Lyon, France...21 July, 2010
An uncertain check out time this afternoon as the air traffic controllers have gone on strike in France and we weren't sure when we'd be able to get away. So, it was a day of waiting. At 3:30 our road manager Tim rang to inform us we'd leave the hotel at 4:45 and drive to the Nice airport for a 6 p.m. departure. En route that departure was then delayed even further. We arrived at the airport and a discussion ensued about whether we should drive the 4.5 hours from Nice to Lyon. As tonight was a 10 o'clock show, we could still make it by car. It was decided to take our chances, board the plane, sit on it for 2 hours then take off. The situation was fluid and take off time was delayed further then reduced again. We finally took off at 7:30 and arrived at the venue shortly before 9 p.m.
Tonight's show was at the old Roman amphitheatre in Lyon, Theatres Romains de Fourviere. I remember this venue from 1996 and 2001, a wonderful gig and beautiful setting for a show. The great Kate Walsh opened for us tonight. It was already a long day when we took the stage, but the audience was deafening, amazing and it was the best antidote to striking traffic controllers as well as the last couple of nights playing in a supper club. Great getting back to a real gig. We sailed through the set and there was plenty of great playing all around the stage last night, the audience with us every step of the way.
Our original plan was to do a runner then fly to Barcelona after the gig, but given the uncertainty of a take off slot and the late hour, it was decided we'd stay in Lyon tonight...a welcomed call. So, rather than the usual mad dash to waiting cars, we leisurely hung at the amphitheatre where our catering stars had whipped up a BBQ of steaks, chicken and hamburgers. We all sat around a long picnic table outside in this ancient setting and food never tasted better. It was all washed down with many bottles of a local wine that appeared in thick clear glass bottles with no labels. An organically produced red with no preservatives that tasted like a million buck except it only cost 3 Euros a bottle, about $3.60. Everyone began scheming about purchasing more of it, then thought better as this tour is almost over and everybody's bags are already at the bursting point.
We arrived at our hotel in Lyon glad to be there. I stopped in for a quick cuppa with Guy and Danny then happily off to bed.