Saturday, October 30, 2010

Just got to Kansas City……

AMAZING show last night in St Louis, had a great day today going up the St Louis arch, then drove over to KC. Off out for food, then the show then we have a full day and night here tomorrow and then fly out to New Jersey on Monday. Halloween here tomorrow, never been in the US before on Halloween so that should be fun! Just gonna find a fun bar and enjoy the night tomorrow.

Will catch up in a couple of days, have a few days in New York next week and time to be able to put a few pictures up and write a few things up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

St Paul to Cedar Rapids….

So due to the amount of driving I've been doing over the last couple of days I've fallen a bit behind on the blog, this entry is for today, Thursday and will catch up soon on the earlier entries.

So we left St Paul this morning after an amazing show last night, it wasn't the best sounding or the best performance but the energy from the crowd was fantastic, i felt this after the first couple of tracks and knew it was going to be a great show and it was. Just the atmosphere at the venue  and crowd made this the best show for me yet.

We left around 11am for the 5 hour drive down to Cedar Rapids, there is no show tonight, the next one is St Louis on Friday so we have a night off and drove half way today and will continue tomorrow.

There's vey little to see on the drive, just lots of corn fields and wind turbines!

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However imagine our surprise when we see the following sign!!

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It was a town called FLOYD!!!! we hadn't planned this and had no idea it was here till we  saw a sign 10 miles before saying “welcome to Floyd County” We HAD to go here, so we turned off to the left to see what the town of Floyd was like. It was a real small sleepy little town with a bank, a general store and a couple of closed up stores and that was it!! We did however have a look round looking for anything with the word Floyd on and took a few pics.

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Just as we were about the leave the town called Floyd is potted something at the gas station that i HAD to double back and take a picture of, this is the ultimate thing for Jens!!

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The above was the welcome bear that greats people to the town of Floyd!!

We got back on the main highway and carried on to the hotel in Cedar Rapids Which is where I'm typing this from. Will try catch up over the next few days bit have another long day of driving tomorrow and one the day after.

Few more pics in the album below:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Driving from Detroit to Omaha…

Yes i said driving!! so when i booked all my travels in the UK a couple of months before the tour i knew this next 7/10 days would be the biggest driving time,I had a lot to drive in a little time. Today's was the biggest. Originally i was going to drive to Omaha over two days and stop in a hotel half way. However i had been offered a place to stay at Beth (Kami and Kim's mum) parents house and if i did the drive in a day id not only save on a hotel for the night but id have time to see Beth and a full day the next day to recover from the driving and not be all tired for the show that night.

I left Detroit at 7:15 and hit Omaha in the GPS:

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I figured if i stopped a couple of times (which i hate doing) id get there in between twelve and thirteen hours. It was a long drive and after getting a headache the other night from the four hour drive to Detroit from Columbus i was in two minds whether to do it or not, however, id start the drive anyway see how i felt at half way and take if from there. The first hour wasn't great, i was hitting the morning rush hour traffic going into Detroit, when i got passed this though it was pretty straight forward and real quiet.

I filled up with gas twice on the trip and called in a Taco Bell when i was half way over, i felt great as id also picked a couple of cans of Red Bull up when filling up with gas which kept me going for the rest of the trip. I decided i would keep going and do the whole drive in one.

Gas station!                                               Just for you Karen!

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Beth called to say hi and that she was looking forward to seeing me tomorrow, i told her i was doing the drive in one day and i should be with them about 6pm tonight! she was real excited and called me a couple of times on the way over to make sure i was having a safe trip:)

The road was just long and straight with the odd hill up and down and that was it!! four hundred and some miles on the same road! It was just corn fields and farms all the way!

Where ya been……..                                  Where ya going……….

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Few more pics from along the way:

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I was about an hour away from Beth's parents when she called to see how i was doing, i told her id be there at six and was looking forward to seeing her. I've never met her mom and dad yet they were opening their house up to let me stay which i thought was so nice of them, five minutes before i got to the house i called in to pick up her mom a nice bunch of flowers. Beth had told me earlier on the phone that when i get here they were all decked out with decorations outside the house for Halloween so id have to “lift up the witches skirt to ring the doorbell” lol

Flowers for Beth's mum                  The witch on the door.                Beth's mums Halloween decorations

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I arrived just after six, Beth was at the or waiting for me at the door, it was so nice to see her again and i was introduced to her mom and dad. They had asked earlier on the phone if i had eaten and id had a quick bite an couple of hours ago but they'd saved some of their dinner for me for when i got there. Beth showed me around the house and i took my cases up to the room,  it was the “Noah's ark”  for reasons on the picture below.

The decor in my room                               Me seeing my room for two nights:)

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The room was beautiful and i was so looking forward to not having to sleep in yet another hotel bed and have some real company of Beth and her parents for a couple of days. Beth said to make myself at home and asked if id like to hang anything up in the closet, i said it was fine as i only had jeans and T shirts and had been living out of my case for the last 7 weeks. She said “well if you wanna hang anything up then here's where you can put stuff” she then opened the door and i had THE shock of my life!!

Out of the closet jumped……….Kami!!!!! I was in total shock. I was only expecting Beth to be here and had talked to Kami only the day before and she said she was getting a cold and at home alone working hard on her thesis that she had to get finished. Little did i know that she was already here in Omaha with her mom and keeping it quiet from me! Kami, her mom and dad had planned for her to come up here the week before and not told me, even Kim knew when i was down in Columbus and hadn't said a word, in fact even Dave K knew and had been sworn to secrecy,lol

Me nearly having a heart attack!

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The above picture was actually take AFTER id got over the initial shock, i dread to think what i looked like when she actually jumped out of the closet.

We all had a chat downstairs before we walked over to Beth's sister Susan's house who lives a five minute walk away and who was going to the show with us  tomorrow.

Beth, myself and Ellie (Beth's Mom)

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To be continued……….

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Detroit day 1…..

SO when i got to the hotel i had a real bad headache, i think it was just the travelling and driving catching up with me again. I went down in the pool for an hour, had a shower in the room and the just relaxed on the bed and watched some TV. I cant remember falling asleep but woke around 3am with the TV still on and still had the headache.

I still had a bit of headache the next morning, i needed to do some Laundry so i looked on Google maps for the nearest one and it was about 1.5 miles away. When i got there the place was pocked up but they had a sign on the window with the address of another place.

The Laundromat                                          Its customers!

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The name of the place made me laugh but the area and people around me didn't! i headed in, got some change and soap powder and i must have looked so out of place in there! I got talking to a  couple of the people waiting for their washing and as soon as they heard my accent they waned to know why the hell i was in the middle of Detroit doing my laundry! Took me an hour to do what i had to do and i then headed back to the hotel.

Went for another swim when i got back, i wanted to use the gym but my head was still hurting a little and i didn't want to risk making it feel worse.

My friend Jeff Post whom id been meeting up at several shows with had invited me out to his house today for snacks and a couple of drinks before the show, it was a 45 minute drive out and i told him id be there around 3:30, it was now 2pm. I took a drive up to an outdoor shopping mall and had a look round for 20 minutes before making the drive over to Jeff's

Meet up at Jeff's.                                          Jeff's cat!

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I headed back towards the venue around 5:30 and got stuck in a bit of traffic on the way, made it back to my hotel and then headed out to the venue for 7pm I was meant to be meeting up with Chris whom id met briefly in Toronto, he was tailgating in the parking lot, however i didn't get to the venue till later than i expected and unfortunately i wasn't able to meet up. Id arrange to have dinner with another friend Doug and his wife Chris and his brother Teddy all of whom had driven over from Canada for the show. We had a quick bite to eat in a restaurant attached to the venue before heading in for the show,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Detroit…..

Great show tonight, will catch up with the blog soon. Couple of pics below from tonight.

Long day tomorrow, 730 mile drive to Omaha! gonna try do it in one day, will see how i feel tomorrow night.

detroit panorama

detroit panorama 2

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Columbus to Detroit (well Auburn Hills)….

I left the Hotel around 9:30am after knocking on Kim and Joe’s door and saying goodbye. Not sure when I'll see them both again. I’ll see Kim's mum Beth in a couple of days as I'm staying at Beth's mum and dads with Beth in Omaha, Beth flew out there today and will see Kami in Philly in a couple of weeks time. Gonna miss Kim and Joe as we always have a great time hanging out before, at and after the shows.

I had a 4 hour drive up to Detroit and was only going to stop for breakfast on the way up. I was determined to have oatmeal today but again failed when i called into a cracker Barrel and found they stopped serving it at 10am! its like the only thing on the menu that they have a set time they stop serving it and it was now just after 11am! I got a Yoghurt Parfait and some sourdough toast instead which was nearly as good.

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I got back on the road and after 5 miles realised id forgotten to fill up with gas, i pulled off at the next exit and drove around for 5 minutes before i found a little gas station in the middle of nowhere. For someone in the US i was probably like a lot of gas stations but for me from England it looked like an old school place with a gas pump that i hadn't seen for years!

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After handing over $40 to a “good old boy” chewing what was either beef jerky or tobacco in the gas station i headed back towards the highway.

What's the deal with Beef Jerky ? am i missing something good ?

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Also what's the deal with “grits” ? what's are they and what do they taste like ? Kim mentioned them when we went to Cracker Barrel but they just don't sound nice!

The drive up to Detroit, well actually Auburn Hills which is about 20 miles north of Detroit went without a hitch. I drove passed Detroit which I've never actually been to even though I've been to Auburn Hills twice before. Everyone keep apologizing to me for Detroit! and i have to admit while driving past it didn't look the nicest place I've seen, Everything was abandoned and  disused!

Arriving in Detroit                          Empty buildings                           Gutted tower blocks!

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I arrived at my hotel around 3pm, took me a little extra time to get here due to stopping for an hour or so for breakfast and the slight detour for Gas. My friend Jeff Post called me while i was on the way and invited me for dinner with him and his wife tonight. As much as i wanted to go i do like my own space sometimes and the nights off i have from the shows and meet ups etc are pretty scarce due to there being a show every odd nice so i politely declined. Hope you understand Jeff, i just like to make the best of the nights off i have and chill out sometimes on my own but thanks ever so much for the offer.

Columbus show…

So back in 1999 i was at this very same venue seeing Roger for the first time from front row dead centre! it was hard to imagine that this was now over 11 years ago!! It was the first time id been back to this venue since then but remember it was a great show, not only because it was my first time seeing Roger but the crowds reaction when he sang the lyric “a farmer in Ohio” in Its A Miracle.
Mike, Hannah and i got into the venue around 6:30 and hung around till the curtains were open so we could head down to the floor around 7pm. We went to look at the merchandise and Mike bought…….well I'm not allowed to say as his wife Kim might be reading this and what happens in the Schott centre stays in the Schott centre:) but suffice to say Hannah came out with a nice new T shirt!!, I'm joking Kim:)
As i mentioned earlier, id spoke to Dave K about Hanna being at the show and texted him to let him know we were here. I heard from Kim and Joe and they had just arrived outside and Kim had managed to get a ticket from a guy in the parking lot and they were heading inside to meet up with us. By the time they got onto the floor Dave was just come out to see us and to meet Hannah.
Dave and Hannah                               Mike, Dave and Hannah                      Kim, Dave and Joe.
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Dave stayed and chatted to us for a good half hour and gave Hannah and slightly used guitar pick as a souvenir. I cant thank you enough for this Dave and as i know you already know its really appreciated the things you do for us.
Dave then headed back to get changed, Mike and Hanna headed to their seats which were towards the rear of the venue but elevated up in the second section, great seats for their first show!
Kim,Joe and Joes friend Zak were sat 12th row to the right and i was 14th row dead centre on the aisle.We made our way to our seats just as pink was being thrown onstage by the homeless truck driver Brent.
The crowd are always blown away after In The Flesh, there so much going on during that track, The flag holders, the platforms rising, Roger coming out for the first time, the pyros, the plane crashing, its a great opening for the show and leaves the crowd stunned at the end of it.
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Tonights plna ecrash
I'm pretty sure its new as I've not seen it at all at any of the other shows but during Another Brick Pt2 there’s a bit of animation that's very clever on the wall. Its of a guys shadow that walks on and spray paints the words “we don't need no education” actually onto the wall at the left hand side. The shadow guy then walks off towards the right side of the wall. I missed the actual spray painting part but caught the shadow walking off on the video clip below:
My friend Bobs idea about the Subway train coming along depending on how many shows are in each city hasn't worked out as at the last couple of shows the trains being coming on twice where there's only once show in each place so I've no idea what governs the amount of times it happens!
The first half was great, as readers of my blog will know I'm a bigger fan of the second half of the show just due to the sheer energy in this half, however the first half is really growing on me de to all the little extras that are being added to the projections.
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Just before Goodbye Cruel World there's a great bit of projection where lots of random images are projected on the screen is such a fast succession that its difficult to see a lot of them, kinda like subliminal images.What i did tonight was put the camera onto  multi shot and took random pictures at random intervals to see what projection images i would capture. I might start doing this at a few shows to see what i come up with. Here's a few i caught tonight.
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At intermission Dave came out to chat to Kim and I again while Joe and Zak went off for a beer. I then headed up to have a quick chat with Mike and Hannah to see what they thought of the show. When i got back down to the floor i was standing talkign to Kim and Joe when a guy approached me and asked if i was Simon! We had communicated  about 10 years ago after the 1999 show and although we had never met, Sam had recognized me and wanted to say hello!! It was greta to meet you Sam and thanks for saying hi!
Mike and Hanna at intermission         Myself and Kim at intermission
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Everyone stayed standing for Hey You which was unusual but good, if i had my way  i wouldn't let anyone sit down for the whole show!
Comfy Numb was just as good as its always been and is starting to get a touch boring now…… yeh right!! never in a million years would this happen, it just gets better and better the more i see it.
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After the instruments rise up through the stage, Roger heads off to change into his uniform for the next part of the show and Jon starts the opening chords to The Show Must Go On however as Jon was playing tonight i could hear the keyboard start cutting in and out like some sort of loose connection, Jon abruptly stopped and the techs came onstage as there was obviously some type of technical problem. After trying for a couple of minutes to get things going again Roger entered from stage left to a huge applause and proceeded to tell everyone that they obviously had some technical issues and the show would be back soon. he also commented that he was just getting changed before he came on and  started messing about with his boots. he then pointed to the white plastic bags that were sticking out of his boots and told the crowd how he needed to put plastic bags over his feet to get the boots on! There was huge laughter from the crowd and grins from Roger, he then shouted out something similar to “are you having fun” to which you can guess what the crowds reaction was! The tech guys had by this time replaced Jon’s keyboard and were obviously re booting the software on the new one which took a minute or two. The whole “incident” lasted probably fifteen minutes in total and just shows that anything can and does go wrong!
The show carried on as normal from this point and Roger then entered the stage at his normal place, one things he has taken to doing at the last few shows is Spitting on the floor after coming onstage at this point! I'm pretty sure this is all part of the fascist act that he’s putting on and he’s not trying to hit a fan again! He also had something over his shoulder as he walked on and this was passed over to Robbie to hold before he took his mic to start singing.
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At the end of the track Roger  reached over to Robbie and was handed a machine gun!! he has been doing the fake machine gun actions since the 5th or 6th show and this was the first time he had actually used a prop for this.Not only had he got a gun but they now have shooting sound effects coming through the PA as Roger mimics the shooting action!
ROger with machine gun
Instead of asking if there are any Paranoids in the audience, Roger is now adding the name of the city instead, “ are there any paranoids in Columbus tonight” was tonight's phrase, this makes the crowd cheer even more than the normal line and gets a huge response.
They have increased the animation during Run Like Hell and changed the brick animation slightly, It looks a lot better and the bricks now float and roll and fly around the screen a lot more.They have also increased the speed at which the bricks tumble down and go from side to side, this fits the speed of the music much better and makes the music and images gel together even more.
The further back you are for this show the better your pictures will be of the animation on screen during the trial sequence, due to how large the images are and how much light is given off by said images.
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The wall again fell in the middle only and took a  awhile to fall down tonight.
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After the band had finished the first art of Outside The Wall roger started to introduce the band and started laughing he said “ i don't know why on earth I'm laughing,i guess its because I'm happy” and he really was! this was a fantastic show and despite the biggest technical issue of the tour so far this was my favourite show of the tour. The crowd were great, the sound and music was spot on, the technical issues and Roger interaction with the crowd all made this a very unique show.
After the show we headed out of the venue and met up again with John. He’s gonna have a special treat for people in a few weeks time but you’ll just have to wait and see exactly what it is! Anyone that owns the DVD from the 1999 show called A Farmer in Ohio should have an idea what to expect!!
As we walked to the car we saw a rickshaw like we all got our picture taken on in Chicago, it was too god an opportunity to miss however the guy taking the picture didn't quite get the idea of what picture we wanted and totally forgot to get the bike in the picture!
Joe and Kim after the show                 My good friend John and I                  Riding the invisible rickshaw!
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We said Goodbye to John who was driving straight back to Cincinnati and the rest of use headed back to our hotel and couple of drinks later we said our goodnights and hit the bed
More pictures from the show