Yes, I’m back. You can’t get rid of me, I’m like the relative that came to stay for a week and ended up moving in to the garage. I’m back to fill your heads with useless information about our daily life out here. I fear that with some 36-ish shows I’ll run out of things to talk about. So please, you’ll all have to bear with me if some days are shorter and/or more boring than others. I’ll do my best to keep you somewhat entertained. At the first show in Madison I was told by someone from the fan club that there are actually people out there reading these….and enjoying them? Wow. I’m in shock. So now I kind of feel like I’m talking to someone instead of just blabbing to a blank computer screen in a hotel room. Ok, here we go…I have to remember how I used to do this…
For starters, I have a big, fat, blue sausage finger right now. I smashed it between a door jam and a road case last night during load out, it doesn’t feel good. I can’t say whether it’s broken or not, all I can tell you is that I never knew typing could be so painful. Alright, now that I’ve gotten my daily quota of self-pity taken care of, we can move on!
I’ll get you up to speed on our schedule…we spent two weeks at home after Australia, then we headed to LA on the 24th of March for three weeks of rehearsals. We ended up cutting rehearsals a week short since the first two weeks were pretty productive, but more so because Lindsey and his wife were due to have a baby any minute. (She has since arrived, beautiful, healthy, and happy. Her name is Stella.) Rehearsals we’re great. The process of seeing new songs put together for a live performance is amazing. Even more amazing is seeing songs that are 25 even 30 years old being pulled out from the archives and given a new life.
We started out with rehearsing I Know I’m Not Wrong, from Tusk. It’s one of my favorite FM songs, so I was was thrilled about that. It sounds awesome live, if you’re coming out to any shows on this leg you can definitely look forward to it, it’s soooo good. Then out from the depths of the Buckingham Nicks era (and a brief, albeit glorious appearance on the FM Live album) came Don’t Let Me Down Again. That calls for pee your pants excitement in my opinion! It sounds great, and they played it at the first show in Madison. If you were at the Madison show, consider yourself lucky, because I think it will be leaving the set. Sadly, it seems it can’t find a place to fit in. It will be sorely missed, but at least I got to see it come to life, it was like a little piece of history…farewell Don’t Let Me Down Again, it was nice knowing you…sigh. But we’ve got Sara (big huge yay!), Destiny Rules (double yay!) and Red Rover (pass out from excitement yay!). Personally, my favorite live FM song is Monday Morning, I begged and pleaded for it this time around, to a point where I think they were actually becoming angry with me. (Okay, so I may have been a little pushy). They finally played it once at rehearsals to test it’s waters, I was like a teenage girl at an NSync show. It was incredible. But it got vetoed. I have wiped away my tears and with the help of good therapy and medication I am almost over it.
After rehearsals we all went home for three weeks (seemed like three days) and then flew out to New York on May 3rd for this MTV Networks thing. I won’t explain, it was really boring. We were there for two days to play three songs. I was bored senseless.
We then flew from NY to Madison for the first show of the tour. The best thing about arriving in Madison was the return of our tour buses. We have been in Europe and Australia since November, it had been months and months since we’ve seen a bus. When we were overseas we only flew, we had no place no call home…but our homes on wheels have returned, same buses, same drivers, it’s like we never left. Actually, I think three of the four buses are the exact same buses as last time, but the bus I’m on was changed out for a new one (I guess the one we had originally broke down) and now we have automatic doors on the bus. Instead of just manually pulling them open or closed, you push a button and they slide open, it’s like Star Trek, it’s hysterical. Most buses have these doors, but I can’t get used to them, I feel the constant pull to make really bad teleporting/Star Fleet/Captain Kirk jokes. As you can probably tell, it isn’t hard to entertain me. Anywho…moving on…
Day one in Madison was a load-in/rehearsal day. It had been weeks since the band had played the new songs, so they did a quick run-through and some final tweaking. That evening, after the band had all gone back to the hotel, Stevie stuck around for a fitting (new clothes!). There were only a few of us left in the building, most of the crew had gone back to the hotel for the night. (To enjoy this anecdote you’ll need to know that we all carry radios at the gigs to communicate.) So I’m standing outside on the loading dock when someone starts singing over the radio. It seems Stevie was bored, so she took Karen’s radio and decided to indulge our Production Assistant by giving an impromptu performance of Illume, our PA’s favorite Stevie song. After her radio debut, I asked if she was taking requests, and she was…so I got a radio performance of Storms, from Tusk. I can’t say how many of the little things I’ll really remember when this tour is over, but that will certainly be one of them, it was very sweet.
Cut to 24 hours later…the show went well, although there was a chunk of technical problems in the middle of the set. Guitar problems to be more specific. Long story short, Stevie and Lindsey had to fill a good 5 minutes of silence, the whole crew was mortified, we were all standing around staring at each other with our jaws on the floor. We couldn’t believe our eyes, it was the longest 5 minutes of our lives. Seconds feel like hours in those situations. The band handled it like champs though, they’re so funny, Lindsey finally just got down and started doing sit-ups and push-ups to kill time, Stevie laughed and said “I didn’t know you could do that!!” It worked out fine, I think it’s nice every once in a while when something goes just a little bit wrong, it’’s entertaining. And this time it was actually really funny.
The Champaign show was free of large technical mishaps, but instead, it was hotter than all get out. The arena in Champaign had no air conditioning. Even in cold weather, arenas really heat up when there’s thousands of people in them, so in hot weather (about 85 degrees), no air conditioning is a death sentence. Poor Mick and Lindsey were about to die from heat exhaustion. We even had portable AC units and tons of fans on the stage, but it just wasn’t helping, it was a sauna up there. Luckily the dressing rooms had good air conditioning. It was so funny, after the show we were all finding reasons to go in to the dressing rooms and stay there as long as possible just so that we could cool down a little. I suppose we might as well get used to it, it’s going to be a very hot and a very outdoor tour. Bring it on…I’m ready for summer.
We’re in Green Bay now, we have two days off before the show here, so I’m going to take my broken finger (self-pity mention #2) and get out of my hotel room.
Until next time…