Us And Them'. The clue is in the name 'follow spot'. Hopefully this will improve. It was great to perform 'Two Suns' and the sax solo seemed to go down well. Back to SP after the show.

Tuesday, 16th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : In London, one of the singers I perform with is the wonderful Tina T. Whilst I have been on tour with Roger, she replaced me with excellent Aaron Liddard. What an amazing coincidence that we are both in Sao Paulo at the same time! I have never met Aaron, so it was great fun to hook up withh him at the Jazz Nos Fundos club where he was playing. After a few songs he invited me onstage and we had a blast playing on some of his tunes and 'Valerie' made famous by Amy Winehhouse. I have an early start tomorrow as Roger has a concert in Salvador. I bailed about 1am as the Argonaunts launched into their well deserved encore.

Monday, 15th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : Insanity is ongoing. Practising is going well. I have an excellent spot in Ibrapuera park, where I can honk away undisturbed. The contempory art galleries are on my list of things to see. Unfortunately they are all closed on Mondays. Fortunately we have quite a few more days here, so I am sure I will get round to it. I looked on the net for some jazz to see tonight. All closed on Mondays lol. I did discover that Aaron Liddard will be playing in a local club tomorrow night!

Sunday, 14th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : We now have three days off in Sao Paulo. I am gradually increasing the areas I am exploring in this large city. It is fun just to walk around. There are not many cyclist here. This is mainly due, I suspect, to the mad driving I have seen in town. I narrowly missed being run over by a bus going through a red light. Too risky to venture off the pavement on a bike!

Saturday, 13th October 2018 : Sao Paulo / Brasilia / Sao Paulo : A show in Brasilia today. Thhe big news for me is that I will be performing the 'Money' solo from the top of the screen. A suitable staircase has been built and I will get to test it out in daylight before committing to using it that evening. I find it quite solid and no problem getting up one handed ( sax in the other ). During the soundcheck I played from the top then sprinted down for the start of 'Us And Them'. The downside is that the local carpenters were not able to get my platform completely above the screen. A fairly large part of the crowd will only see my head and shoulders. Hopefully this will improve at future venues. The concert was great. I got through the solo whilst standing on a bit of scaffolding, trying to get as high as possible. The Brasilia crowd were much more supportive of Rogers' political statements with almost no booing. We had a police escort back to the plane and were in Sao Paulo by 2.

Friday, 12th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : Another day off. The weather is clearing up, so I headed to the park early. I hadn't realised that today is a public holiday, so the park is rammed. Fortunately I still found a secluded spot where honking on the saxophone wouldn't disturb anyone ( apart from the capybaras ). Later in the day I headed out of the rather upmarket location of our hotel, over the hill. I came upon Avenue Paulista, where a lot more was going on. It was getting dark by the time I headed down the other side of the hill, which had some interesting bars and cafes, including a couple with live drumming and chanting. In addition there were quite a few armed ( machine guns ) policemen on and off motor cycles and a number of fires. I thought better of hanging out and went back to civilisation for a hamburger and beer.

Thursday, 11th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : A day off in Sao Paulo. Dave and I worked out in the gym first thing. I went to my usual spot in the park and got a good hour of playing done. In the evening Jess had organised a dance class. We learned basic Samba steps ( of course, we are in Brazil ) and another dance I think was called Forro ( which was a bit easier for Scots that aren't used to wiggling hips when dancing ). Great fun. I look forward to doing some more.

Wednesday, 10th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : Insanity restarted. Pompey, Dave and myself struggled through the first 40 minute class. Onward and upward. We have another show at the Allianz Parque today. Considering the furore in the press and social media, it will be interesting to see how the audience react. We get to the venue at 4pm for a soundcheck before doors at 5. No plans to do either of the 2 encore alternatives, but we practised one of them anyway. The band hit the floor running when the show got underway. A crisp and tight performance by all. The audience were warm but perhaps not quite as ecstatic as the night before. Roger and Sean are trying out some new lighting / stage ideas for the sax solos. I am off to one side of the band when I go onstage. It is a bit weird not being 'in te body of te kirk', but I will suspend judgement till I have done a few more performances. Roger stressed love, togetherness and solidarity against the 'pigs' in his talk and was received appreciatively. The #EleNĂ£o slogan that came up during 'Mother' however got widespread boos from the primarily Bolsanaro supporting Paulistas.

Tuesday, 9th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : Show day! We have a fairly early start as doors are at 5pm. We soundchecked at 4. This included running 'Money' and 'Us And Them' with me in a new position onstage. It will be interesting to see how well this works. We don't get underway till 9.20, so there is a lot of hanging around backstage before the show. Consequently, I am writing this at 7.20 and will post it before we actually perform. I hope to get a few more pics during the set and will comment on events during the show at a later date .................

................... The show was fantastic. What an audience! There was a bit of dissent and quite a lot of booing when Roger made his anti Bolsonaro views clear. It will be interesting to see if that affects our reception tomorrow...

Monday, 8th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : Originally today was to be a day off. With the new tunes and some dramatic changes, Roger decided to call an extra rehearsal. It is very wet in Sao Paulo today, so I mostly stayed inside. I even attempted a 40 minute class of Insanity by myself. It is so much harder without other participants ( apart from the ones in the video lol ). Around 4pm we went to the venue and had a bite to eat. After that it was onstage for a couple of hours of working out how the new parts all fit together. By the time I got back to the hotel I was knackered, so headed to bed with a dodgy Sci Fi film.

Sunday, 7th October 2018 : Sao Paulo : We don't start rehearsing till late afternoon, so I got a chance to pop down to a local supermarket. I stocked up on my tour staples; water, milk, muesli, yogurt. No Insanity as yet, since the jetlag is making sleeping erratic. When we met up in the lobby, everyone got re aquainted and headed to the Allainz Parque. In catering, Roger mentioned to me some theatrical ideas he has had for the 'Money' solo. We will try these out in the coming days. I will say no more as yet. There was a soundcheck and rehearsal of some new songs Roger wants to try. Later we ran the entire set. Everyone and everything sounded great. We are in good shape for the first South American show on Tuesday.

Saturday, 6th October 2018 :Sao Paulo : We have a day off in Sao Paulo to recover before a rehearsal tomorrow. The weather is a bit dull, but I donned a waterproof and had a wander anyway. Sao Paulo is gigantic, so I only really got an impression of the streets around the hotel. These are apparently not typical of the city as a whole, being the 'Beverly Hills' of the town. Having picked up some supplies, I had a chat with Pomps, Jess and Todd, and met Renato and Mario, who are local guides. They suggested the Parque Ibrapuera as somewhere I could practise, so I headed off and got over an hours playing done before it got a bit cold. Some pasta for dinner. An early night.

Friday, 5th October 2018 : London / Sao Paulo : Picked up at 10am for our midday flight from Stansted. We are flying in the jet that will be used for all the trips within South America. It turns out that Roger flew directly from Switzerland ( where he was hiking ), to Sao Paulo. That means that there are only 2 band members and 4 management rattling around in a jet capable of carrying the whole band, management plus extras. Next stop Senegal, where we refuel................... We didn't get to set foot in Africa. The refuelling took about 40 minutes, then we were off. The trip was uneventful and most of us slept our way to Sao Paulo. Arrived around 11pm local time and were whisked through immigration and customs by Todd and the local team. All settled in to our hotel by midnight.

Thursday, 4th October 2018 : London : The last leg of the Roger Waters Us+Them tour kicks off with the band heading to Sao Paulo for a couple of days rehearsal. I will be flying out with Roger tomorrow and we will meet the US contingent there. I am excited to be on the road again for the last leg of 2018.