May 5, Dortmund
Finally, the day of our first production show. Sound check ended up going quite a while, and everyone's feeling pretty tired.
I'm sure energy will kick in for the show. Last day with Paul Jansen here, visiting from RealWorld and able to fix everyone's Mac - he's the most popular guy on the tour!
There was a toast in the "boy's dressing room", that seemed, as I photographed it, a LOT like the toast last Summer in Montreal at the end of the last tour leg.
I'll try to dig up that photo and juxtapose them.
Lots of activity backstage leading up to the show - the big stage moves will become automatic further into the tour, but for tonight nothing is being taken for granted. There
are really a lot of critical things that need to happen right for the show to run smoothly.
One thing we don't particularly need, but are locked into is our stage costumes. As we dress for the show, memories return of which bits we like, and which we'd
rather not be saddled with.
Aside from the multi-layers of clothes, we each need a belt to hold the transmitters and receivers for the wireless production. There's the transmitter for your instrument -
that's a simple one, with a lead cord coming out of it (though, with my cape-like robe, it needs to be threaded through a hole in the side of the robe.) Then there is
the microphone, on a bent coathanger we wear on our heads - that's wired down the back, attached to a transmitter on the belt. And last is the radio receiver for our
monitor mixes, with in-ear molded receivers wired from ears to that beltpack - also running down the back.
I usually tape the two wires to back of my neck so they don't
get caught in the bass strap and pull out during the show. Unless, that is, I forget.
Oh yes, you can't have either of the transmitters near the monitor receiver, or... you guessed it - you'll have buzz and hum coming into your in-ear monitors.
So, as you can tell, it's a joy to climb back into the outfit and wire onesself up with radios.
I see the set tonight will include San Jacinto - good news, cause the audience really enjoys that song, and we didn't do it much in last year's tour.
A lot of excitement as Peter came out, sipping his last minute voice-soothing tea, and we followed him up into the arena full of very enthusiastic people,
shouting at full volume.
Peter went onstage alone and began with "Here Comes the Flood", in German, with the house lights still on.
I'm still adjusting to my new camera (hence the bad exposure on some shots of Peter) and, with the newness of the production, I took far less photos than I used to take
during the show. (I'd broken all records at the last show, in Ischgl, where finally there was a lot of light on everything!)
The show - it had a lot of energy. Somehow the new setlist makes a high intensity show. The new song "White Ashes" went surprisingly well,
as did new staging of "Games without frontiers" and "San Jacinto."
The relatively new "Burn You Up" is a great addition to the set - very
dance-able, for us and the audience.
Not that there weren't any kerfuffles! (Love that word!)
In "Downside Up" the upper level was late coming down, and Peter and Melanie were just rising up
(upside down) on it when the song came to it's last verses and it was time for them to descend. I certainly didn't get to snap my usual photo of them up there.
The end-of-show bows are now taking place for all four sides of the arena - lots of chances for me to get a good photo of the band bowing.
But, as usual, I
can't seem to aim and bow at the same time.
Plenty of shows to work on that, though!!