Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 31 October, 2015
This is always the most difficult post to cobble together. No matter how many final shows we’ve done, the finish never gets easier. I’m looking forward to getting home but it’s hard saying goodbye to the guys and crew who have banded together to make this the best tour I’ve ever been on.
We left Palm Beach mid-afternoon and drove about an hour to the venue, Broward Centre for the Performing Arts, a beautiful theatre seating 2,658. A quick sound check and on to the hands-down winner of the North American catering. Freshly steamed Maine Lobster, pan grilled Filet Mignon, baked Sea Bass, roasted chicken, fresh pasta, salads and key lime pie, all made from scratch. Hold all calls, we have a winner. A fab last supper. There was the usual end of tour scurrying around, clearing out the wardrobe cases and the unfolding of spare duffle bags to accommodate all those pesky extras that have come into our lives over the last seven months and got chucked into wardrobe. The night of reckoning. Everyone finding guys in the crew, wishing good travels and hoping we all get together for another tour. Us, hanging out together in the dressing room for the usual pre-show routines and wishing it wasn’t the last night.
The show was sold-out, 2,600+ folks who were great to us. The band was as eager to hit the boards and play as it was for our very first shows back in April. I can’t speak for anyone else, but as we finished each song it was like folding it up and putting it away until the next time. The very last song, Piper To The End carried a lot of weight with it’s theme of farewell ’til we meet again. A last bow, then it was a wrap.
This is a small and amazing army of 38 people. The 9 of us on stage for two hours get the spotlight and applause but the other 29 men really make the show possible, the bus and truck drivers, lighting and sound crew, rigger, merchandiser, management and the instrument techs. There’s no show without them…. nothing. Thanks to everyone of you and a special hug to my wing-man and guitar tech Tom Calcaterra. He saved my ass every single night and kept all of my instruments ringing like bells. As for the 9 on stage, I don’t really know where to begin. The level of musicianship, friendship and camaraderie is so very high. As I’ve said many times in these notes, I’m humbled to share a stage and recording studio with them all. M.K. is the grand captain of this bunch and a better man would be hard to find. Thanks and loads of love to you Mark.
To those who’ve followed these notes this tour, I appreciate the time you’ve taken to read them. I’ve certainly enjoyed keeping this little diary going. As with past tours, I’ll keep the road notes up on the front page for a short while, then it will migrate to the links and I’ll resume my intermittent up-dates from Nashville.
As for me, I’ll be glad to be with my family again. Lots of friends to catch up with over lunch and dinners. I have a number of recording projects comfortably on deck and am hoping to get a start on a new record for myself before the year’s up. I never fail to marvel at my good luck in life.
So, there you have it, the 2015 tour and these notes done and dusted. I can’t wait for the next one. Until then….