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The real experience starts two days before show time, at rehearsals. As anyone who has ever been in a band will know, getting three or four people in a practice room at the same time is tough. So, imagine trying to organise band practice with 1,000 members. The mind boggles. And let’s not even get started on the tech set-up. The obstacles faced here are truly gargantuan, but the show must go on.
Setlist nailed, new friends made, performance down to a tee, we arrive at show day. The stadium bleachers swell with 25,000 fans. 1,000 musicians take their places on the show floor. They’re divided into legions of singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers and keyboard players, resembling an army rarely seen outside of Lord Of The Rings.
The lights go down. The place falls pin-drop quiet. And then… life.
The ordinarily creeping guitar lick that opens Metallica’s Enter Sandman sounds like a tsunami when played on this many guitars. Next, 200 kick drums rattle your eyeballs around your skull like a pinball. The main riff drops with the lurching crunch and impact of a falling building. And then the vocals hit.
Now, it goes without saying that few people have a voice to rival the power of James Hetfield, but the sound of 200 vocalists backed by 25,000 of Brazil’s finest is just something else. Song one of the set is an incredible, overwhelming, and frankly life-affirming experience.
Right, 17 more to go.