As a new resident of Guadalajara, I know very little of the history of the RMX 212 music festival. This is the first time I know about it and assisted. I have to say that it is awesome! They completely shut down Ave. Chapultepec, an avenue known for it’s restaurants, bars and a great place to walk around during the day and have a nice time. Four stages along the avenue with several bands playing simultaneously from 14:00 hrs until 03:00 in the morning! The nice thing was that also most of the bands were not the typical mainstream pop music garbage (although some still sounded like garbage), this was a place for new bands and upcoming bands to have a large audience to promote themselves.
I got my age “reality check” when I saw the lineup for each of the stages. Shocking to see how many new bands are coming up and you know absolutely nothing about them. That’s when you realize you’re becoming “uncool” and are out of touch with current trends.
Fortunately not everyone was new to me. I knew a couple, like Pato Machete, former member of Control Machete, Hello Seahorse and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sussie_4][Sussie 4]]. I knew more bands, but I didn’t necessarily like them. They were my brother’s preferred music, which I don’t consider “cool”, but ohh well…
I could get close enough to take interesting shots at Pato Machete’s presentation.
The crowd was going crazy with this guy on stage
I don’t know what was going on, but apparently all my friends were surprised at something when I took this shot.
Then I went with Alesi and Lokotronic to see the happy punk band Division Minuscula. I really hate that crap, all songs sound the same to me and don’t get me started with the lyrics… but I didn’t wanted to go home yet.
Here is the best image I could take when Sussie 4 was on stage. The place was too crowded to get any closer.
A girl in the crowd who smiled at my camera.
Taking stage photographs is hard. You have to prepare and adjust all your settings before the concert starts or else you’ll miss good moments, and since ligthing is constantly changing, you might miss some. I was constantly switching from manual to shutter speed priority. It is important to set your metering to spot metering and if you have several focus points, use the ones in the center. There are ways to set dynamic focus following a subject on some cameras, but for a beginner like me, center focus points work fine. Unless you are in a special press booth or reserved area, being in the middle of the crowd during a concert leaves you little time and comfort to adjust settings and experiment.
And I leave you with a music video of Pato Machete for those who don’t know his music and got curious after these pictures:
A week ago, I spent most of my afternoon helping Ada with her new Debian system.
She’s writing her thesis and for that she needs to have music notes on the document. I’ve insisted her to write her thesis in LaTeX but she still refuses to learn the syntax and commands. So she’s doing it the tough way in OpenOffice.org Writer.
So, to make my point about LaTeX, I was sure there was a way to write music with it. A quick search revealed that a tool called Lilypond was all she needed.
sudo aptitude install lilypond
Fortunately for her, there is also an OpenOffice.org extension that renders the lilypond output as an image on a Writer document.
It took us about an hour to figure out the syntax she needed and after that, she’s happy and ready to finish her thesis.
Ada is happy she switched to OpenOffice.org, if he hadn’t, her thesis wouldn’t have pretty musical notation.
I just arrived from being at the Arena Monterrey, where Sarah Brightman gave her Symphony tour concert.
I was very excited for weeks that I’ll finally see one of my favorite opera singers. Bought the tickets with months of anticipation. The day I the tickets started selling, I got mine and most entrances were sold by mid day.
The concert started at exactly 21:00 hrs, a strange thing to happen over here, since all other concerts I’ve been start thirty to an hour later, with some other artist opening the show. But given that she’s British, punctuality is nothing strange. So it all started with kind of a magical entrance and everything very mysterious, very nice. It was a very magical concert, except for a bunch of caveats throughout it all.
First of all on the positive side, the music was fantastic. Needless to say that Sarah’s performance was overall good. The scenery and effects were fantastic! Using a huge mirror with projectors producing a very magical effect on each song. The guest singers (I can only remember Fernando Lima‘s name right now) were awesome. I was also impressed by the constant and extremely fast wardrobe changes that Sarah had throughout the concert.
I would like to say a critic about the concert, but first I think I should mention my sort of credentials to give credit of my judgement. Besides being a web programmer and open source evangelist, I used to have a local rock band a couple of years ago. We played at a small bar in Tampico, but we had good gigs like opening concerts for the EXA radio station in Mexico. We opened twice and played along with a lot of the mexican pops stars of the moment. I know about performing, I know a little about professional sound and stages. Later I was solo singer on a local, but also very important musical show in Tampico. I’m also friend of an important song writers and actors. So I’ve been in touch with a lot of music and performing. And my latest and most important education in music and performing arts (specially at dancing and musicals) I’ve recieved from my girlfriend Ada Campos, whose artistic career is far more serious and longer than mine. So, given that introduction, I now explain what I think of Sarah Brightman’s concert.
However, I expected a lot much more from the show. The dancers were sloppy, not moving at the same time, with weak movements and poor organization. The choreography was, to say the least, ridiculous. And Sarah’s voice didn’t fill the place. I don’t know if it was her fault or the sound engineer’s.
Then what really bothered me was Sarah’s attitude. She didn’t introduced or thanked her musicians (they received their applauses without her on stage). The chorus was hidden somewhere because there were never seen. She didn’t communicate a lot with the public and her interactions with the guest singers who accompanied her on several songs was bad. She faced backwards a lot during the concert and some special songs like The Phantom of the Opera, so you couldn’t see her singing (and she also erred twice on the song).
Overall the whole concert direction was awful. The lighting was bad on the dancers and everything focused only her, which brings an unbalanced scenery on stage where you cannot appreciate well every detail the scene was supposed to show. It gave me the impression that Sarah showed very little gratitude and is a very selfish person that doesn’t want anything else but her to shine on stage. Bad mistake, cause far from making her shine, that made the whole show look bad.
Oh, and I still can’t get over the THIRTY MINUTE intermediate pause. I think I forgot what I was doing there when the show continued.
Update: it just came to my knowledge that this concert was the opening of the tour. This makes the whole thing more understandable (yet still unacceptable) since they don’t have all the details solved and there’s a lot of room for improvement. Anyways, I enjoyed being able to see Sarah Brightman singing live, I’m sure the next concerts will improve most of these issues.