Today began at 2.30am for me. I slept soundly for three solid hours, then for some reason I awoke and, well, that was kinda it until 8am. In the interim I dozed and ate a banana, but not much else. When 8am arrived I completed the morning routine with some breakfast bars and an apple, and made my way to the lobby only to wait longer than I had to, because I mistakenly got there 15 minutes earlier than I should have. This would set the tone for the morning; the load-in at the James L. Knight Center was very slow. With a goods elevator and narrow passageways, it would be some time before we could get everything running and soundchecked on the fourth floor; but we did so, and all was well.
I must say I’m diggin’ the weather here; it’s not hot, it’s certainly not blood-freezing, and the humidity is a welcome change from the dry cold of late. The skin on my hands feels soft and stretchy like a bank robber’s silk-hose mask, rather than a November oak leaf.
I wish it weren’t so, but the past few gigs have been somewhat devoid of interesting facts and japes. Apart from time factors of load-ins and outs, one might set their watch to the soundchecks and shows; no surprises, no curve balls and no activist streaking. The closest thing to interesting from a technical perspective tonight was Mitch using his Collings I-35 Deluxe for Lover Lover Lover instead of the usual Jackson. At one point Leonard looked like the gears of his mind were whirling, and we were going to get something different, but we stuck to the script. That said, the crowd certainly enjoyed the show, and that’s what matters. It’s not like we don’t enjoy the show, but by this stage, anyone who’s followed the blog for some time will know there are limited ways of describing something done often. Although one thing different about today was personnel: Dan was absent — he had to attend a funeral in (I believe) Rhode Island, but he’ll be back for the Atlanta show. Dave and Paul took over Dan’s duties and did a splendid job.
During dinner earlier, Sharon and I discussed the tour so far; both of us were a little taken aback when figuring we were only about to embark upon our eighth show. At the time of posting this entry, I’ve been away from home for a calendar month.
The load out was slow, as suspected, and we pulled away from the Knight Center around 3am on our way to Atlanta, some 662 miles away — must be four miles short of Satan’s drag-strip.