I don’t know why it’s so hard to keep you up to date on the goings on with the tour. Perhaps its the confidentiality or the schedule; maybe it’s just the fact that when you’re not working you don’t want to talk about work and when you are, you probably shouldn’t be writing. By looking at my post times you could figure out that I’ve posted once or twice during the show (bad roadie!) but actually formulating thoughts and focusing feelings becomes distracting while the band is onstage. I don’t think tour updates are an opportunity for ecstatic writing…

We regrouped last weekend as the rest of the US was preparing for the beginning of BBQ season with Memorial Day… well, actually in Texas we grill year round but you get what I mean. We hustled down to the south shore from Boston to Great Woods/Tweeter Center/Corporate-Whore-“Sure, you can call me Sally”-Amphitheater in Mansfield, MA to break out the chandeliers and acoustic guitars.

We got to see some old faces join the team and a few of the crew changing their job description temporarily and semi-permanently. The great thing about having over-qualified people on a tour is that you can shift them around when need be because of injury, illness, acute inability to process responsibility or scheduling conflicts. Sure the head of security can do accordion hand offs; can the tour manager help load the truck while the the carpenter runs the video camera? You bet.

Great Woods (screw you, you can change the name but they are still the same places to me) has undergone a pretty major physical change as the narrow access has been improved by the removal of the giant roof columns upstage left and right. This venue was built before the large summer shed tours really began where an 8 truck dock was not just a luxury. They spent a good deal to widen the wing space, reinforce the roof and modernize the workspace. I have spent many years in the hallway with my guitars not being able to see my guys and appreciate the improvement. A big thumbs up from me… now how about a bigger truck dock?

The crowd was every inch an East Coast Bruce crowd as plenty of people drove for hours to congregate for the first official show of the US tour. It appears that fans from many states have been studying the CD and probably certain boots as they had a few of the Euro-traits memorized. It certainly seemed like the band jumped back in where they left off.

DC/VA was a great crowd too, filling the night with singing and grateful spastic white movement (dancing?). Myself and Bob found ourselves wrapping the evening up as 50% of the backline crew by ourselves and we did ok, heck, better than ok, we did good. The beginning of the new song to the set/liquid setlist shenanigans has begun; a heads up for new songs was quietly sounded and the search for obscure lyrics got underway. We bussed to Columbus Ohio for a day off in a strange cul-de-sac filled with restaurants and a theatre. Right on!

The crowds were not as big in Columbus and Indy; it was mentioned that though small in number they were mighty. It’s good to celebrate those who show up rather than berating them for not bringing friends. The Indy shed (Deer Creek, dammit) has such a similar footprint to Boston/Mansfield/Great Woods so it reminded us of what our first US shows would have been like without the remodeling. Our guy changed the setlist right before the show started, shifted the songs around and then took a request from a young fan for a 500 year old song that we’ve not played since mid-rehearsal. Good to keep the kids and the kittens in the band on their toes. Complacency is the enemy here and he has the solution…

Our busses left in the morning from Indy to make the drive to Arizona and we flew to Phoenix to see if their air conditioners are better than the ones in Texas. The forecast warns of 108 degree weather for our days off there. It’s pretty ironic after talking to a friend on Bon Jovi the other night who told me that they experienced snow at an outdoor show in Innsbruck, Austria on Tuesday that we’re heading into the Easy-Bake Oven…

Shout outs to Socks and Schnecky on Fall Out Boy who now know how much a console likes bottled water (it doesn’t) and to Prada who found out that when one door closes another one usually opens… just don’t chat up the boss’s girlfriend, ok? Also a sad hi to KOC as we won’t be spending July together; some things are more important like taking care of business. MK was right; I am last man standing… end of cryptic section.

Next: is it humanly possible to do the Tonight Show and the Greek Theater on the same day? I’ll let you know next Tuesday… somedays you wish your guys played the spoons, but then, they wouldn’t really need you, would they?