European Tour

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June 3 Rock Im Ring Festival, Germany

Bus call at 7am (groan), 2hr ride to the Nurbergring Race Track, home to World Superbike and Formula One Grand Prix. This is the biggest outdoor festival in Germany and lasts three days. There is a concurrent festival in Nuremberg, where we go tomorrow (the bands there will come here).

Festivals are fun, in that you get to see all your roadie friends who are working for different bands. The bill on the main stage for today features: Weezer, Maroon 5, Incubus, Green Day, and R.E.M. among others. The Alternastage (2nd stage) features: Papa Roach, Mudvayne, Slipknot, and The Prodigy and others.

I finally get to meet my blogger-in-arms Aron from 'Parking in Bitterman's Circle'. Great guy, unfortunately not much time to hang as this is the first day and there's alot of work to do. Run into my pals Skip, Bobby S., Andy B., Urei, and get to meet some of the R.E.M. crew who I only know through phone and email. R.E.M. is still using the pedalboards and power supplies I sold them a few years ago!!

Load in at 9am and stake out a spot in the downstage right wing. Lots of strings to change and cables to solder, etc. In between work I get to check out Weezer, who I've never seen. They pull off a killer set.

It starts raining during Incubus' set. So I cover my guitars and stand offstage in my raincoat. Luckily it clears by our set and the show goes off without a hitch. As soon as we're done packing the truck I head up to catch some of R.E.M. and that's when it really starts pouring. I must give it up to Stipe and Co. as they keep playing, even though they are all soaking wet. They sound great too.

Back to the bus for aftershow food and some hanging out before finally falling into bed around 1am.

June 4 Rock Am Park Festival, Germany

Wake up and hour late today. Didn't sleep too well on the overnight ride. Today's show is on the site of the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, in fact our buses are parked in front of the podium Hitler used for his speeches (Zeppelin Grandstand). Kinda Strange.

Get to load-in in progress and setup in the same spot as yesterday. All the bands are the same today. After setting up, make the long trek to catering and eat some breakfast that's not too bad. Unfortunately at these festivals we aren't using our own catering :( Stop by the Alternastage on the way back to see my buddy Sol and end up also running into my pals G-Mony, Andre, and Grape.

Back at the main stage I agree to tune some guitars for my pal Bobby since his gig with Weezer involves him playing as well as teching. We have fun and it's another amazing set by Weezer. No rain today, and since we're on an hour early, it's light during the entire set. Show goes well, even though they changed the setlist and neglected to tell me and Hans. We find out in time to get our guitar changes right, so all is good. After loadout I head over to the Alternastage and catch a little of Slipknot's set, just to see the spectacle ;)

Off to bed early, but wake up an hour later to give my passport to the driver.

June 5 Prague, CZ Show Day

Today is the first of our headlining Euro shows (Yay!!). Wake up and head into the arena and have breakfast in our own catering. Check some email from my powerbook, then it off to the shower and then load-in. Set-up and do some more soldering and then start typing these last three days to upload to the blog. Put my BMX bike together and ride it around a little. Our keyboard player comes by and takes a spin too. Then back into the road case with it, as I don't think there's room in the Euro Bus bay. Eat some delicious pasta for dinner, I love our catering staff. Show goes well, great group of kids. Load-out and back to the bus for aftershow hang, some of the crew are drinking Absinthe, looks like green rubbing alcohol to me. No thanks. On the ride out of town our bus driver gets pulled over, guess the Czech police need the $$$.

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