I am beginning to see patterns. This could be bad for us all.
This is our 2nd tour this year. We’ve got the songs in the bag. We’re warm and well trod and we’re flexible enough, by now, to adopt any given form that might be necessary for any given audience at any given show. Everything is in order.
I find myself backstage on the first night of the tour winding down. Preparation is key but premonition will also play its roll and tonight I have goblins in mind. On stage I take to nervously knocking beer over. Washing my heels and leads in soupy clumsiness. This is when I finally manage to get onto the stage.
I had decided, with humility in mind, that I would make my entrance via the front of the stage when my name was called. As I approached I realized that the steps that led upward and onto during sound check had now been removed. I realized with enough time to get a decent run up which, it turned out, was a terrible thing. Next thing I know I am balanced precariously on one knee, ready to topple at any minute, I know. Beer is foaming up and erupting out of my bottle and all over my hand. I didn’t miss the stage by much when I took my nonchalant but cocky leap. I only missed it enough to create an embarrassing scene. The worst of it is that I was dressed impeccably. Humiliation best suits those that crave dignity.
Later on nobody from the audience said anything to me about my lousy acrobatics. I decided that each one of them must be a bastard. Throughout the show I smiled behind a familiar set of irrational fears. It’s first night nerves.
A first night show is better immersed in din. A wretched, beery setting is most the appropriate in which to ‘get rhythm’ with each other. At a show like that no one gives a fig, they just want to see something moving up there so they don’t have to focus their eyes for too long on one thing.
This time we played our first night on a big, black stage to a big, black room with the familiar accompaniment of German attentiveness. Sometimes it just feels like they’re being patient. These shows, with this irrational and unnecessary torment are a complete source of fatigue. Of course the great thing about this is that afterwards rest is inevitable and always satisfactory.
Conclusion – Its best not to talk about it. Let rabid dogs writhe. Grin and bear it, the first night comes but once a tour…