The tour keeps rolling and tonight was our 31st show in 40 days! With a total of 93 shows booked, we're exactly a third of the way through and have hit a comfortable stride. Everything running like clockwork and everyone enjoying themselves.
As mentioned in the last few entries, we've been basing in Frankfurt and flying to the show dates each day. Today's city of Stuttgart was so close that we took the train there, a pleasant journey of an hour and twenty minutes. About half the band had the traditional visit to the Hugo Boss factory just outside Stuttgart which required them to take an early train in. Several who had decided to pass, took the afternoon excursion. The rail systems of Europe and the U.K. are alive and well, in good shape, affordable and a very civilised way to travel. No telling how many billions of dollars it would take to get the passenger train business back in shape in the United States, not to mention the time involved. While the airline industry struggles with the high cost of fuel, rampant inefficiency and the shoddy treatment of passengers, rail travel is a smart alternative.
We arrived at Schleyerhalle to find the rest of the band already there having left many Euros with Hugo, and sleeping on couches in various dressing rooms. It'd been an early start for them and their credit cards were no doubt exhausted as well. Schleyerhalle is an old indoor skating track that I'd played back in the 70's with Diamond. In many of these venues the wooden tracks have been removed and replaced with seating though you can still make out the slope of track particularly on the far ends. After sound check we headed to catering. For the last week it's been rumoured that a special dinner of wild boar would be served and it was tonight. Brilliantly prepared, rolled with pistachio nuts, various undisclosed spices (I did detect juniper berries) and served with a rich, deep brown fruity/tangy gravy. Miraculous. Roasted potatoes, red cabbage and broccoli were the perfect foils to the meat. The only thing that could possibly follow this German meal was the most delicious, freshly baked apple strudel known to mankind. We doff our hats again to our heroes of catering.
A sold out show of just under 10,000. The acoustics were amazingly good for the size of the hall and we took the stage relaxed and confident to do a show that I felt was exceptional as was it's reception. Fans of all ages including children of 5 or 6 years hoisted up on their parents shoulders right up to the front of the stage during the encores and the roar of the crowd nearly deafening as we took the last bow.
Our team of drivers were waiting as we came off stage and we were driven back to Frankfurt arriving just past midnight with plenty of time for a drink with Danny and John in the hotel bar.
Tomorrow is a day off then it's on to Hannover where we commence the next two thirds of the tour.