Napoli, Italy 14 July 2013
TRAVEL ALERT. Due to the Naples airport not granting clearance for a late take-off, we had a massive day of travel, one to go down in the books of this tour or any other. As promised here is what it shaped up to be.
1. Eurostar/Trenitalia train from Roma to Napoli
3. Runner in Rovers BACK to Roma's Fiumicino Airport (2 hours)
4. Fly to Catania airport (1.5 hrs.)
5. Drive 45 minutes to Taormina (Sicily) arriving at the hotel around 4:15 a.m.
Taormina is up the side of a mountain above the gold coast of Sicily. A very, VERY posh hotel/resort. We staggered in exhausted. Half were lead to an annex building with impossibly slow elevators, I was in that group. Another example of a room in the 500 block being on the 3rd floor. Fuck, don't ask me... especially at 4:30 in the morning. I finally get to my room and the goddamn lights will not go on. This is not the usual Bennett low tech deal i.e. I can't figure out my room, I can't get this crap magnetic card to open the door. The goddamn lights will not go on... not for me.... not for the guy who came up.... not for the other guy that came up after that. I'm hanging around in the fucking hallway for 20 minutes waiting for them to send ANOTHER guy up. I went back down the very slow lift and asked for different room. The room I got was scarcely an afterthought. I then went back again to get yet different room to find they'd repaired the fuse in the original room and would I like that one back. Yes, it's a far nicer room with a view of the sea. It is now 5 in the morning and I've been up for 20 hours. OK, take it easy. Let's hook up the computer and see if anything needs tending to before I go to bed. There is no user name information or password in my envelope or anywhere else in the room. Right. Call down to the desk. 10 minutes later a piece of paper with these magic codes is delivered to the room. At this point I'm so jacked up on fatigue and adrenaline that there's no way I'm going to bed. So let's bang out these notes.
Now, let's get going here about the gig. The Arena Flegrea in Naples is an amphitheatre built in the 1940s. We've played here before, either in 2005 or 2008... can't remember... too lazy to go back to past notes to find out. Doesn't matter. Very weird gig. A half circle seating with an empty moat in front of the first row. The stage is set back... way back, and there's about a half block of procenium before the front line where we stand. The audience is a long way away and in total darkness. It is like playing into a black hole...nothing. You can't see them and scarcely hear the audience making for a somewhat disembodied show. I had several tech problems which I won't go into and once again my in-ear monitors have packed it in . So it was back to an ill fitting generic set which drastically changes the mix that I hear. It was murder all night fighting it. Not a good night on my end. In the end none of that mattered very much and I think the audience enjoyed the show.... hard to say.
So that was the day. I'm off to bed if can catch a wink or two and tomorrow mercifully is a day off in this beautiful setting. Now that my lights are working I can settle in and enjoy it.