We're still basing in Chicago and with twelve shows in two weeks left of the tour, the days go quickly now. I managed to get to the gym and out for a coffee and a slice of Chicago pizza, canceling whatever good I might have done myself in the gym. A short practice session back at the room and it was time to leave for Minneapolis.
I've always had a great time in Minneapolis/St.Paul and one of the drawbacks to basing out of a city for several days is there are places we play that I'd love to spend more time in. Sadly, it's not to be this time round for Minneapolis. The venue was the beautiful Orpheum Theatre. I looked out from the stage at the ornately painted ceiling, chandelier and gold leaf trim, thinking Lillie Langtree or Dame Nellie Melba might have graced this stage at one time. Maybe Fats Waller or Burns and Allen. Tonight it would have to make do with us treading her boards. It was one of those relaxed and swinging shows for MK and Co. and seemed like we could do no wrong; whatever we tried worked. The real stars of the evening however, was the capacity audience of 2.600 fantastic Minnesotans who were as big a part of the show as those of us on stage. They couldn't have been better. The sister cities of M/SP are progressive and smart and the people are wonderful. We salute you.
Coming this late in the game when we'd been there, done that and seen it all, there were a couple of milestones in the meet and greet depertment. Tonight's gathering wins the high attendance award with 50 fans, friends and contest winners gathering in catering thus disrupting the crew's dinner. The good folks of Minnesota turned up in droves to hear us play a few Hawaiian tunes and I suppose to meet MK as well. Not only did they give us a big round of applause after each number, but starting laying dollar bills at our feet. At the sight of folding green, manager Paul Crockford quickly sized up the stake and wondered aloud what his percentage of the $12 would be. Matt astutely piped up, "Twelve dollars". When Paul came swooping in to pick up the bills, Guy stood on his hand. Back in the dressing room we divided up, Glenn Worf being reticent about accepting his cut noting that it would make him a professional Hawaiian musician if he took the money. In the end, he came to his senses and we all came away $3 the richer, more money than any of us has ever made playing Hawaiian music. Only in Minnesota and again we salute you.