So there I am, the last gig will be tonight in Manchester. Time flew by, somehow the first week felt pretty busy and then you keep thinking: wow we're gonna do this three weeks! But then suddenly the second week flies by and you're already in the last week. Oh well, that's probably very common... anyway I had a great time.
After last post the Swiss gig went very well, they made us very very good food (I have started to understand people that talk about food all the time :) so that compensated the fact that we had to use Swiss Francs! Argh! I am so glad we have the Euro now, imagine I would have to change currency in every country! That would be a nightmare.
After Switzerland we drove to Paris. Getting to the venue was pretty tough for Chris, our brilliant bus driver. Often we sit in the front part of the bus (1st floor) thinking like: "oh no! He's never gonna make this sharp bend/tight alley/low tunnel" but Chris always does. Driving to Paris we must have destroyed our antenna driving through a very low tunnel. Daniel and me were expecting to have a London-like tourist bus after entering that tunnel but we kept our roof which was nice... such a nasty thing to wake up without one, lol...
The venue in the capital of France never bothered to arrange an elevator so we had to get all our stuff (dont mind the merch, think about a huge drum hardware case or heavy Lesley organ) up 80 steps. And to make our day we had nasty showers, no dinner and one crew room that was constantly used for interviews.
Neal just told me that he never has interviews while touring solo, they probably are afraid Neal might talk about God, but now he's touring with TA they suddenly wanna talk to him. It's weird, ah well, they'll find out how Neal came up with this Whirlwind theme... lol
I went to see a little of the Champs Elysees together with Sebastian and we had a great time. It's just nice not to have to see anything but just being able to stroll around without any plans... or it's just us haha. The Audience in Paris was wonderful, very different from the much much calmer Lyon crowd.
Meanwhile our orange album cover shirts were completely sold out, just like to black album cover... so all we could sell were the shirts with the faces of the band members. We never sold as much as we did in Paris!
After getting all our stuff downstairs and making our way through some loyal fans that waited hours to get another glimpse of Neal, Roine, Pete or Mike we loaded up the bus and finally went to Holland. Hurrah!
I was in 013, Tilburg (Holland) right during the us leg of the TA tour cause I work for Hoshino Benelux which distributes Zildjian and Zildjian organized a Steve Gadd Clinic in 013. That was a great night and I got to drive with Steve on his tourbus from Feedback Rotterdam (a store where he did some signing) to 013 in Tilburg. So that compared with the awesome facilities of the venue made me really feel at home. I must say the highlight of the Tilburg gig was the shower haha... I felt reborn!
After being sold out for nearly three months it was no surprise that it was very very crowded during the concert. I met some friends right before the concert started and watched a bit of the show with them. Wilco, Elisa and Henk (from Neal's Dutch band) were also there so that was pretty cool. It felt like a match in your own stadium (or in Dutch: thuiswedstrijd) haha.
Then came the worst night of our tour: 2 hours of sleep, arriving at the border control in Calais, getting on the ferry (watching Anchorman as we waited) having very early breakfast and sleeping another two hours until we arrived at the venue in London. The Shephards Bush is a great looking venue but it has a sort of maze of halls... that compared with my lack of orientation made me walk around looking for the merch booth/dressing room all day long.
Somehow the venue didn't allow for us to sell merch, so we had to let two other people do that. Sounds like we had an easy day but trust me, it wasn't cheap. But I got to watch the first half of the concert from the first balcony having a great view. During the second half I was working with Todd and Sebastian on all kinds of merch administration. Earlier that day I went with Sebastian to see Picadilly Circus and just walk around a bit, the weather was unbritishly warm I can tell you!
And then... there we are in Manchester, I had a good night and a good shower so I feel able to talk to people again ;) Still I'm here in an empty crew room typing a blog, but that's just for you all!
The last gig must be special, I'm looking forward to any pranks and weird stuff. I heard the drum and guitar tech from Dream Theater (they both joined this tour as well) talk about that they actually did a whole scene from Star Wars at one of the ending gigs of a Dream Theater tour. Without the band knowing about it! haha, it should be on youtube!
allright, lets get the merch booth ready, for the last time!
thanks for all the feedback I got from you during the concerts, really cool to find out how many people are reading my blog!