What blessèd relief to wake feeling undreadful. Before heading to work I video-chatted with Family B, visited the drug store again to gaze in wonder at its choice, and packed my bags ready to check out of the hotel, do another show in Oakland and ride the bus overnight. When visiting the catering facilities within the Paramount, I wagered with myself that I could hold food in my belly, and tried a bit of that wondrous elixir called sustenance. Gastrically enthused, I ascended from the basement to the stage and checked through the instruments and amplifiers belonging to Mitch and Javier, seeing that everything was in good order.
The same can’t be said for a couple of Leonard’s guitars — through the years, wires came loose from their points on circuit boards so Mickey and I remedied the problem with some soldering. Chris too had an issue, with a power socket in the workings of Roscoe’s bass rig. The unit in question couldn’t be given a full bill of health so it will remain disconnected until we can get a replacement component.
Tonight’s performance received another standing O at kick-off. Later in the set Leonard introduced a song with a brief missive about rising from bed, looking into the mirror and admonishing himself: ‘Lighten up Cohen for Christ’s sake.’ The comic moment gets a good laugh and he goes on to explain that after so much searching a conclusion can be drawn: there really ain’t no cure for love. The first set was much like last night’s except Democracy was played in place of Secret Life.
More japery ensued in Tower of Song during which the audience played to Leonard’s keyboard chops, generously applauding his tinklings to which he replied in disbelief, something along the lines of, what are you kidding? (Sometimes it’s hard to hear what LC says from our side-of-stage perspective.) Sung solo by Sharon, Alexandra Leaving got the audience on their feet in appreciation before a triplet of staples brought a close to the second set: I’m Your Man, Hallelujah, and Take This Waltz.
I tend to lose count of the encores; usually at that point we in the wings begin breaking down some equipment in preparation for load-out, but Leonard must have skipped off and returned three times. The band finished with I Tried to Leave You and Save the Last Dance before the stage was given over to us, the slavering minions of roadiedom.
Load out is slow; as it’s a small venue, there is only so much space to store our empty cases. Many of the ‘deads’ were kept on the street and to get them inside for packing we must first make room on stage and in the wings by packing up what we can there, and sending those items outside in no particular order. An electric chain hoist is employed to get wardrobe cases from the upstairs dressing rooms down to stage level via a pair of doors that literally go nowhere but down if accessed from the upper levels.
When it’s over, we go ‘home’ to the buses parked outside. Dan and I can’t wait to kill zombies and we’ve decided, upon Tour Accountant Wade’s insistence, that we keep a tally of the kills. Tonight’s session (which technically begins on the 4th of March, around 2am) yielded 1,117 for me, 944 for Dan.