Friday, September 26, 2008

Paul's concert in Israel

got to the park around 9:30 am. There was no one at gate 6. September is still summer season in Israel (we have a rainy season from October - April - from May - October , it never rains). First my husband and I went inside the arena and took refuge in the shade where the food stands were being set up. Hot dogs (!), pretzels, popcorn, beer, ice coffee, ice cream and that's all the fast food I noticed. As opposed to European concerts where I've seen hundreds of cases of beer at the tailgate, Israelis are not a nation of beer guzzlers, as much as Europeans/Americans are - so I only saw a few people with a bottle or cup of beer. Also, beer dehydrates and it was extremely hot weather so even though I love a beer, I tried not to have drinks that would make me pee every hour I must have drunk 4 liters of water though. Most of us who waited from the early morning brought food and snacks which we shared with each other. There was instant camaraderie among us, which was lovely.

My two friends came in later on and I went to their gate to hang out with them. When I came back to my gate I saw Hubby sitting like a swami, engaged in a "lecture" about life,feng shui, marriage, clutter, etc. to about 10 young Israeli kids, sitting in a semi-circle, listening intently to him. They all looked like they just came out of an ashram in India. Hubby the Guru. Maharishi Mahesh Hubby.

The way we were positioned at the gate was completely unorganized and unfair, I thought. First we sat by the gate itself. Then security came and had us move 20 (?) meters back behind a plastic tarp leaving a large grassy area between us and the gate. There was hardly any shade and people made makeshift "tents" with sheets they brought. By the time 4:00 rolled around fans rushed to the gate (many getting ahead of me) and were told to move back to the tarp place. Finally around 4:30, we did end up in front of the gate somehow. Hubby gave the security guy who was going to check us one of his hats. He checked us before the rush so we were actually the first in our gate to get in. The woman next to me was like "in Israel, you give to somebody, you get back."

I just thought it should have been better organized at the gate with barriers set up so that first come first serve could be in place. They could have put barriers in several aisles and not have left the fans in an unruly "pile" meters from the gate. That and the heat were my only gripes.

This was NOT a day to be wearing Tom's Natural Deodorant, and by noon, I asked people for deodorant.

"I have men's deodorant" offered one girl who had come the same time we did.

At that point I didn't care if it were an elephant's deodorant. I needed something badly - FAST. And I was grateful for that.

5:30 the gate opened and hubby and I ran and ran and ran. We were about 3rd or 4th row from the stage, but it was terribly pushy, hot and crowded that my husband said he was at his limit and moved all the way to the back (!) of the stadium. He said he won't enjoy the concert being crammed like that. I also felt uncomfortable. I could hardly see the stage. I thought Israeli men were on the short side, in general, but somehow these 6 foot 5 giants were all in front of me. I couldn't see the stage. I called friends who were at the concert and my girlfriend had a pink long scarf that she waved in the air like a "flare" to show me where she was. She was back a bit and when I went to where my 2 friends were sitting comfortably in their chairs I noticed I could see the stage perfectly (around 12 "people rows" back from the stage in the center right). Hubby joined us thanks to the pink "flare" we had.

It didn't get any cooler as night fell. But the excitement was incredible.

My friends and I began singing Paul/Beatles songs loud, getting the people around us to join in. There was a man in his 50s with young children (10, 12) who knew all the words to the songs. I told him "You gave your children a good education" as they knew all the words. The guy did the harmony.

When Paul took the stage, it felt like a dream. It didn't seem real. I was tickled at the way he spoke in Hebrew. I only expected a word or two in the language, not full short sentences. I took several photos (most came out awful - but some came out real nice) and short videos of a minute or two which I'll post on YouTube and pass on the link - tomorrow. The interaction was great between Paul and the audience. He really connected with his fans.

I've been to many Stones concerts. Jagger does not connect with the fans. He prances around the stage, which McCartney doesn't, but there's no "feeling." I could only say that it was very spiritual for us. I sang and danced my ass off - although it was difficult to "shake" in my crowded spot (but I managed). Today I've lost my voice.

Hubby, who was not a McCartney fan and who just went to keep me company and I think for curiosity's sake and who wanted to have an historical experience, said it was the best concert he'd ever been to. So Mac's added yet another fan.

In the taxi the 4 of us took back to Jerusalem, we kept on thanking God for the opportunity to see Paul, for bringing Paul to Israel (despite the threats) and that it was a blessing for us. My friend was saying it was like a messianic experience for her. I told her if it were indeed messianic, we'd be seeing "tehiat hamaytim" (revival of the dead) and he'd be on stage with John. For THAT I think I'd take out a bank loan.

Today my legs are sore, my voice is gone, but I'm happy and feel very blessed.


Anonymous said...

your legs and voice are kapparah for this spiritual experience!!! Yup, would have been a great time for Meshiach to come - all those happy Jews feeling good together - all together, now


lars shalom said...

you and your husband are the best!! I rememeber you in Israel, and you were so nice....

Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful. A few years ago Paul and his then wife Heather, came to California where I live. I think it was a private visit. While on the road they made a stop in a small town - Truckee, in the mountains. They went to some bar/cafe and Paul sang for the folks inside. I was near there, vacationing at Lake Tahoe and later I heard he was mere five miles away, doing a concert! How cool is that? I regret that I did not see it but it gave me a lovely feeling about him.

jerusalemgypsy said...

Anyway, Paul is now on my list of people who could be Mashiach. After he sang "tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun" the next day it rained. It was like 40 people did a rain dance. Unusual for September.
Anna, I would have loved to bump into Paul in some small pitstop in the US. I'm always (well, not always) fantasizing about stuff like that.

jerusalemgypsy said...

Anyway, Paul is now on my list of people who could be Mashiach. After he sang "tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun" the next day it rained. It was like 40 people did a rain dance. Unusual for September.
Anna, I would have loved to bump into Paul in some small pitstop in the US. I'm always (well, not always) fantasizing about stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

i'm a Paul fan, i just want to know if the concert was successful, after knowing from some friends that the tickets were very expensive and it ended that (the capacity of the venue was 70,000 accdg to some source)the fans who attended the concert were only 45,000.

jerusalemgypsy said...

It was one of the most expensive concert for Israel. So that's why the average person found it difficult to afford two tickets. So it really didn't matter if 45,000 people came instead of 70,000. It was crowded enough. The energy was great. Paul was great. The band was great. So, yes, you could say, it was successful!