Gillette Stadium - Show Day

Up at 7am, bus call at 8am. Ride to the gig and straight on stage to setup. This is my last day to put the final touches on my 'B' rig, I finally have all the pieces and I spend all day soldering cables to finish up. Band comes in to soundcheck around 3:30pm and after we're done I hookup with my friends Matt and Alec from California. Take them backstage and being the gearheads that we are Matt and I talk guitars and amps while Alec noodles on Jason's new SG. Alec has brought some watches for the band which I give them after the show (thanks Alec from the guys). After they head to their seats I sit down for the first time today and have dinner, then call my wife while riding around in the parking lot.

Band plays another great show (probably better than Giants, as they get more comfortable on these huge stages). Another great fireworks display at the end. Long push for load out...

Trying to load the truck at the loading dock we are confronted by an angry local police officer who informs us we cannot line up our cases to load the truck or we will be arrested. What? Seems he HAS to keep the area clear to be able to drive a van in. I politely ask him (while he yells at me) where he would like us to put the cases. He is no help, he just says we can't put them by the truck. Why even have a loading dock, if you can't load? We appease him and he eventually goes away and we are able to load the truck by lining the case up 30 feet away and pushing them through an 8 foot gap. If they don't want things blocked up they should paint I line on the floor.

On the bus late and go to sleep as we'll have a border crossing in a few hours on our way to Montreal.

Quincy, MA - Partial Day Off

Wake up at the Marriott in Quincy. I've spent a lot of time here, since my 'other' bands office/warehouse is nearby. My day off is only till 10:30pm, as we are supposed to go load in then. Hookup with my drum tech buddy Magee and drop by the Vindaloo office to see friends and catch up. We then grab some lunch and a movie, end up back in my room around 5:30pm. Quick nap and then ride my bike up and down the large hills surrounding the hotel. Around 8pm the 10:30 call is cancelled and moved to 8am tomorrow. Great, I could have gone to Providence, RI with Magee to see my comedian friend Craig Gass. Oh well, watch Forrest Gump on TNT then read till I fall asleep.

Giants Stadium - Show Day

Back in early to prepare for the show. My friend Ossie from Blockhead Amps comes down in the afternoon bringing his latest creation for me to check out. Always a good time hanging with him. Band comes in for soundcheck and after they're done Ossie rips into his new amp and customizes it on the spot to fit our sound!! Now that's customer service :) Thanks Ossie.

My NYC buddy Steve is coming down also to shoot (photograph) the show. Unfortunately, traffic and two traffic stops make him late and we never get to see each other, but he does get his photos.

Band plays a stellar show to 40,000+ people, biggest show they have ever played in the USA. The pyro guys do a huge fireworks display at the end of the show that rivals some of the 4th of July celebrations I've seen. I think the crowd definitely got their moneys worth. Load out is long and we're late leaving for our day off in Boston.

Giants Stadium - Production Day

Wake up on the bus outside the hotel. Have breakfast on the bus and watch a movie, as the hotel is next to the gig and not much else (beside the NJ turnpike). We are supposed to go in at 1pm to setup, it gets pushed back to 4pm. Hotel is boring, I spend most of the time on the bus.

Down at the gig, load-in and set-up for our first stadium show in the States. This place is huge, but I've played it before, so no big deal. Sporadic rain forces us to corral all the stage right guitar gear into a pile under a tent. We end up line checking after 10pm and after rain water gets dumped all over some of my gear (no problems though). Back to the hotel and a few hours of sleep.

Merriweather Post Pavilion - Show Day

Wow, I didn't even know this place was still around. One of the oldest outdoor 'shed' venues, it was the predecessor to all the current amphitheaters we know and love (hate). Down to the gig and it is a lot smaller than we're used to the ceiling trim for the lighting trusses is only around 30'. Also super hot today and no breeze. Ugh!

It is package day though, as I get all the stuff I was supposed to get in Ft. Lauderdale (rerouted because of Katrina). Jason gets a new '61 Gibson Les Paul/SG from the Custom Shop. One of the best I've ever played. I also get a few more pieces for my 'B' rig.

Cell reception sucks here as well, as we're down in a valley. After dinner I bike up to the top of the venue to call my wife and end up running into my guests. I walk them backstage for a quick tour then off to will call to pick up their tickets. The line getting in is huge, but we work our way in just as Jimmy Eat World starts their set. I'm off to roast during our show...

Miami to DC in the silver tube

On the bus all day, watch a few movies (Are We There Yet? is hilarious), nap, eat at a truck stop, etc. I sit up in the front seat with Mo as we pass my old hometown of Hope Mills and my parents current town of Dunn, NC.

Arrive in DC at 9:30pm, and quickly run to grab dinner (Chipotle burrito) before settling in the hotel room to write these last few days down and post to the blog.

Should be a busy week as we play 3 stadium shows in a row.

Miami - Mtv Video Music Awards

Up around 8am and off on my bike again, as there are few people around. The architecture here is marvelous and really beautiful. Get rid of all the shallow people and I might learn to like this place. Ride till time to take a shower and go to the arena for dress rehearsal.

Do a full run through at 1pm, with no problems. End up standing next to Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives (hubba hubba) before heading up to catering for lunch. There is a huge line upstairs and they are out of everything but meatloaf. Oh well, really makes me miss our caterers. Back to the bus (we were lucky enough to be able to park at the gig) for some TV watching, napping, etc.

Reset for the show at 5pm and then wait around till 8 for our performance. We are on first, which is nice, and it's over quickly and looks/sounds great on the replay. By the time we load out the band has won five out of six awards and still have two to go. Wow!! Watch the telecast from the bus while talking to my wife on the phone. By the end the guys win seven out of eight awards, including Viewer's Choice. The drummer even thanks the 'live crew', which means a lot to us. We're even invited to the afterparty and we all take limos back to South Beach and hang in a private room with free food and drink. I even stand next to Hillary Duff, but miss seeing Paris Hilton... Bus arrives around 2:30am to pick us up and after dropping a few people off at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport we head to DC.

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