vrijdag 8 maart 2013

The three things we need

Wow I'm sitting listening to the very last concert of this tour in Wolverhampton, UK. We have had some Momentum, but we wont keep on going ;) but let me look back first...

After the gig in Madrid we drove to Bordeaux for a day off and a hotel. I went with Chris to find out how beautiful Bordeaux actually is. We planned on finding Neal because he texted us that he was buying a hotdog somewhere near a ferris wheel. Americans... I convinced Chris to ignore this blasphemy and take a pizza at a decent French restaurant which we did.

After 5 minutes Neal even found us. The sun was shining that day so it was just incredibly nice to enjoy this years first outside lunch in the sun. After checking the nearby carnival we went back to the hotel. I roomed with Charly Brown (Neal Morse) again and while he worked on the Charlie Brown musical I read a book and did some merch administration (just hhad to mention this to emphasize the sheer complexity of my job).

Around dinner time we joined with the whole group and went for dinner downtown. Jonas seemed to know a nice square where we sat down. Together with a waiter that actually spoke English (A Frenchman I hear you think, yes indeed) and my highschool French we took orders for the whole group and started the big wait for our dinner. It was the opposite of fast food: delicious, healthy and yes: slow.

After a great dinner we went back to the hotel to wait for our bus to leave at... 4 am!!! So we figured it would be better not to sleep before being on the bus. Not many enjoyed the early ride. Except for Mike Portnoy who didn't understood the problem: "I always go to bed around 4 so thats perfect"...

We drove to Paris where we played in a nice venue at the edge of the periferique. Which ment right after soundcheck I had to take Adson and Eric, Neals two guitarists, to check out some of the highlights. We just had enough time to see the Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower. While they stayed a little longer to eat something I rushed back via 3 subways to get to the venue only 1 minute before the doors opened... Oops.

The Paris crowd was enthusiastic and disnt disappoint. After hearing our bus wouldn't leave until 5 am, Eric and me decided to check one more Parisian highlight of our list: the Notre Dame. There was hardly anything to do there on a monday night so we just had some drinks at te nearest cafe and took a taxi back.

After Paris we drove to Rüsselsheim to challenge ourselves with the smallest stage of the entire tour. It worked out well even though I had to sell merch outside which was very cold.

While touring I'd say the wholy trinity of touring is good food, good sanitary and good WiFi. That way you can keep any musician happy. This last one was quite troublesome at almost every venue we visited. As soon as one of us has found and yelled the password 18 of us get the macbook and iphone out and completely burn, destroy or at least mess up the internet router. So we tried not to share the password with someone else :)

After a surprisingly intense and good concert we jumped on the bus (which left around 4am again) to drive to Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. I promised everyone that the three holy aspects of the touring musician would be well organized there and I could be proud. The boerderij is such an awesome venue!

Neal had a sore throat so I hope the concert went well. I had no idea cause I was in another room... Poor me.

So then here we are in England. Yesterday we took the ferry to the white cliffs of Dover and drove to the venue.

Chris and me had a great lunch just around the corner at a very old and traditional pub. We thought. After we saw quite some pictures of ehm lets say women with high testosterone and lots of lipstick we found out that it was actually a drag queen / gay pub. Walking out we saw the huge rainbow flag and had a good laugh about it. Nice people, though!

The venue had awesome painted walls (backstage) and the gig was amazing. The crowd sang every line and was just brilliant. At the final part of Stranger in Your soul Steve Hackett came on stage to join with some wild guitar soloing. Talking about a legend!

I met quite some people that told me they follow my blog, which is really cool. One guy asked me for yellow water, took me a while to get that one haha.

Ok, neal is closing his set so I have to get ready to tape the encore and I will update you soon!

maandag 4 maart 2013

Stairway to heaven / Stairs from hell

Milan was a great concert. We tried to see something from the area but we were not even close to the city. Lets say we felt a bit Ryanaired.

So no sightseeing for us. Both bands played a great gig though. I had all the time to watch the gig because for some reason selling merch there was not an option (for me, their Live Nation ppl had to do it). Also we didnt sell any cd's because they told us we had to buy a 1€ sticker per cd and all other kinds of weird things. A bit lame but well... I had some time off. We had to pack everything directly after the gig because we had a long drive to Barcelona to make.

After a long drive flanked by the mediterranean sea we arrived in Barcelona. Too late to be able to use the elevator of the venue. So we hurried with all our stuff up the 1001 stairs :( pfff

The Barcelona audience was great and my friend Jose was there. It's always nice to meet friends so far from home.

After the gig we had to get out fast because there was a disco in the same hall (hall 2 of The Razzmatazz). Quite exhausted we continued to Madrid.

Now the sun started to shine and we had some walka around the block where the venue (Sala But) was. To the Starbucks and back for example haha.

The Madrid venue (despite more stairs without elevator) was great and the gig was maybe the best until now. At the end of the set both the Flower Kings and the Neal Morse band join on stage for a Transatlantic song and that is just beautiful! Very emotional. Fans were going crazy from the front all the way to the back where my merch stand was. Just an awesome experience!