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April 9, 2013

Review: Blur at Vive Latino Festival 2013


This is Part II of a two part series from BlurBalls all about Blur’s 5-day visit to Mexico City, where they played a gig in El Plaza Condesa (March 15th 2013) and then in the huge Vive Latino Festival (March 16th 2013).

For this part, Mirja García writes about her meeting with Blur and reviews the Vive Latino concert.

Author’s Foreword: Hello Blur fans! This is my 5-day summary (Part I here) of my Blur experience in Mexico. First and foremost, I will try to keep it fun and short because I don't want to bore you with words. So, I thought the best idea was for my review of Blur at Mexico to be divided into a "Blur Chronicle" by days. I hope you can enjoy my review, experience with meeting Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon and the rest of Blur, and some pictures I took with the band.

Day 4: Saturday, March 16th 2013

Review - Vive Latino Festival

Today was the day of the Vive Latino Festival 2013 where Blur are playing for the first time in nearly 10 years. To be honest, I knew there was going to be so much standing and lots of hours listening to different musicians perform. Before the first few artists came out on the stage, one male fan pushed me and punched me right in my mouth- he was very high, aggressive and totally not one of our Blur fans. The security guard took him out so I wouldn’t get hit again, and I was disappointed because I was right in front of Alex James’ spot.

Somehow I got on the barrier again after the Tame Impala played. At one point, my back was killing me. At the time Blur was almost coming out, I couldn't stand my back pain anymore-thank heavens I was at the barrier so that I could have a bit rest inside.

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A fan "...gave Damon Albarn a bracelet which he kept and used for the Vive Latino concert" 
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Blur’s performance at the Vive Latino was heavenly. The band members all looked so happy, I was so happy, and every single fan were too. It was the best time ever! I don’t have much to say about the concert because I only spend the time outside for Blur and not any other band. Of course, the feeling of watching Damon Albarn perform was totally amazing, and there were also big, huge screens so we could see them out there in the crowds.

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Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn on stage - 2013 

It was in my opinion, a perfect night!

Day 5: Sunday, March 17th 2013 

Even though my body needed lot of rest after watching Blur at the Vive Latino Festival 2013, I woke up early to head right to Blur’s hotel in Mexico City. Oscar (one of the biggest fans of Blur in Mexico, and the one who gave Damon a bracelet which he kept and used for the Vive Latino!) and I met up in the hotel so that we could catch Blur and meet them one more time.

The hotel lobby was full of artists that appeared to perform in the Vive Latino Festival. I have to admit I didn't pay that much attention to them. I was just focus on my beloved British band Blur. After probably an hour of waiting later, I saw one of the band’s choristers coming out of the lobby- next out was a tall, bald man who came out with Blur’s other three choristers and various staff.

I approached the tall, bald man, and he and I had the most lovely chat; he was very nice and kind to us fans, and listened as I told him how long I have loved Blur for. I also told him how much their job means to me, and how I’m grateful for all the people involve in making Blur’s music possible. We were talking about warm up gig in Mexico City’s El Plaza Condesa (see Part I) on Friday night, and we mostly talked about how great ‘The Universal’ was and how happy he felt by being here to witness the band. We took a picture together.


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After that, I waited for bit more until I saw Rudy Albarn, Damon's nephew. We shared a nice talk as well- Rudy was so nice and he looked just like a mini version of Damon! I also took a picture with him whilst he held my phone. Then I waited bit more for the band. I was amused by how kind they were to me and talked with me about random things. 

Finally, one of the main members of Blur came out- Alex James. Alex was very posh, as always, and I approach him whist other fans also reached out for him. I thought I was going to speak to him by myself; nonetheless I went towards him and we talked- he was so lovely.

I took out my Blur book and Alex started laughing at it. He said: "It's been ages since I saw this!" and also told that to one of the crewmembers beside him. He took a while to read through the book and see the pictures with me. He was laughing at a few Blur pictures, and he had a most lovely laugh. We kept on talking and he signed on my book and also on my "GRAMON INSPIRES ME" sign. Surprisingly, he also told me he saw it on Friday's El Plaza Condesa Warm-up show. We both laughed and I got to take another picture with him.

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Suddenly, I saw Damon Albarn in front of Alex. I wanted to get a better picture with the Blur front man, and luckily the fans stopped him from leaving outside. I got closer and asked if I may take a photo with him- he was very nice and immediately said "Of course". Damon dropped one of the CD's someone gave him on his way. I stopped to reach for it, giving the album back to him. I was so happy when he said “Thank you dear” to me. 

Damon also took my Blur book and leafed through a few pictures. He had a smile upon his face and then he sign in a specific page. He then read my "GRAMON…" sign, smiled and sign on it. “Did you see it on Friday’s gig?" I asked. "Yeah, I actually did a couple of times" was his reply, and we shared smiles. Afterwards, I thanked him again for everything and for playing in our Mexico City.

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Damon signed other fans’ autographs and walked to the Blur van as they had to leave. He was about to jump into it, but I needed my picture with the great man. "Damon, can I take my picture with you please?" I shouted, and he was kind enough to come out of the van and said: "Okay the last one". He walked to me and looked me in the eyes (even though he had those big sunglasses on, we could still see his eyes). Since I was short, I stood on tiptoes and he stooped down. I hugged him by his neck and he grabbed me from my nape- it was a bit of hug and someone took the pic with my phone. To give him a Mexican farewell, I kissed him on the cheek and said "Thank you". "No problem dear" he replied, and that was exactly happened for my picture. He was far too kind with everyone, to be honest.


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Top: Damon in the airport ; Bottom: Blur in Vive Latino 2013 

We were still hopeful that Blur would stay longer, so we waited for a few more hours. Bad choice- the crew had started to leave and we already knew when they were heading at the airport for the final journey. I chatted to Alex James’s bodyguard, who was also named Alex (like Smoggy with Damon). One of the crew members gave Oscar the keys to Blur’s hotel room, but we didn’t know whether Blur were going to come back at the end. It turned out they entered through a backdoor, which was blocked by security.

A fan suggested we go to the airport to say goodbye to Blur. We did just that - in fact our taxi cab was right in front the band’s van, I know it sounds slightly creepy, but it was not. We met them again, and there were more signings and photos taken. 

This time, Graham Coxon was slightly distant and reserved. He was tired from the shows but after minutes, he suddenly changed moods and became friendly and signed some more pictures. I showed him my hand-drawn sign and he immediately said "I actually saw this on Friday, it made me laugh". It was a great feeling to hear that my sign made the band laugh. Blur left for the plane shortly afterwards. It was a magic experience- my fellow Mexican Blur fans were there, sighing, thinking, and smiling, and we left the airport after few minutes after we took our first official photo as a real fan club – the Blur Mexico Fan Club.


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Blur Mexico Fan Club - at the airport 

These few days were the best days of my life by far, and it meant a lot to me that I had the chance to meet my favourite band Blur. Many thanks to Oscar and all your effort to organize this Blur fans meeting. It was one of the best musical experiences I ever had- the Blur members were really lovely and caring to all the fans who attended the shows. I'm glad that they came to Mexico and played a few shows, even though they left us with a sad, melancholy feeling. We look forward to seeing Blur play again soon.

Without a doubt, ‘The Universal’ was the soundtrack for my week with Blur. To me, "it really, really, really could happen".

Written by Mirja García
(@MirjaLolita on Twitter)
Pictures from Mirja and Oscar Martínez Silva
 (@Osblur on Twitter)
March 2013


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