Feb 11, 2015 Truck Stop outside of Dresden, Germany
If we weren't so hysterically high on the general absurdities of our day-to-day, 24 hours in a truck stop in Eastern Germany might just do us in completely. But somehow being pushed over the precipice, just makes me mellow into the experience.
Due to very strict European bus driving regulations, our driver can only drive a certain number of hours before taking various kinds of rests. None of us seem to be able to understand these regulations. He can drive four hours then must take a one hour break. He can drive 10 hours and then must take a 12 hour break. Over the course of a week he might have to stop and take a 45 hour break. So, we find ourselves in these absurd situations where if it takes us 11 hours to get somewhere, we might have to stop at hour 10 and take a 12 hour break.
Basically, today, we had to take a full day and night off at this truck stop. It turns out we couldn't get an electrical hookup at the fancy truck stop Brian had me all pumped up about, so we ended up at a mid-range, functional one. This meant wifi, a toilet (no crapping on the bus, btw), decent enough food, and... a 20 minute tram ride into Dresden. So we took the Dresden trip.
Nice oldish, mixed with modern architecture, town. It was cold, but we had a nice warm sausage meal.
Early in the morning we drive to the next gig.
Feb 12, 2015 Aschaffenburg, Germany – Colos-Saal
Best gig to date. No question.
Standing audience which gives the show a entirely different vibe. A seated audience can be fantastic listeners and give the performance an internal intensity. But a standing audience can knock you over. Viscerally pushing you forward into the music.
Brian has played this place before with his group, The Carpet Crawlers. So he knew everyone when we arrived.
We debuted “Lay Your Hands On Me” tonight. We had planned on doing it for the Opole show in Poland, but it just didn't feel right. So tonight this one came out. It was super strong. Obviously, Brian wasn't going to do the Peter-Falls-Backwards-Into-The-Audience routine. But he did run around and give everyone a high-five. We saw him enter the room from the back and instead of moving immediately toward the stage he took a right turn and worked his way to the wall. Then a step forward and worked his way all the way over the left wall. Another move forward and back to the right. Crikey this is going to take forever! Next time we will pace ourselves in the final section. I can hold off my part and slowly build it more than I did tonight.
On a side note, it has been quite a challenge for me to pull off the studio bass part while singing the “Lay Your Hands One Me” chorus. I'm not sure exactly what Tony Levin plays in the live shows, but the original bass part seems to be some kind of keyboard. And it has some rhythmic twists to it. So I have gone back to this one and worked to getting the vocal to lay over the top of it. This is the kind of thing that was kindergarden work for the musicians I heard in Mali – not just playing and singing two different parts, but two different parts that have completely different feels. I decided to just make the leap over the first few performances of this piece and go for it. Even though I am totally screwing it up at the moment.
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Super great tour gift tonight. No, not a CD. A pair (make that two!) of heavy duty, but lightweight, rubber-coated work gloves. From Thomas, a friend of Brian's. I can't say how happy this made me. Also, he threw in two pairs of 23db ear plugs! Oh yeah. Very nice ones. Most ear plugs like this are 12db, these are monsters.
Feb 13, 2015 Wetzikon, Switzerland – Scala
Small place, but very nice.
This was a perfect example of how a seated performance can push you forward. Small crowd, but utterly and completely with us. Somehow, within the band, there was a general feeling tonight of “fuck it. Let's just go for a it. And then go for it a bit more.”
I made the decision to push my solo in “Family and The Fishing Net” a bit more. And I think it delivered. Other things like “Lay Your Hands” were very heavy. Especially heavy considering the crowd. One guy in the front sang every single song with us. We also had a couple of dancers in the back.
I did have a struggle holding it together tonight. Found myself bouncing back and forth between “go for it” and “what I am doing here”. Not “here” this particular venue, but “here” doing this work of this tour. Succubus rearing his power. Just don't stop and keep moving. Don't let him settle.
We were billed as Jerry Marotta's Security Project:
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