Out on the road with the "
GROWING UP" TOUR
May 12 - Italy - Firenza
Florence is as beautiful as ever, and with the hot summer weather not quite here yet, it's even more pleasant than when I've been here
Best of all - a day off!
May 11 - Italy - Ancona
Coming in just for the soundcheck and show, we never really saw the city of Ancona - left right after the show, for Florence.
It was fun seeing, backstage, posters of some of the Italian artists I had played with, all of whom have played this arena.
May 8,9 - Italy - Milano
The two shows in Milan are being filmed - I'm not sure for what use, but with cameramen all over, there are even more of what Peter
calls "the Orange People" on stage.
In fact, at times it seemed some of the musicians were surrounded by crew.
But the shows were great. It's good to be back here - we played a warmup concert in Milan way back last Summer, before the production had
been added to the music part of the show. It must have been fun for those who came to both, to see the changes since last year.
May 6 - Italy - Bologna
The welcome to Italy was an unusal one - due to the facilities in the Bologna venue, the stage couldn't be set up in the center of the arena,
as it usually is. The band arrived from Munich for soundcheck to find the large round stage set up at one end of the arena. So, in the show,
we changed our moves quite a bit, to avoid spending half of the show facing a large wall!
With the change, I was unable to get a decent audience photo - first time on the tour that has happened.
May 5 - Germany - Munich
The weather has warmed up a lot, and it seems to be a summer tour now. This means that the venues are warm too, and it's a multi-water bottle
job to do the whole show. Great crowd in Munich, and with the familiar hotel (from last year's show here) I knew right where to go for a good
One unusual occurance in the show - as we began Mercy Street, in which some of us sit on the edge of the slowly revolving stage, I passed a few
people in the front row who were holding up a poster - it was a drawing of me as a South Park character! Sadly, I couldn't take a photo of
it to show - though I only thought of that later. During the piece my main thought was to keep from laughing during what is a pretty
May 3 - Belgium - Brussels
It's a great city, and since we arrived late at night before show day, there was time to wander, look for cafes, and enjoy
some of the parks here.
An excellent show.
Then a day off (!) and some good friends took me for my first trip to the beautiful city of Brugge, an hour or so away from Brussels.
Filled with canals and very old buildings, Brugge was bustling with tourists, as it probably usually is. In the center is a tall
tower, which I trudged up dutifully, to get a good photo from the top. The steep stairs winded me, of course, but at the top were many
bells - big bells - and just as I arrived, you guessed it, the carrilon started playing. The good news was that it wasn't too loud
(well, compared to a rock concert) and they were playing a favorite piece of mine, Erik Satie's Gnossienne,
which is pretty sensitive for giant bells to be pounding out.
The picture was worth the trek, I think, but it does look a lot like the postcard I could have bought in the gift shop at the bottom!
Munich is next.
May 1 - Holland - Rotterdam
We drove from Amsterdam to the venue here in Rotterdam.
Peter announced, just before Mercy Street, that it was David Rhodes' birthday today. A nice surprise, and as we were gathered
around the boat, the audience began singing something I'd never heard before. We reckon it to be a Dutch birthday song.
May 1 - Germany - Oberhausen
We didn't stay overnight in Oberhausen, so my travelogue can't include photos of the city. But it was a good show - the
audience braved some very bad German traffic problems to get there. Among the guests were Pete Walsh, our great engineer from the
"Secret World Tour", and an old friend of mine, Kai, who travelled
quite a distance to get to the show, and filled me in about how bad the highways were.
Afterwards we drove to Amsterdam to stay. Don't know exactly why, since the next show is in Rotterdam. But it certainly makes for
good travelogue photos!