I really haven’t been telling you about the shows as we were totally slammed to start the run over here. This schedule is a truly hand picked/major market tour, fast and furious from the UK to the continent. Some of the spots are the strongholds of the artist’s fanbase over here as well as the obvious stops on a short tour.
Dublin always provides a passionate and alive crowd, up for a good time, not afraid to participate. For a new tour and an English speaking act, it’s a great place to begin. London is not only a major capitol but a center of the music industry. It also gave our guy an opportunity to return to a place he had played 31 years before which began the escalation of a remarkable career. Packing this wee troupe of players into the Hammersmith and then St. Lukes was a challenge but was rewarding. Though it may have looked in both cases comfortable for the players, you wouldn’t be able to tell how much we have in the wings to pull this off or how cramped the crew’s quarters were. I hope that the St. Luke’s thing looks good in that the venue is very cool and it sounded great even with amplification.
The exhaustion I felt in Paris luckily wasn’t universal with the band. The French crowd was very receptive and the group put on a great show even after three back to back shows. We then travelled to Milan, Italy to perform before one of the most wild crowds we ever see. They sing (all of them!), they move (almost everyone), they show up really early… most of the arena’s seating is unreserved so there were thousands of people waiting by midday for a 9 p.m. show and they sure know how to made an even of it. In most of the sing-along songs they would sing at least one more chorus after the band finished the song and our guy would thank them after every performance. Our show outdoors there in 2003 was a wild one both in weather and audience and last night was no less remarkable.
Our guy told the band the other day that they would never see anything quite like Milan or Barcelona and some of the more eloquent band members were reduced to profanity when asked what they thought of the evening. It also brings our guy into overdrive; he’s always on but he takes chances and is an excellent reader of the crowd. He has great instincts as to where they will be able to go.
Barcelona promises to be more of the same; in 2002 the crowd got so excited they ended up pushing the stage back between 4 to 6 feet during the show (it was on wheels, but usually it stays put!) Hopefully a good meal tonight and a good deal of rest (getting old is a drag, it takes much longer to fill the energy jug if you drain it all the way down…)