Well today was the first day of the tour. LONG day. Got up and left early to Sea-Tac airport. The security was ultra tight. Everyone in the band got searched. Arrived in Phoenix. Sound check went ok. The show was performed at the Celebrity Theater in the round. The band chose groups of songs to perform at random. Phoenix was a great crowd to get the tour started. After the show, after the band and I left the stage, a fan jumped over the rail and stormed the stage. The fan pushed guitar tech Jeff Repp out of the way as he grabbed my gold Vegas ESP guitar. The fan then ran out the backstage door and headed out towards the parking lot. About halfway across the parking lot, two security guards, in a mad dash foot race, finally caught up to the fan and tackled him to the ground. While one guard grabbed the guitar, the other guard detained the perpetrator. Local police arrived on the scene and proceeded to cuff and stuff the misguided fan. What a day. Next stop Las Vegas.
Vegas show. the set is getting better and the show went smoother. Gambling is fun but its hard to walk away when you win so fast. After the show went up to the private club House of blues foundation room with a bunch of friends, We had our own booth and got crazy. I saw some things happen on the balcony that I can't even mention.
Day off. Relaxed in Vegas.
San Francisco show. Flew in to SF. got that damn random search again. The show at the Fillmore was incredible. The best audience so far. The crowd was singing the words so loud I could hear them in my ear monitors. The after show meet and greet was huge, 100 people. I was blind the rest of the night from all the flashes.
LA show. First time performing at the Wiltern Theater. It was a great L.A. crowd. It was a night of small errors on our part. Scott fell off his drum stool. Kelly’s amp blew up and Geoff introduced the wrong song. I came out to start the encore. I was already to play Take hold of the flame. Then I go up to Scott and he’s yelling at me to start Queen of the Ryche. What was I thinking? Oh well, it was still a great show. The fans said we rocked and we keep getting better with each show so who gives a fu** what the critics write. We pack every venue we play and have a great time with our fans. That’s what really matters.
Anaheim show. Played the house of Blues. Security to get into the backstage parking was a Puzzle. We went through 3 checkpoints. Had to show photo ID’s. This is the smallest HOB venue. We packed it way beyond capacity. Small stage. Hooked up with Craig Gass the comedian. He is a regular on the Howard stern show and a big fan of the band.
Denver show. Played the Fillmore. It was a great sounding show, and a great crowd. Hooked up with my cousin David. He came backstage and we had a few drinks together. Meet and greet was huge. I am sorry if I did not get to meet everyone. A special thank you goes to Tammy and her brother for taking us to the Purple Martini.
Albuquerque show. We played the Kiva auditorium to a sold out crowd. The set really flowed that night. Thanks for the gifts and praise after the show at the meet and greet.
Dallas show. It was good to play the bronco bowl. Eddie and I were taken to the radio station "the Eagle" We had a fun time with all the callers especially all the calls from Eddie’s. Relatives. The show was a hot steamy rocker. I hung out with my darling cousins after the show. We had a good time. Even my uncle Lee came to the show. When your family makes the extra effort to come see you perform it tends to put me in great mood.
Austin show. The Austin music hall was a hot humid show. I tend to like the humidity better then a dry hall. I tend to dig into the guitar strings a little harder. The problem was I dug a little to hard and broke a string on Eyes of a Stranger. I also tried something new; I put a version of Waiting for 22 before My Empty Room. I think I will expand on it a little more at the next show. I will numb myself for the next 24 hour bus ride.
Day off. Travel day.
Day off. Travel day.
Milwaukee show. The Rave was an interesting show. There was another band playing the same time we were on another stage. We used the house P.A. system so there were squeaks and squeals escaping through the night, but the crowd was amped up so it was a great night.
Chicago show. Chicago was a short drive so it was still happening when we arrived. The show was at the Vic Theater. This show was technically perfect. There were no broken strings our amp problems of any kind. I just zoned myself through the whole show. After the show was fun as well. It was great to see so many familiar faces. I met a girl who flew all the way from Australia just to see this one show. She said she has been waiting 15 years to see us perform.
Chicago show two. This show was great; I think we were a little more relaxed. I had a food poisoning issue that I had to deal with but in that type of situation you just have to rise above the problem and perform. I really thought I was going to lose it before the show started. My techs were thoughtful and had a bucket ready for me on the side of the stage.
Day off. Travel Day
Boston show. We played the Orpheum, a very old theater. The backstage dressing room areas were about as big as my closet. There wasn't even an elevator. But still, it was a nice sounding venue. The crowd was a little bit reserved but very respectful. Tuesday nights are always a bit tough depending on the type of venue. It was a good show and we had a huge meet and greet. It was especially nice to see old friends.
New York show. We played the Beacon Theater for are last show of this promotional tour. New York is always busy for us. Geoff, Eddie and I hosted the VH1 Rock Show with Scott Ian. We met with our record company and were introduced to a lot of people that I will probably forget. We spent a lot of time in New York traffic. The show was great and we had the usual amazing New York crowd to back us up. Mike Piazza of the NY Mets was back stage. I am a great fan of baseball so that was a special treat for me. After the show we signed autographs for over an hour. Afterwards we went to dinner and back to the hotel for a celebration with our friends and the crew. My bag got lost in one of the vans so I didn't get it back until 3:00 am. That gave me a good excuse to enjoy myself for an extra hour or so.
The journey home. Wake up call was at 5:00 am so I really didn't have much time to sleep. We made our 7:45 flight with no problem. I remember the plane took off and the movie came on. It was Planet of the Apes I saw the credits then woke up landing in Seattle 6 hours later. I had a great-sedated Thanksgiving. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves too.