Pictures & report thanks to Pete Zarustica.
808 state in São Paulo April 2003 - The best rock 'n roll concert ever!
Whenever I read "808 state are still the kings of everything" in the sound section I ask myself how completely true this statement is. The concert last Saturday, April the 26th, proved it to be not only true but a dogma. They opened with Cobra Bora and we just couldn't believe how good was the sound quality. They were playing along with Patrick on the drums and Paddy Steer on the bass whom injected a new soul into the tracks. Pat is such a good drummer and has such a good humour and energy. Paddy *IS* boogieman. He should be payed twice, as a bass player and as a dancer. I don't like to compare people, but Paddy is a crossover of Mondays' Bez with Tom Hanks' Cast Away character. And he aces on bassplayin' too.
Darren was being the host of the concert, shouting the names of the songs and inviting people to jump and go crazy. His bongo playing was especially well mixed - last time they came to Brazil it was too low and we couldn't hear it actually. His scratches were ace too. 606 with Graham on moog vocoder was unusual but very good. Actually when they played 606 I look behind me - I was in the front row, of course - and the crowd was dancing and having fun. I thought for a moment, wierd ' cos 606 is kind of a slow tune, but then I remembered... it has an electroclash vibe and people are really into it here now. So 606 rocked too. Pat playing drums over the original base gave it new energy. When they dropped in Yer Face you could just hear the crowd go crazy. Boogieman rocked the most and Pacific was simply awesome. We all heard Pacific State over a million times and it still is a masterpiece. Graham did some improvisation on the sax and the crowd was actually singing the samples :) Like avoe ee-favoe avoe aralin eo. The Outpost Transmission songs were played in a very similar song structure to the album, but the groovey interfeerances of Pat, Paddy and Graham made them unique. And phat.
Bad thing was that their stage was a bit too far from everything. Actually it was the only stage since the other were only dj tents. Good thing is that it was wide open and a huge crowd was watching them. I believe there were more than 10.000 people - the festival had 45.000 people but it was 2 km long with several tents.
After almost an hour of splendid music they simply made any other song in the night sound boring. They performed an extended version of Cubik 98. It was a blast, it was bigger and harder than being in a boxing match. Daz was teasing the crowd and Andy was killing with the main line. It rocked the world and they just proved they are the best band ever, with the best rock 'n roll live act ever.
Peter with Graham