Despite the onset expected road illnesses and the rigors of tight schedules, the band is energized by audiences from London to Osaka.
Derek On London – Feb. 22
We will be playing at the Virgin Megastore, a bigger affair than we had realized. First, it's off to get coffee... then we dive into remolding songs like "Burn" into acoustic numbers. There are mixed results.
Ultimately, we don't have time to do much so we pack up and head to a studio where we will be doing press this afternoon. Stuck in a tiny soundproof room, the three of us take calls from all over the U.K., answering questions, both mundane and otherwise. It's all painless enough. We break for food but I am feeling worse than ever and don't have much of an appetite.
Off to Virgin Megastore, where we are ushered in the back door... We soundcheck quickly for a small audience who have waited since 4 a.m. to see us. In a back room at Virgin, more interviews take place... I slip out to grab a sweatshirt, there are air conditioning vents blasting down on the stage, and in my condition I don't think I can afford that exposure. I get back in time to play the show.
We march downstairs where we are greeted by BBC DJ Mike Davies and three silver records for "Crimson." It's a pleasant surprise and we stood pleasantly stunned while the flash of cameras stealing souls blinded us.
Seven or so songs, played fairly well. An experiment in performing "Burn" acoustically. The crowd was exceptional and in the absence of all the usual amplification, you could really hear them all singing! We finish, take a bow and spend the next two hours meeting those in attendance.
Entry by Dan, U.K. – Feb. 26
Our flight arrived in Birmingham, then it was straight to KERRANG! Radio for another acoustic performance and a couple interviews, then straight to the venue in Wolverhampton for soundcheck and the Blood-Pact meet & greet. This schedule had us all fading fast, and I admit I was getting a little cranky, but soundcheck went pretty well and meeting all the nice Blood-Pact members cheered us up!
The venue there is really cool; we had been there once before a few years ago, when we brought Face To Face over. We had a really good show... it was pretty amazing, right in the middle of the set in between songs, the whole crowd started singing "Happy Birthday" to Matt... Derek and I were going to get it going at some point, but we didn't have to, they just knew. It was awesome.
We had a couple more shows after that -- one in Sheffield, and one in Liverpool. They were both really fun, but I think that last night's show in Liverpool might have been the best. I'm not really sure why, it was just one of those nights where everything was clicking. I just felt good about it, the crowd, the sound, everything... I love it when that happens.
Entry by Dan, Tokyo – March 2
We played last night at a place called Club Quattro. We had actually been there before. It was 1999 and we were on tour over here with Face To Face.
A strange coincidence about that tour: Derek was actually on tour with those guys playing guitar and it was the first time he ever saw Alkaline Trio. So we found the tag that Glenn threw up on the wall backstage.
So anyway, the show was amazing... Honestly, I'll say it was a little short on attendance, but lacked nothing in the fun department. Everyone was singing along, and dancing and even though I'm coming down with my usual mid-tour cold, the show had me feeling much better.
Stay tuned for more. We'll have a few days in Tokyo, so I'm sure well have tons of stuff to write about... I love Tokyo, it's a crazy place... just being there is almost like taking a drug, there's so much going on everywhere you look... total sensory overload! I'll let you know how it goes.
Thanks Osaka, it was great.