Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tropical Robots

So I've had this nagging cold for the past week. It came on suddenly in Chicago and lasted well through this most recent trip to Canada. I keep reminding myself that I've gotten a flu shot, but then it dawned on me that it was most likely a year ago now, and I'm basically a big, festering human sausage of germs right now. It's been brutal being on a bus in this state, but I feel like it has just passed. For that, I deserve a smiley face cookie that brightens up my day even though it tastes like formaldehyde and cough syrup. W crammed our rather lush production into the small Riv Theatre in Chicago last week. It involved lots of swearing, head-scratching and compromise, but in the end it all worked out. I got a pat on the back and a giant thumbs up from Jolly Roger, the local stage manager and ex-Ministry tour manager. This is a huge step for someone who usually threatens to punch local crews in the groin before they even walk in the door.

We got caught up in a bit of randomness in Green Bay. There was little or no rhyme or reason to this festival that we were roped into. A Kenyan boy's choir opened the show followed by Jewel. I could only imagine how the interaction between those two went down. Smile and nod.

And just as they all disappear back on to a truck headed for a warehouse in Chicago, the lights start looking pretty sharp. I'm grounded for the next few weeks.

Damn straight.

St. Louis was grim and broken on the outside. All the leaves had fallen off of the trees and most of the businesses in the arts district had shut their doors.

We did a show at The Fox Theatre (one of maybe four or so remaining out of the original 30).

It is an incredible place, and rivals Radio City for all of its ornate goodness. Someone wandered upstairs and found a huge bathroom with a fireplace at one end of it. For no reason other than just because.

And just like that we sent away half the crew and all of the lights, and joined up with Neil Young's tour for a few weeks of easy living up in Canada.

I woke up the first day in Winnipeg feeling quite a bit better. My fever had subsided, and my appetite came raging back. Good thing we are now traveling with some gourmet-type caterers who seem to outdo themselves every day. I plan on putting on a significant amount of winter under-fat on this one. I stocked up on some espresso and pastries and took a walk around town. I found this crazy little bastard right here. I think he might have been the Vince Lombardi of hockey, or maybe the Nancy Kerrigan of life. Who's really to say. I am just glad to have a new found lack of anything to do on tour, and no real reason to be up before noon other than to assault local heros and listen to Neil Young.

Neil Young's stage set looks suspiciously like a garage sale. Every inch of the 40' X 60' stage is covered with some sort of antique tat. Most of which ends up being integral to the show in one way or another.

There's a cigar store indian on stage right who gets outfitted with a new t-shirt every night.

And just in case you forget the chords to Rockin in the Free World.

There was something so knock down amazing about watching Cortez the Killer from ten feet away from the old man. It's going to be a pretty solid couple of weeks.