Samstag, 24. August 2013

Monster Magnet Tourdiary Part 2

07.08 - Haarlem
We arrived in Haarlem at noon and checked in the Ambassador City Centre Hotel. Haarlem is next to Amsterdam and very charming. It nearly looks the same, just a bit less people. Definetly a good place for an off day. I went shopping and found a second hand vintage shop called "the Irrational Library".
Clothes, LPs, tapes, comics... Everything you can imagine!! All cool stuff. Joshua, who runs the shop invited me and the crew to a party in the local park in the evening. Bassist Jim, Paco, Bärtchen and I went there later and had a lot of fun with Joshua and the electronic live act "Baptist" with live drumming and other additional percussions.
The aftershow party was at "Storing" venue with an all girl garage punk band called "Cheap Thrills". It was a blast! The Dutch know how to party on a wednesday.

08.08. - Haarlem
The next day we went to the venue "Patronaat" for the next gig. Same procedure like every gig.
The PA system was awesome, a bit strange was the stereo because on stage left side was a balcony and the house technician decided to turn the whole line array to the side, so the FOH wasn't really centred... That's the problems you have to deal with!! Next stop: Munich

09.08. - Munich
I've never been to the "Backstage" venue before. It is an areal of 4-5 floors and it was the Free&Easy Festival with free entrance and all different kinds of music. The local crew was really nice and fast. After our soundcheck we were waiting again for the support band Godsized, which already supported us in the UK. Sadly the had a delay and they couldn't make it in time. I feel sorry for them because the audience was awesome. They totally freeked out when Monster Magnet played! But Godsized weren't that sad so we had a nice party after. Cheers and we will see them in Heidelberg again.

10.08 - Feldkirch
Our next destination was only a 3 hour drive to the "Poolbar Festival" in Austria. In an old swimming pool and gym hall they built two floors. The crew was between 20 and 30 years old but really motivated and professional. The equipment was nice and they had a bunch of go-pro cameras on stage which they projected live on screen on both sides of the stage. I used a digidesign console, pretty similar to the one in Brighton. So after the daily process of soundcheck I went with the crew to the centre for a coffee.
Feldkirch is pretty small and next to the beautiful alps there is not much to see. So I spend most of the time talking to the local crew. For the next day they invited us all to their football cup, which I joined as the only one of the Magnet's crew.

I played in "Team Logan" hahaha!
So after a nice show and day off we crossed the boarder to Switzerland.

12.08 - Luzern
When I entered the "Schuur Konzerthaus" I couldn't belive how the FOH looked like! It was a spaceship.
It had a perfect shape that no one could disturb you and it was also movable. Very nice! The venue had a capacity of 300 people, I love clubs like that, because it's very intimate. Again there was a Soundcraft digi desk which I like a lot. The local crew was awesome, just 3 people for lights, sound and monitors but highly professional. I wanna play here too one day! Between the soundcheck and the gig I killed the time with drawing. I didn't had paper so I drew with a Sharpie pen on the "wall of fame" in the backstage were already some bands did some nice pictures.

13.08 - Heidelberg
Here I was born and it was also the closest show to my hometown. Again we will meet God Sized this day, who supported us on this show. I was also glad meeting family and friends after being on tour for 2 weeks already.
So I woke up at 10:30am in front of the venue "Halle 02" and inside the local crew was already active setting up the sounds and lights. We had a lot of time this day so everyone of the crew spread all over the city. Bob went to the castle, I went to the city centre for chilling in a café and Bärtchen went to the media store to buy all episodes of the A-Team and Miami Vice for our 50h drive to Norway starting right after the show. For a tuesday the show was packed and with the Midas pro digi console it worked quite good handling the boomy room of Halle 02.
Sadly Paco needed to leave the tour at this point to leave for a US tour where he is playing guitar.

16.08 - Bodø
After 2 off days of driving mad on alcohol and being bored to death, we reached our destination in north norway after over 50h! We already passed the polar circle so I expected cold weather. Actually we had about 17 C and sunshine... Nice!
The host took care of us and brought us first to a Spa where we could take a shower (steambath and sauna included but very exhausting after hanging for 2+ days in the bus). At a festival there is no time for a sound check so again a day with a lot of free time. So we went on a boat trip which was really amazing!
 With a small boat we rode through the fjords watching sea eagles and jelly fish. The landscape was more than beatiful.
Directly after the ride we had to load in and set up our mics. Again we left the festival area for having dinner. The show was pretty good, the setup was nearly the same like in Belgium: Open Air, big, analog Midas console etc.
After the show we had a geat time in the backstage area with a lot of arcade games and the band Kvelertak, which joined us already on the boat ride.

17.08. - Trondheim
Again a long ass drive back to Trondheim! On the "Pstereo" festival there should be our last gig for the tour. It was also a mixed line up for this Open Air. We shared the stage with Wovenhand, Dizzy Rascal and Motorpsycho. There where two more smaller stages and the whole area was along the riverside, right at the cathedral in Trondheim. Like the day before we had no soundcheck, so after load in a lot of time. I walked a little for checking out this beautiful Norweigian city with it's old houses st the river.
Also the cathedral was really impressive and massive!
Main topic for the crew was the question if Monster Magnet would play at all. Dave got sick the day before and needed to leave later in Bodø with the last plain. The tourmanager Bobo was constantly on the phone, solving the situation. In the end a big smile was in his face when he knew Dave was on the plain and ready to rock the show!
... One more time with love. The tunes flew over the festival area  through an awesome soundsystem and working with a Soundcraft Vi6 after all these days was quite easy. Then I was free! We all finished our job and had a reson to party. The backstage was with a ping pong table and a cocktail tent. We hung out with Goat (who played another stage) and Motospsycho. It was a sleepless night and we went to our hotel for two hours before leaving to the airport.

After two days of just sleeping in my bed I have still Monster Magnet stuck songs in my head. All impressions and experiences are coming back to my mind and I have to say: It was an awesome time and the best way improving in what I do!
Thanks to Bobo and Dave for hooking me up! Thanks to Phil, Jim, Bob and Garret for giving me the chance working with great musicians like them! Thanks to Tim for a light show I wanna have every gig with my band aswell (this is true light art)! Thanks to Paddy and Bärtchen for playing "the three musketeers" with me! Thanks to Dirk for driving and entertaining with his sarcasm! And last but not least thanks to Paco for helping us all everyday in every form, as a friend, as a stagehand, as a therapist and merch man aswell!!


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