Stockholm, Sweden 4 November, 2011
After last night's long bus ride and pre-dawn arrival in Stockholm, I got in bed at 6 this morning and slept 'til noon. With the skies a solid grey and bag call in little over two hours, I ordered a pot of coffee up to the room and was happy to stay in. That bag call rolled round quickly and before you know it we were being whisked away in cars to the venue.
The Globe Arena in Stockholm is a sphere, a giant golf ball with a crowd capacity of just over 10,000. The shape of the venue makes for some interesting and very steep balconies, prompting a vertigo discussion over dinner. I think we've played the Globe every tour with the exception of 2010. It's very echoey yet strangely bass shy and difficult to hear the bottom end. No matter, it was one of the best shows of the tour, loads of energy yet very relaxed... a good combination and one that suits this group. It was a fantastic Stockholm crowd that truly loved tonight's show and made our 70 minutes fly by even quicker than usual.
This tour has been different in several ways, one in particular is that we have been getting from city to city by tour buses instead of our usual Embrear Legacy jet. The reason for this is the relatively short distances between gigs... last night being an exception. It just doesn't make sense to fly two or three hundred miles or warrant the expense of keeping the jet for such short hops. Tonight however is a different story. Our next stop is back to Germany, Hannover to be exact, nearly 700 miles from Stockholm so it was decided to fly after the show. It wasn't exactly a runner from the stage like we used to do as Mark has been playing a few tunes with Dylan each night. While Mark did his turn with Bob, we got changed, packed our bags, boarded the bus and got a head start on the cocktails. A serious dent was made in the gin but enough left to shake a martini and hand it to MK as he got on the bus. It was a 30 minute drive to the airport and there in front of us was the wonderful Legacy. Normally vehicles other than official transport are not allowed on the tarmac, let alone a huge tour bus, but tonight the bus was allowed on the tarmac and delivered us right to the door of the plane, a first for this tour or any other.
It was great being on that plane again and while nobody's complaining about the ground travel, it has really made us appreciate the luxury of the private jet. With two attendants on board and drinks in hand, we took to the sky. A dinner of poached salmon, salad and beef wraps was devoured by a bunch of very grateful and happy musicians. As Guy commented, it's a shame we don't have any fun. 90 minutes later we arrived in Hannover. Waiting on the tarmac were several Mercedes along with Bernie and Manfred, our friends and great drivers from previous tours. By one o'clock I was in my room with the bags delivered, turned down the bed and closed my eyes thinking how lucky we all are.