Tour Stop #17 – The Fox Theatre, Oakland CA 26th March 2011
Well, I arrived in not so sunny California, eagerly went to go pick up my rental car and almost fell over when I saw which one was mine… sunshine car!!! Ok, no it wasn’t the exact sunshine car from Texas because this one had CA license plates but it was the same make, model and colour so for all practical purposes, it was like having my friend back with me, whoo hoo!
I was determined to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge as my other two cities/activities that were on my list never got crossed off so today was going to be the day! As it turned out, I just made it because as I was walking back (it is a little over a mile each way), it started to rain. No worries, I had taken most of my pics by then so…
A quick stop into my hotel to freshen up and I was off to Oakland. I quickly said “Hi” to my fellow OMDers Missy, Stephan and Irene, all who I would be hanging with but since they all had package deals for the night and I didn’t, I had to wait in a line on the other side of the doors. Bummer. It wasn’t long though and I began chatting with Amanda and Brian along with another guy Troy and the time went pretty quickly (helped that a man came around passing out free Ben & Jerry ice cream cups, YUM!)
Like NYC, the original San Francisco gig sold out extremely quickly so it was moved to this bigger venue and also like NYC, The Fox was supposed to hold 3,000 but where NYC was one big floor with a typical balcony that went around the 3 sides (LOL, Mark said it kind of felt like a prison and once he mentioned it, I could see it) The Fox was top notch theatre; gorgeous! It had rich gold and red decor and on each side were statues that kind of looked like Buddhas whose eyes lit up once the lights went down. The balcony was more like theatre balconies… straight back from the stage only, nothing on the side. The stage was HUGE and there was a larger than normal gap between our barrier and the edge of the stage (darn).
It was going to be the last night that Oh Land was going to start us off and that is a shame because I thoroughly enjoyed them (and thank goodness for that since I saw them at least a dozen times LOL!). At least they were going out on such a huge night and as if to say “Thank you” in a personal way (Nanna of course said it was a pleasure opening for OMD and that they had been wonderful to them all), they sampled ‘Tesla Girls’ in with ‘Voodoo’! The song started and Tara would occasionally throw the “No, no, no” into their music and it worked!
When it was time for OMD to come out, Missy and I laughed because as Mr. M danced around the stage for ‘New Babies: New Toys’, every time he would end up at the opposite end, like Missy pointed out, “He’s so far away”. It was followed by a large amount of applause and that was just the start! Tonight had the record label execs and employees around so was lending to be a special gig.
A few more songs went by and it was apparent that the crowd was just loving the guys! The applause kept coming so much that Mr. M and later Mr. H started clapping back at us. ‘History of Modern (Part I)’ saw me bouncing up and down higher than I had in the past, (apparently I had picked up an extra spring to my step somehow ;o) and by the time Mr. H came out to do ‘(Forever) Live And Die’, he was met with cheers and screams before he even announced what song he was doing. ‘If You Leave’ also got a frenzied response and by this time, I looked up at the balcony to find virtually everyone up. It was SO cool to see!
I have to say, the volume of the sound was up a bit tonight but it was also very clear. Not to say other gigs weren’t but tonight I could hear but both guys very well but especially noticeable with Mr. H, there was a clean, vibrant sound coming to us.
Well as would be expected, ‘Joan Of Arc’/’Maid Of Orleans’ got a massive response; all I could do was stand there and join in the cheering, my grin spreading from ear to ear. The entire band seemed completely amazed which was sweet to see! ‘New Holy Ground’ and ‘Green’ did the trick in terms of letting Mr. M (and LOL, the rest of us too) catch our breaths, but ‘Talking Loud And Clear’ went quickly and soon it was back to the ol’ jumping and dancing routine. The crowd was all very well into singing and ‘So In Love’ was a definite belter.
At the end of each stage there was a black box so to speak, I am not sure what they were but tonight they were platforms for Mr. M as he came out and connected with the crowd. The gap between us and the stage made it virtually impossible for him to touch anyone so the people at the very edges were the lucky recipients of his slaps and hand shakes tonight ;o)
Before ‘Sister Marie Says’, Mr. M said that we would be saved by himself “…and my disciples” which, as he gestured with a wave and nod, were the rest of the band. When it came time for ‘Enola Gay’, everyone just went crazy! There was no doubt the guys were adored by everyone in the crowd and when the song ended and the band began their goodbyes, they all stood there just soaking it up. They looked SO happy and as was the case for many other shows, totally and honestly floored by the response.
While waiting for them to return the applause turned to a small, growing rumble until it built to a large, demanding pounding of feet, we wanted MORE! The guys came out and Mr. M thanked everyone again – then went into ‘Walking On The Milky Way’. I have to say, I can’t really remember a single show that didn’t embrace that song, people all ready to sing the “Hey hey hey” part eagerly. But then, alas, ‘Electricity’ came on and everyone knew it was going to be over afterwards, but not before we all squeezed one final freak out. As the band stood to say their final goodbyes, it was apparent just how thrilled they were and I stood there thinking that this show was ranking right up there with Dallas. Dallas had more chanting and was unbelievable considering we had no more than 1,000 people but the vibe of this show was awesome and no one could question that.
So, highlight of the night… well I have to say there are two this time around. One is simply what I have already mentioned, seeing the guy’s reactions to the crowd and response. It was just so precious to see their looks of amazement, pride, and joy and I was so thrilled to be there with the rest of the fans embracing it all!
But the other part comes from two girls that were behind and slightly off to my right. Though poor Irene was getting bothered by them, for me they made me laugh because they were just going insane! Screams, screams, and yet more screams would erupt from them and they would crazily jump up and down, shaking their heads and screaming yet more. It reminded me of the reactions I’d seen on video of girls when they watched The Beatles. It was hilarious! (LOL, a friend at home had told me that though he was looking forward to seeing OMD perform, he was equally excited to see ME and my reactions: “I never saw the Beatles so I am thinking it will be something along those lines with you. I can live it through you and OMD”. Well I quickly put that idea to rest by telling him I don’t act like that but too bad he wasn’t at this show because those girls definitely had OMD mania!)
So ended up waiting around for the band with Troy (though LOL, I was really waiting to try and get Nannas’ signature for myself and a forumeer’s young daughter) and met yet more cool fans, one being Rodwin from the forum. He had made really cool posters, one to give to the guys, a few more to get signed and, bless his heart, one for me. Though I never got the autograph, I was able to chat a small bit with Mr. M and Mr. H, the latter saying what I saw… the show was just fantastic for them and “We didn’t want to get off the stage”.
So it is off to San Diego via a long road trip but I am well prepared with Google maps and a full tank of gas so bring on the adventure!
Photos by Lori Tarchala