Travel Day Auckland to Brisbane

Sleep in till almost 8 today. Go walking around till about 10:30am. We have to check out of the hotel at 11, but our lobby call for the airport isn't till 12:45pm. Ack.

Hook up with Bobby at Starbucks (Green Tea Frap), and we start walking around. Go to check out the surplus electronics and music store and they're closed. It's Sunday. Doh! We look in the window at the music store and see at least a couple of guitars we would have bought. Damn. More walking around, getting hungry. Find a small Indian cafe and get killer Chicken Tikka Masala for $5. Long walk back to hotel and board the bus for the airport.

Arrive airport, no group check-in, but the line isn't too long. Everyone has to pay $25 NZ departure tax. It's like being at a crazy amusement park. You can come in for free and ride all the rides you want, but to leave is gonna cost you $25. Our flight is from Auckland to Sydney, then Sydney to Brisbane. Just before we leave, we hear over the loaudspeaker "Now boarding flight blah blah to Brisbane". What? There was a direct flight? This makes people unhappy :( Flight to Sydney is uneventful, clear customs in Sydney, board flight to Brisbane.

Arrive in Brisbane about 7:30pm. Check-in to hotel. Everyone is meeting to go out to dinner in 5 to 10 mins. The band and almost the entire crew walk to Pier 9 restaurant near the hotel. Get two big tables and many appetizers and wine are ordered. I get Baked Snapper in a Hot Pot. Very tasty. Band picks up the check. NICE!!

Back to the room, call my darling wife using Skype on my powerbook. Cheap!! It's almost midnight now, so off to bed...

Up early, walk to the nearest internet cafe, taking my laptop this time. Get online an update a few things on my powerbook.

11am lobby, off to the gig, which is a large gymnasium. Holds about 5000 kids for the show. Load in and start to rewire my rig, this takes most of the day. Lunch is good, thank God, catering can be kinda dodgy sometimes. Band comes in for soundcheck, talk with Jason (my guitar player) for a bit. Road manager prints out lyrics to the songs I need to learn the cues on, grab my ipod and Jason and I go over the cues. Spend some more time going over the songs and the cues before the show.

Show starts with out Pyro guy dressed in a Pink Bunny Suit stumbling around the stage and swilling a beer. Kids go nuts... Band hits the stage to the 2001 theme. Man, I'm not used to these punk rock bands, songs go quick and the energy is insane. Get most of my cues right, with no major disasters. Middle of the set, the guys pull three kids form the audience to play a song (guitarist, bassist, drummer). The kid they pull to play guitar, pulls his shirt off, then his pants and stands there in his boxers ;) Our singer gives him a big kiss then pants him!! Too funny. They give the kid the guitar after they finish the song. How cool.

Load out goes smoothly. There's a BBQ for band and crew near the dressing rooms and everyone is hanging out. I grab some grilled fish, very tasty. Hang out for a few minutes, but I'm beat and I jump on the first van back to the hotel. Off to bed.

Travel Day Sydney to Auckland

Up at 4:30AM for a 5:30am lobby call. Off to the airport, check bags, go through customs, have a few minutes to shop before boarding. Flight is good, plenty of room, sleep mostly.

Arrive Auckland around 1pm. Go to check in to hotel, they are oversold and rooms aren't ready. GREAT! Much haggling between our production manager and hotel staff. Rooms come available pretty quickly. Up to the room, drop the bags and go for a walk around Auckland.

Sky Tower, Auckland, NZ

We're staying right downtown, near a college, so lots of shops and restaurants. Also a small Chinatown strip of mom and pop convenience stores, restaurants and internet cafes. Find a cool surplus electronics place and walk around looking at crazy transformers and small parts for awhile. See a music store, but decide to save it for later. Stop at at an internet cafe and check email. $1 NZ for half an hour. CHEAP!

Find a Vodaphone dealer and buy a prepaid sim card for my phone, so it will work over here. I can even get data (email). Score!! Loiter in the Border's and Starbucks. Go back to the room to get my phone working...

Go out for dinner with our other guitar tech Bobby. Hit Mai Thai for some amazing Thai food. Hurray!! Afterwards Bobby gets me to try a Green Tea Frappacino from Starbucks. BIG MISTAKE. These things are like crack. I'm hooked. But I think you can only get them here and in Japan. Back to the room, I'm stuffed, watch a DVD on my computer and fall asleep.

Mtv Awards Show, Sydney, Australia

Up at 5am today. 11:30 lobby call, get to the venue where they are doing a timed run-through. Meet one of the guys from Simple Plan, we find out we have friends in common, small world. Watch some of the acts, the guy from Silverchair has another band, pretty killer. Buy why does everryone want to be Radiohead?

We are supposed to close the show, so by the time they are ready for us things are running 1.5 hrs behind. The band arrives and decides against playing for the run-through and they head back to the hotel (I don't blame them as they've been doing crazy press all day). We finally get the stage and do a roadie jam for camera blocking. We strike our gear and head back to the hotel for a few hours before the show.

Decide I'd better eat something and head out for dinner with one of the crew. We want Thai, but the only place close is very pricey. We wander around and find a little bar that serves food and order pizza to go. Back in the room, my Cajun Chicken pizza is amazing, cracker thin crust. Yum!! Decide to read and possibly catch a quick nap before showtime, since we will be flying at 6am tomorrow for Auckland.

Back at the gig, watch some of the show from backstage while readying my gear. Carmen Electra stands next to my rig while waiting to go on (in her Pussycat Dolls get-up). Every guy backstage can't look away ;) Exibit comes up for his set, I decide he should start a new show called "Pimp My Riser". Imagine a drum riser with 22's and spinners... Cool. After he comes offstage he's smiling ear to ear and really energized, gotta respect a guy who enjoys his work that much. Also, we see our guys win at least two VMAs from the monitor backstage...

Finally, we get to set-up for our set. We have 15min. Get everything plugged in and NOTHING!! Troubleshoot the problem down to the pedals in the rack. Stupid pedals. Do a quick line check and we're off. Just after I hand my guy his guitar, he turns around and says "I don't have any monitors, you may want to tell someone about that..." Funny.
The drum tech and I both run across the stage to tell the monitor guy of the problem. Band kicks in as we are running back on stage... Oops. Band plays great. I hear later that my guy never got his monitors working. He seemed to be OK, I'll ask him how it was when we get to Auckland.

Start our load-out, we have cases everywhere due to the small backstage. I walk outside and it is raining cats and dogs. Most of our cases are in tents outside, so they come in a little wet. Stops raining about the time we start loading the first truck. Hooray. Unfortunately it starts raining again as we load the second larger truck.

Back to the hotel about 1am. Lobby call is 5:30am for our flight to New Zealand. Great...

[Posted with hblogger 2.0]

Well, I didn't think I had jet lag... Awoke at 4am. No going back to sleep. Bummer. Hang out on the internet(s) for a few hours and then off to the gig at 9:30 to setup for the Mtv Awards.

Arrive at the "venue" which is an amusement park (I kid you not!!) built in the 30's (Coney Island style). It stands right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Pretty cool looking actually. Gig is thankfully indoors...

Here's a picture of Luna Park.

Finally get to see my gear for the first time, what a mess. The guy before me obviously knew he was leaving and left me with a bunch of crap (sorry). Oh well, you play the hand you're dealt. I spend most of the day labeling stuff and trying to make it bulletproof for live tv.

Band comes in around 6. Everyone introduces themselves, nice guys. Rehearsal goes off pretty well, I learn my cues in one run through.

Back to hotel around 9. I'm exhausted. I do a few hours research on gear to get my rig straightened out. Fall asleep with the light on.

Leave 2pm from RDU, no line at the security check, amazing. I arrive at O'Hare at 3pm Chicago time. Get a Chai Tea, grab a Happy Meal and hang out for 3 hours near my gate. At around 6pm meet Ian, Big Kev, and Nathan at gate. I only know Ian from a previous tour, and everyone else seems cool. We board our flight for Sydney via San Francisco. Get stuck on runway for 1.5 hrs due to heavy rain at SFO. Arrive at SFO late, there are over 40 people connecting to the Sydney flight from Chicago, so they hold the plane to Sydney for us (Thank God). Leave late from SFO. Catch a few hours sleep on the plane, watch a movie, read some, etc.

Arrive in Sydney around 8am. It's sunny and 85 degrees (in yer face Flanders). My bags are the last off conveyor, but at least they made the trip. Everyone else has already gone through Customs, hope they remember to wait for the new guy. See Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne getting their bags. Breeze through Customs. Get lucky, guys are still waiting on our LA crew. Get introduced to Howard our Australian interpreter (actually production manager) LOL. The rest of our crew arrives, and we're off in buses to the Four Seasons, we arrive about 10:20 am. Up to the room to unpack and get into some shorts.

Go on walkabout around 11:30am. Beautiful day. Sydney is a metropolis like NYC, but cleaner, like Toronto or Vancouver. Take some pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Scope out Thai restaurant, decide against it. Sit on a bench overlooking the water and write this.(12:20pm)

Have a production meeting with my new co-workers, everyone is very cool. I hope I'll like working here. The view out the production manager's suite is amazing (too bad he has to stay inside and work).

After the meeting I decide to go and check out a couple of Motorcycle shops that are on the same street nearby. I take the CityRail (double decker subway/train cars) down to Hyde Park and walk down Wentworth Street to the shops. Lots of helmets and accessories, prices are expensive, since the exchange rate has dropped yet again. See another Thai joint, looks promising for later in the week. Take the CityRail back and grab a Chai to take up to the room. Post some pics to my website and finish writing this.(6:30pm)

Go to dinner with 9 other members of the crew. Great seafood place overlooking Sydney Harbour. I have the grilled Snapper, delicious. One of the guys gets "Sushi Lobster" or something and the thing is still twitching while he's eating it. Now that's fresh.

Off to bed to read, gotta be ready for a 9:30 call tomorrow morning.

About Me

    I got tired of writing the same email to everybody asking about life on the road. So here it is, day by day...
  • My profile

Recent Photos
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from guitartech. Make your own badge here.

Roadring Links

Companies I Like

Recent Tunes

Recent Books

Recent Posts



RSS Feed