Riga, Latvia

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms across America. Also congratulations to my oldest son who graduated university this weekend with honours. One of the tolls of being on tour is missing this big event, I missed his high school graduation as well. Finally, I was a little fast and loose with the facts about Katowice. It is not the home of the former Pope, that honour goes to Wadowice and I've made the appropriate correction in that day's posting with my head hung in shame.

Decamping a hotel room where you've stayed for five days takes a bit of time and re-organization. Somehow the entire contents of two suitcases were everywhere except in those cases and I'm never quite sure how and when it happens, it's never an intentional unpacking but all managed to fit back in and just in time for a 1:00 p.m. luggage call. I thought about heading back to the Jewish cemetery as it was closed yesterday but opted for a workout in the gym and a little practice in the room before tackling those bags. That done it was off to the jet and on to Riga, Latvia. It was a beautifully clear and sunny day with big white clouds in the sky. As we taxied to a halt on the Riga runway we noticed an area off to the side full of old Soviet helicopters, migs and military vehicles. A reminder of Latvia's not so distant past.

The Kipsala Hall in Riga looks like a big gymnasium with a low curved ceiling like a quonset hut only made of wood. The crew and equipment had a very long drive the night before on typically bad roads and it was a late set up, no time for soundcheck. I can't begin to say how hard these people work and there would honestly be no stage, no lights, no sound, no show without them. They're the best in the business and we love them.

Our itinerary says the venue holds 10,000 so that is what I'm assuming was the attendance, hard to tell but all standing, no seating up the sides as the roof was so low. The sound was very tricky because of the roof and it was a show that we had to work hard in order to make it happen as opposed to most that have a great momentum and carry us along with it. An unusual audience in that it was standing but behaved like it was seated. By that I mean very attentive and quiet while the songs were in progress, holding their appreciation until the end of each. It was great seeing some young kids, maybe 10 or 12 years old, in the front and really into the music.

After a well fought gig we flew to Helsinki where we'll base for the next few days. Susi had the Zubrovka on ice and steaks on a platter for the flight.

So long,