‘Twas the night before…
Strings changed, guitars tuned, bags packed and zipped up. I think we’re set!
This will be the first tour we’ve used some of our new gear – new amps (compact 200 watt micro amps that weigh less than a spindle of CDs and fit neatly into our gig bags), and of course my amazing new ESP Horizon FR-27 guitar.
More firsts are a couple of songs we’ll be pulling out tomorrow night, some that haven’t been heard since early 2004, and some that have been revamped with extra backing tracks to make them as full as the album versions behind our live performance. We have a new backdrop too that we’ll hopefully be able to use (when you’re a support band, your job is to warm up the crowd and get the hell off as soon as your time is up – we never presume to be able to use any of our production when it’s not our show) and a we have a pile of new merch for sale too.
While I know we’re definitely ready to get back out there and sounding as good as ever, walking out in front of a crowd after so long off of the road is bound to feel as weird as the trip into the airport and flight to Melbourne. That became so much of a routine between 2003 and 2010 it was seriously not much different to anyone else just catching a bus to the next suburb when we went on tour. How we got to places ran like clockwork and we did it all on autopilot. I’d like to think that the break will make this seem a lot fresher than it felt this time two years ago, even if there may be some fumbling around while we find our feet.
As always, we’ll be flat out when we land in Melbourne (and when we fly back into Sydney the next day). We’ll be out in the crowd chatting to people when we can but please don’t be offended if we have to dash off or don’t get a chance to say hi. Supports to international bands are always fairly hard on the opening band as far as time goes because if even the slightest thing is an issue for the headliner, they sort that out first – as they should – and that cuts into our time to prepare, so sometimes it’s a last minute dash to get our gear on stage and just hope for the best.
I remember when we supported Nightwish in 2008. This was one of those shows where things ran over for Nightwish’s soundcheck and our set up time was eaten into entirely. There was fifteen minutes until curtains and we literally had nothing on the stage at all – it was all packed off to the side and out of everyone’s way.
Well, we managed to get the entire band set up in less than fifteen minutes and the stage tech was plugging in the last of the drum mics right as the curtain began to open. No doubt our first song sounded a bit shaky while audio levels were adjusted but the show itself was absolutely great after that.
And because we were running so late, we needed to get our gear off the stage and have it entirely clear as soon as we finished.
We had it all off in eight minutes.
Piled into a massive disaster area in the corner, mind you, but so long as Nightwish had the stage completely to themselves, we could take all night sorting out our tangled mess out of their way.
I have to say I am looking forward to stepping out onto the stage again, into the semi-unknown after so long, and seeing all of your faces looking up at us. We’ll have our usual trainwrecks, laugh like children about them and just get on with it. We know you guys know when we screw up but hey, if you can’t laugh about it, you may as well just give up. We’re not here to play a perfect show, we’re here to entertain everyone so you have a great time, and in this case, get you ready for the very awesome Iced Earth.
I think we’re ready. Are you?
Let’s do it.