Poughkeepsie Chance Theater is in a pretty rough part of town. There are crack addicts wandering down the windy streets like extras from a zombie film. The town is named after the legend (several hundred years old) of a serpent that lives in the nearby river. The only thing coming out of that river now is probably used needles and bloated bodies..not nice. However the drive up from New York to Poughkeepsie is smart. Little villages, the houses have porches and rocking chairs on the porches like the ones you see in any Steven King movie.
Today we were part of a five band bill. Overkill were headling with us as main support although no one seemed to know we were playing. I toured with Overkill five years ago in Europe so I really enjoyed catching up with them. We had another Saw 3 style dressing room which was so dirty you started to itch as soon as you sat on the sofa. Three opening local bands, one I think was called Criminal Justice, a hardcore band, who were pretty good and the drummer was amazing. For our show we played without click and samples and did a live set of mainly old stuff and it worked out well. There seemed to be quite a few PL fans in the audience and the die hard Overkill fans stopped giving us the finger by song four.
After the show our gear was just thrown outside into the pouring rain with no cover and the door was shut. The rain really was torrential. We had to move everything into the trailer and try and break things down in there. A nice first gig for Fernando I don’t think. We all got soaking wet as did all the equipment. I was still in my stage shorts and t shirt. It was the straw that broke the camels back for me and I finally succumbed to feeling ill. It is the worst thing on tour and it wasn’t just ‘man-flu!’ I just wanted to sleep for the next couple of days and I was pretty pale. Run down me thinks rather than a cold.
Our Saturday night stop was Worcester MA. We were glad to see the back of Poughkeepsie after such a rough day. The journey upto Worcester was pretty cool. Nice fall background with different coloured trees everywhere and interesting landscapes. We were glad to be back on the Nightwish gigs and tonights show was sold out! As we arrived, there she was. A big beautiful old silver Prevost bus, our new home, a base, a bed. Satellite TV in the bunks which doesn’t work but atleast we’ve got it!
Everyone was relieved and very happy. It makes a huge difference having that refuge on the road and turning up in the morning at shows rather than waking up and driving for hours. Our new driver was Bill who has been driving bands for 43 years and has a few stories to tell I am sure.
A good day all round. Ben from Vic Firth came to drop my new batch of sticks and brought new shirts, always good on tour and there was another good response at the gig despite a couple of technical hitches. Solid reactions have been a real bonus to me as I was pretty much expecting nothing from a partisan Nightwish crowd.
Nick, driver, was cut loose for a few days to drop the van and trailer and we headed in to Canada. We crossed the border at 8am with no hitches as we expected long delays and we were parked up in Montreal by late morning. Metropolis is a great big venue. It holds 2500 and was sold out!
We sat and watched the final grand prix with all of our Finnish friends as Hamilton bowed out and the Finnish finished first. I was pleased because atleast Alonso didn’t win and if Hamilton had beaten Raikonnen we could have had no lights or PA for the night and the atmosphere could have turned slightly sour! Audience was very loud for our show which was really enjoyable. Had another early night as was still feeling crappy.
Quebec City is another French speaking town and the club we were headlining was in a quaint little tourist area that looked like it should have been covered in snow, something like a town in the Derbyshire Dales. Really passionate crowd. Not full, but busy and then back onto Nightwish in Toronto.
Another large show, fantastic catering. We all stuffed our fat faces and slobbed out in our tiny dressing room that seemingly doubled as a sauna as it was so hot! We headed back to the US, filled ourselves up with Tim Horton’s best doughnuts and pastries on the way(cheers Karl) and were back in the US by 4am. We were 30 miles from Niagara Falls but it was too dark to go really which was a shame. Steve wanted to throw himself over in a barrel.
So, it had certainly been a busy week. Karl works pretty hard and is like a dynamo all day. Fernando is helping keep things smooth and Nick Merch rejoined us for our show in Cleveland. Peabodys is a smaller gig, sold out again. Loudest reaction from what seemed like genuine PL fans. Thrown outside in the bloody freezing cold again to pack down which I was pretty angry about and it was particularly cold after coming straight off stage. At my age I am just wanting cocoa and slippers by then.
We stayed in Cleveland for our day off which was good. Got laundry done, fourth important thing after food, shower and internet and went to Walmart which has everything you could ever need…ever! Bought a kettle and stuff so we would be able to sample that Typhoo moment on the tour bus for ever more…aaaaaahhhhh!! Some of us went to see The Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame by the side of Lake Erie (I think).
It was great. They let us in for free, probably because they thought we were Nightwish. Loads to see there. ZZ Top’s car from Eliminator.
Wacko Jacko’s jacket from the Thriller video (which might of been filmed in Poughkeepsie) and the clown suit from Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes video clip. There was loads to see. I would recommend it.
Finally we converged on Flannerys irish bar for some Strongbows, dinner and a pool tournament. We hammered our US friends mainly by making up the rules as we went along, “No no no! Thats not how they play it in Salford! I win!” I got better the more I drank and couldn’t stop winning with stupid flukey trick shots. Then Nick turned up. Turns out he is quite good. It is the only physical sport he has taken part in for twenty years! (PLEASE NOTE HE SAYS HE ACTUALLY CYCLES 1000 MILES A DAY!!)
Aaron and Greg finally brought my good run to an end and the end is nigh here too as we drive to Detroit. Apparently it is pretty rough and we aren’t allowed to leave the venue or bus. I was hoping to wander the streets with my Rolex showing and my wallet hanging out of my back pocket! Seriously, the word is that a band played recently and one of the guys went for a walk and was found dead in a skip a few hours later…..bus and venue sounds good. I don’t like blood especially not mine!
Categorised in: Jeffo's Blog