GRAVELROAD News June/July 2017 European Tour – parts 2 & 3

June/July 2017 European Tour – parts 2 & 3


Mon June 19 – show in Celle, Germany (Hertzog Ernst)

We have a short ride to Celle, an attractive town in the Lower Saxony region of Germany.  We get to explore the town a bit on this sunny and hot day & get some rest before the gig. We are feeling good.

The venue is a very interesting one. It’s obvious from the years of posters on the walls that this place has hosted a helluva lot of shows, but it just looks like your neighborhood bar. The stage is oddly placed in the middle of the venue, leaving us to play to various sections of the crowd, both indoors and out as we are well-positioned next to large windows. We me and Stefan rather fixed behind the drums and vocal mic, respectively, Joe is responsible for moving around and playing to the whole room. It adds to intimacy of the night.

The crowd seems into it. I often think it takes a new listener a few songs to get used to us. The owner of the place basically tells us exactly that after the show.  He wanted a rock show and we gave him one.  Two sets. Over two hours of music. Rockin’ from start to end.

Tonight’s show begins a run of seven straight gigs. Our energy is up. Our friend Matt is on tour with us, taking photos and adding to the festivities.  His birthday begins in a few hours. We start celebrating tonight. The whole venue sings “Happy Birthday” to him. He gets flooded with Jaegermeister.  Good times.

Tue June 20 – drive east to CZ, show in Prague.

We are going to be in the Czech Republic for the next week.  Six shows here and at least one off day at the end enjoying Prague. This first pass through Prague is strictly about the gig.  What’s more, it’s hot as hell. 93 degrees throughout the afternoon.

Load-in, set-up and all the other particulars are pretty normal.  We’re playing a rather large hall-like room. The stage is spacious. This is the first show on this tour we’ve had an opening band. It’s often beneficial to have an opener when playing a new room so we can hear their sound and maybe learn something in the process.

Show starts.  Scanning the room, the crowd is fun but there’s not enough to fill out the large space. It’s evident that there’s some kind of weird vibe during the opening band’s set. I can’t quite place it.

When it comes time for our set, we are all primed to play. We get a very nice reception from our first few songs: applause and some cheers, but people are still somewhat reserved and almost everyone is seated along the perimeter of the venue.

When it comes time for “Rabbit Run,” I let Stefan and Joe know “I am getting up …” as a cue.  We play the first few minutes of the song as usual, and when it comes time for Stefan’s solo we make eye contact and they know I’m getting up but even I am not exactly sure what I will do.

I like going out into the crowd. I did it for two of the first four shows. I’m going to do it here. I start to walk the perimeter clapping. Before I know it, everyone in the room is clapping along. The band never skips a beat. They are throwing themselves around. The sounds are fantastic.  I love it. The place feels different. The rest of the show will turn.

We are playing one very long set tonight. “Rabbit Run” is about 5 songs in. The crowd builds energy over the next half-dozen songs and by the end of the set’s dozen-and-a-half songs – as the dynamics slowly keep getting ratcheted up – people are moshing up front. Stefan and Joe are rocking out and using the whole stage and then some. There’s all sort of dancing going on throughout the room. People are yelling and hollering, too.

We finish up after some encore requests and a bow and when I get off stage Matt says “I can’t believe that you got that crowd dancing!?!” Some fun locals, ok mostly some drunks, want to hang out all night with the band.  We made some friends tonight. It was a great night for all there.

After the show me, Joe & Matt going looking for a late-night bite in Prague.  That’s an adventure. After getting turned around and wandering a bit, we find the Joker Bar. A man and woman are sitting rather quietly at the bar and the bartender is motionless. We ask if they are open. No answer.  Joke’s on us?

Finally, the rocker guy on the stool says Yes.  We ask if they have food. They pull out a little-used pizza menu. We point at the simplest cheese pizza pictured. The barkeep doesn’t speak English but lets us know “No.” Ok. We start pointing at other pictures hungrily.

We get some more “no” responses and finally ask what they have. We get two of whatever they got. We chat with the rocker dude at the bar. He nearly freaks when he hears we are from Seattle. He loves Seattle music (namely Grunge). He’s regretting the recent suicide of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. He is telling us about the public services set for Seattle the next day. Thanks for the hometown update, man!

We keep talking, he wanted to know all about Seattle. He’s really nice and helps with the rest of our translation with the bartender ‘til the pizzas arrive. We pay, take them home and dine on the lawn next to where we are being put up.

The pizza doesn’t look great but it doesn’t look awful either. We are so hungry we dive in. It takes us all more than a few bites to taste the sardines among all the other unknown items on this thing. It was damn fishy.  Ugh. Joke’s on us.  Goodnight Prague!

Wed June 21 – Brno, CZ

Thankfully we get a nice meal before leaving Prague and heading out to Brno. It’s even hotter today.  We roll to Brno, knowing we are staying above the venue in apartments they have for the band.  We get a good spot for the band and we stroll through Brno. I like this city. It is our second time here. It’s good a mix of cultures. It is a large enough city (2nd in size to Prague) and has a lot of history. We find a nice spot to have a drink and people-watch before the venue opens at 5:30p.

The club is in a basement, a running theme we will find in Czech. This place has multiple rooms within it.  One has a train that runs about a foot from the ceiling. It delivers shots of alcohol to the patrons in that room.  A life-sized cardboard cutout of Mr. Bean lurks eerily in the back of another room. All of us have a shudder as we separately come across the Rowan Atkinson character’s eyes seemingly following us through the dark corners here.

The stage size and lay out is perfect for our three-piece set-up.  We are lined across the stage in a row. There’s a bulbous portion stage-right for my drums to occupy as if by design.  Tonight is going to be another fun one. This is evident early.

There’s two rows of “reserved” seats in the front. They are right up against the stage, where we have the amps and drums almost on top of them. Right before we begin, we gently encourage the seated folk to perhaps slide chairs back a bit. We get nods of appreciation as we begin. It is loud in this place. The club seems packed. It’s tough to tell how many people are there because of the little cubby-rooms around the joint, but there’s people packed around. Dancing is breaking out in the back. This group doesn’t need much encouragement.

We are doing two sets tonight. People really want to talk at the break, but we got a second set to do. On this mid-week night, people will be staying up late with us, talking music and life and waiting for the “late-night” bus that is the only public transportation after the trolleys shut down.

Me, Stefan & Joe get a really nice moment after all the dust has settled. We are all hungry. We walk down the main drag to find a recommended falafel shop. For the first time since landing in Amsterdam a week ago, this is our first moments alone with just the three of us.  We have this quiet moment walking through the warm early hours of the night/morning in Brno.  Then we talk. All of the shows have felt great. This is our first chance to really express to each other how much we appreciate the efforts of all involved. We are doing this tour without Kirby.  He could not make it.  Please know that Kirby is our brother in music and life and we know we have a lot more music and living together. But for this tour it is the three of us, the same as GravelRoad was initially incarnated.  The power trio is laying it down. At this moment sense of appreciation, satisfaction and drive are evident for me among my company.  The falafel is excellent.  We will sleep well tonight.

Th June 22 – Znojmo, CZ

We have a short drive to Znojmo, a hill town a few meters from Austria popular with the wine-crowd.  There’s seemingly an abundance of tourists here.  The town is connect by a series of underground tunnels they call catacombs even though there are no bodies in them.

It impresses me that a community was close enough that they’d build a series of underground pathways connecting all of the homes and businesses. There’s a level of trust build in to such a plan. They executed it and it served the town during times when this border town needed the tunnels for defense. They could create a ghost town in moments and, according to the lore, would frighten invading armies since there’d still be logs and smoke emanating from chimneys but no inhabitants anywhere in sight.

Our show is in a cave of a basement. We are shown the catacomb access almost immediately. The locals seem to appreciate that we know a little of the history. Tonight will be a “down home” show. We play two sets in this cool underground venue that provides a respite from the extreme heat outside.

We jump on tops of tables. We yell and holler. The locals are into it but also a little unsure of what their role is in all of this. I have a feeling they are used to a more staid show in their town. Maybe more geared towards the wine crowd? Who knows? We are having fun and they are into it.

After the show, we return to get cleaned up and we want one more drink in town. Turns out, pretty much everything else is closed down except for our club. Now, honestly, me and Stef are beat at this point. But Joe, Matt and Ozzy are ready to keep going, so we leave the three of them at the venue as the doors get closed off to the public and the real party begins. Go Znojmo!

Fri June 23 – Kolin, CZ (City Theater)

We get to sleep in a bit in the morning. Hangovers are all around but Stefan and I avoided it.  We just want a good breakfast at the hotel so we can get on the road.

Slow service, but whatever. We want fluids (coffee, water and juice). They have reasonably tasty local donuts on the table, but we’re looking forward to more as they let us know “a little longer.” What are they cooking back there? They didn’t take an order. They didn’t ask us anything, like “how do you like your eggs” or anything else of the sort. Eventually, the real breakfast plates arrive: 3 hot dogs and two slices of almost-fresh bread. Oh, I should add that there’s two types of mustard and a horseradish sauce on the plates too.  Needless to say, 15 hot dogs did not get eaten. Sure, most of us each had one because we were famished, but we had more fun doing “things” with the hot dogs. They kind of went perfectly with the donuts for a little photo shoot, ya know.

We see some people from the night before and say our goodbyes to the town. We will wind through small towns and narrow 2-lane roads on our way to Kolin, a second-century town closer to Prague. It’s an early show. We get there, load-in, do an interesting sound check since there is a significant language barrier with the sound guy.

The venue is a big theater in the heart of town. They are doing a special series of shows all week related to Blues music. We are one of only two U.S. bands on the week’s line-up. We are not sure how exactly this will go, but we have figured out how to approach these shows: start off a little on the slower and tamer side and ease them into our sound. What’s more, in Europe I talk to the crowd more. They want stories and I just had a conversation after the Brno show about how some people just want to hear our accents beyond the songs.  Cool.

The crowd is sitting. It’s on the older side.  But people are smiling and they are applauding.  They sway from their seats but will not dance. I enter the crowd for “Rabbit Run” again. They clap but cannot sustain it as much as some of the more rock-n-roll crowds.  That’s fine.  We keep going.

Two-sets. Everything is very professional here. Start on time. Break is 15-20 between sets. We plan to go long on the second set. I figure, after about 2 hours, we have the right to do most anything – within reason – with a crowd. I start chatting them up. I am imploring them to dance. Finally, two women get up. A few more follow and finally a brave/smart man joins them as well.  Now we are going.

They clamor for an encore. We are happy to give it to them. They dance. Good times abound!

Interestingly, we step off stage and dry ourselves off for a moment back stage and when we return this place is empty. I guess the social norm in Kolin is watch the show and then split right after. Ok, I guess??? We tear down and depart the venue, feeling for the owner who is complaining about locals running home to bed rather than hanging out at the bar.

Consequently, tonight ends up being a very early night. We go back to the hotel that has a 5-piece band playing folk music – mostly in Czech, but some in English – to a group of uninterested beer drinkers.  We listen and applaud for the band.  They seem to be having a good time. Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to this type of band. However, after having just completed a show I’m feeling strangely connected to this vagabond group of musicians. The world feels big and small at the same time.

On to another town for another show tomorrow. So it goes.

Sat June 24 – Valasske Klobouky, CZ

We all get good nights sleep. That’s a first on tour. 4 of the 5 in the party attend breakfast. Hot Dogs are part of the buffet, but thankfully they have some other less-processed foods available, including eggs and the European standard vegetables; tomatoes and cucumbers.  The bread is kind of fresh but the Nescafe coffee crystals fail to satisfy.  So be it.

We hit the road and quickly realize we are close to the “skull and bones” church called Kostnice Sedlec in the town of Kutna Hora, CZ.  This church is decorated with the skeletons of thousands of locals killed by the Plague.  It is equal parts disturbing and inspiring. Supposedly, it was the labor of one priest who saw so many die. It is dreadfully beautiful.  Definitely worth the stop.

Traffic sucks today. We all feel for Ozzy. His van is running rough too. We can tell he is stressed but his mood is still great. This tour has been all positives. I hope the van holds out. We don’t have too far to go today but all of the traffic leaves us running a little late despite having a huge time buffer on our side when the day began. Again, it’ll be ok. We know what we are doing.  It’s all just a reminder of the unpredictability of the road. Thankfully, it’s mostly construction traffic, but we’ve seen a couple of bad looking accidents in the Czech Republic. We can survive a little traffic.

We arrive in the hill town of Valasske Klobouky late-afternoon. We are playing a local festival that is drawing people for this and neighboring villages. We will rock this place!

There’s a really good local band called Cafe Industrial playing not long after we arrive in town. Our party all likes them.  Me & Matt seem the most interested. They’re a 3-piece with excellent musicians and well-written songs.  The lyrics are in Czech, so I cannot tell you what they were singing about. The music was a sort of relaxed psychedelic rock. What’s more, the two men and one woman in the band seemed to have a well-established chemistry that added to the material.

Our hotel had a good vantage point for the festival.  Matt would later take great photos from window of his room.  We all had to keep running back and forth between the festival and our hotel rooms because dinner made all of us sick. Czech meat, check mate! (Sorry, I couldn’t miss the awful pun opportunity).

There’s a nice attendance, but people do not appear actively into the music. There are rows and rows of benches and people are remaining towards the back and drinking their pivo (beer) and barely clapping.

For the act before us, some kids are running around in front of the stage, but no one is dancing.  We gotta get this going, I figure, or die trying. When it comes time for our set, we push all of our gear to the front of the stage, this massive stage is already separated from the crowd by a 6 foot barrier. With the front standing/dancing area relatively unoccupied, it seemed like the bands were playing to people in another time zone.

We are all chomping at the bit to play. We only have an hour for this gig and we wanna hit it hard right away. We do a quick line check and then ask to start our set early. We are literally standing there over our instruments ready to take off in flight, just waiting for clearance from the tower.

The MC introduces us and we tear in. We try for minimal pauses in the set, as it is already short. A couple of people start dancing. During “Rabbit Run” I run out into the audience to try to rouse them up. Some people engage with me and start clapping. Others look at me bizarrely, like I’m an alien from a different planet. Perhaps I am and we are. We are definitely swimming upstream at this point. Thankfully, some locals go along with us.

The set feels raw and strong, albeit with a few sound imperfections that can come without the benefit of a proper sound check, but whatever.  Things get interesting when we are just past the mid-point in the set, when we just started “Sad Days.” The entire power for the festival went out. Our set began right after the late sunset from these days of the solstice period.  The town had simply been illuminated by the festival as we began playing and now everything around me was dark.

As I indicated above, we had just started the song.  I had begun the drums. The drums, and acoustic instrument, were the only sounds emanating from the stage. There was no way I was stopping. I’d play til the lights came on. I had my groove.

I’d say it took about 90 seconds to two minutes to get the power back. Everyone yelled and clapped. Hurray! The song gets rolling with Stefan and Joe playing. A minute later the power’s out again. I’m not stopping. No way, no how. If it’s gonna be that way, I gotta be this way.

The second power outage will be the last one. We finish “Sad Days” and break into “Maybe the Wind.” We are going strong and are ready for more but we get the whole “one more” from the side of the stage. Really? I was hoping with the power outages that we’d get a few extra minutes to give the people some more music, but they are running a very tight ship in this town.  Their loss if you ask me.

We all stay up far too late that evening. The short set left us with an abundance of energy. Me, Joe and Stef visit the local establishments and reel in the comforts of this warm night in the hills.  We are one off-the-grid show away from two days off – in Prague, no less! – so we can live it up.  It was a very long day and some revelry is appreciated.

Sun June 25 – Vraclav, CZ. (Pizza Dungeon)

Tonight’s show is an interesting one.  This show is a casual booking – connected through our Seattle community of an ex-resident who hails from Czech and returned to open a pizza shop or two in his home country.  It’s a fun Sunday night gig in a converted barn.  There’s two bands on the bill. They are local and filed with talented musicians.  Stoker the one-man band is a special treat. He is channeling the sounds of the North Mississippi hill-country guitar players. His foot set-up gives him a reliable “boom-tat” between the snare/hi-hat combo and the bass drum.  He is doing songs that sound familiar, but in his slight variation. Again, I have no idea what his Czech lyrics say and it does not matter.  It’s great stuff.

I’m starting to drag as the second band takes stage. I check out a few of their songs, but I need to chill a bit. How much did I sleep last night? Hmm…?

We are going to play one 75-90 minute set. We come out rocking. Joe’s on fire, as evidenced by video of the show. We have Pavel, the coolest guy in town tonight with his flashy red shirt barely buttoned and his chains matting down his grey chest hair, coming up on stage every few songs with drinks for the band. Service on stage. That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

It is a weird, loose set. I honestly barely remember the details as I focused on the finish line. Jan, the drummer from the other band is nice enough to let me play his kit. After the encore I pull my cymbals, sticks, etc. and help him for a minute and then head for the van. Ozzy procured pizza for us (note to John K: It was good pizza!).  I eat a couple of slices and head for the van for real now. I’m done.

There’s some good-byes said but I am useless. I need to shower the sweat off my body and go to sleep. The guys stay up and listen to the “greatest sound system” they ever heard. Dark Side of the Moon is the pick. They are in heaven. So am I as I snore the next few hours away.

Mon June 26 & Tues June 27 – off-days in Prague

We make the 90 minute drive into Prague for a couple of off-days. We get to enjoy an international city with no real work for 48 hours. The same hotel for 2 days, what a luxury. We book a nice cheap one that has a hot tub. Soaking and restoration will be a priority for me. We get some time together and some time apart.

I end up walking almost 20 miles over these two days. All of us, except Ozzy, will do a lot of walking. I’m not able to do Matt-miles, as he has been getting up early every day to take photos in every town we’ve been in and Prague is no exception. That said, we choose to explore the town on foot.

Ozzy’s not feeling well. At least we’ve got nowhere we gotta be so he just spends most of day 2 resting in the hotel.  He’s fine by the time we take off.  All of us are rejuvenated by the rest, eating some healthy food and not having to be “on” for a spell. We cash in our Czech Crowns as they will be no use to us after this stop. We are heading west.

Part 3

Wed June 28 – Leipzig, D

Leipzig is about 2 and a half hours northwest of Prague. We get there pretty quick. All of us are having our first real travel experience in Leipzig.  Someone in our party, Stefan I think, notes that Leipzig is considered one of the most livable cities in Europe currently. We are interested to see what that’s about.

The first thing we note is ton of graffiti in town. There was a lot of tagging in Czech too and the quality was really, really poor. It was not art. We are seeing a mix of art of trash here in Leipzig.

The city appears young and old at the same time. Old buildings, including a lot of East German-era mills and warehouses, are in abundance. However, there are relatively young people everywhere we see. Late in the evening, we get the low-down from Amanda, the Brazilian ex-pat whose been in the area for a few years.  She talks about the exodus of people during Soviet rule and beyond.  Then, as the city was vacant, young people – namely artists and others living on the cheap – found this city, with good public transportation and an established city center prime for renewal. So, much like Detroit and, to a lesser extent, my birth city of Pittsburgh this old town of industry is being revitalized.

We are playing in one of those old warehouses – a former textile mill – this evening. They call it a garden because the walls are partially alive with greenery. Seeing mosses next to the red bricks provides a cool stark contrast.

We have a great show. The crowd is just big enough to fill up the large space and still give people room to dance.  We’ve got them hooked from the beginning. I’m running around on table tops during “Rabbit Run.” They get it.

The show goes on for quite awhile, The lights are especially hot tonight. I’m soaked after our two-plus hour set … more than normal too, and that’s saying something.

Everyone is satisfied. It’s great to complete that first-show-after-a-break. We return to our graffiti-heavy accommodations, a sort of hostel/”zimmer” place that we cannot quite figure out. The bar on the first floor is open til the last customer leaves. I don’t think anyone else has a room there except us, but I’m guessing that some people might not grab a room until they are to drunk to move as the sun is rising.

After an uncomfortable night’s sleep, we get the hell out of this place.  The bar was more comfortable than the room. It was an experience.  The band wakes up with the song “Hey Redneck” by Swamp Dogg in our heads.  Back to the road.

Th June 29 – Hamburg, Bergedorf (BeLaMi), D

We arrive in Bergedorf on the outskirts of Hamburg, get cleaned up and head to the gig for load in and sound check. We will not get to check out town that much and that’s fine by me. Honestly, I wanna play music and those two days off in Prague got any site-seeing out of my system. I liked going to the indie music store in Leipzig yesterday to get more drum heads and a boom stand. Otherwise, I just wanna play music and hang with my friends.  I’m happy talking to the people at the venue.  They feed us, give us space to chill in the green room, give us coffee and drinks before, during & after the gig.  It’s cool.

The owner, Mike, is a really nice guy. He’s bummed there’s not a huge crowd – not for his business but for us.  That said, those there were into the music. Some danced, all clapped and kept time with their hands and legs. I had a blast.  The show is over before we know it. We get back to the zimmer before midnight. We still stay up a bit under an outdoor awning enjoying the quiet calm of a heavy night’s rain until the neighbor woman yells at us to shut up in German. She did us a favor or we would’ve stayed up way too late.

Fri June 30 – Deurne, NL (Tam Tam)

Traffic sucks for hours through Germany. We had a two-hour buffer that is gone by the time we get back to the Netherlands.  Oh well.  We will eat and play to some old friends at Tam Tam in Deurne.  Good times.

The show at Tam Tam is high energy. The sound is the best we will have on tour (hat tip to Tommy the engineer). The crowd is a rock-n-roll one. We immediately rip into the set and don’t seem to let up at all. We take a short spell to give everyone a minute to get a refill before powering through the second set.

The turnout is perhaps a little smaller than we expected, but it didn’t matter. We had multiple people apologizing for their not being a bigger crowd. We told them our belief that it doesn’t matter the size of the crowd, just how they respond. People seemed genuinely surprised that we sort of preferred the smaller crowds. There’s an intimacy, even in a very loud rock-n-roll gig like this one, where it feels like everyone is sweating together and that everyone is in on something special in a way that is harder when the show is in a big venue or festival.

This whole tour has been about blurring the line between the attendees and us. That’s why I’m going out into the audience every night during a song or two. That’s why you’ll see Stefan or Joe jumping off stage into the people dancing in front. We want to be right there with the people, enjoying this moment as much as possible. We had that tonight.

{There are some pics by the amazing Josanne van der Heijden that I’d like to add, but that’s beyond me at this moment.}

Sat July 1 – Zwalm, BE (Le Giraf)

Zwalm, Belgium. Look it up on a map. It’s freaking tiny. Maybe it’s considered the size of a village. Maybe.  Why are we here? Because there are people that want this music and we need to meet them at the Giraffe club. We have people that are traveling over 100km to come to this show.  Sure, there’s some locals in the area that know that Le Giraf is a party all the time. Others are coming because they know the club has great taste in music.  Henk, the owner, has something magical going down in this little corner of his world.

We arrive and they happen to have our music playing through the stereo. Completely random, as they have spotify or something similar going. I get to hear so many of my friends’ bands during set-up: Hillstomp, Bob Log, Moreland & Arbuckle, on and on. They have pictures and LPs from Left Lane Cruiser on the wall.  This is our sort of club.

The hospitality is great. However, something I ate doesn’t sit well with me.  I feel bloated and weighed down on and off during the first set but I really want to power through. It’s a good crowd.

The second set becomes mayhem.  Admittedly, I’m rather sloppy tonight. I’m my own hardest critic, so perhaps it was more just inconsistency over the 2.5 hours of music. I had a stick slip on “Devil Eyes” at a key point. Stef and Joe were great. They stayed right with me. There was this musical tension that we were able to work effectively and turn the slip into a solid transitional stop. They were fundamental to helping carry this show.

Additionally, I’m being given a lot of whiskey. It makes for a party, but I’m not going to impress anyone looking for a technical masterpiece. It’d be interesting if someone was writing a review of the gig. I’d be interested in their perspective.

That said, it’s still a helluva fun show. Most of us get out of the club around 3a. Matt took a three hour nap in the green room’s loft space (2a-5a) and got up to drink in the bar with the folks still hanging out.  The party goes on until around noon when we come back for the pick-up. We find out they usually close around 8am, so I take this as a sign that it was a special night for the locals too. Zwalm, Belgium. Who knew?

Sun July 2 – Asten, NL (‘t Spektakel)

Matt is passed out on the ride back to the Netherlands. It’s a weird ride. It’s the last show of the tour. We are excited to be wrapping things up but also could easily keep going. There hasn’t been any real stress and absolutely no drama on this tour. Every show has been wonderful in its own way. There’s been a dynamism to each show: we may be playing a lot of the same songs from show to show but there’s tunes that sound very different depending upon the audience.

I can think of the Kolin, CZ show, playing to a more subdued audience. It was more of a blues club/theater vibe. As opposed to Deurne, NL where it was a full force rock show.  For us, the musicians, this is part of the joy. We want each show to be unique.

This one is a sort of homecoming gig. This is Ozzy’s home town. This is where he goes to hear music and have a beer. His wife and son will be able to be present for our first set. We know the venue, we see old friends.

The sound is really good. We have a great first set. I think all of us have this incredible sense of responsibility to have as strong a show as possible. Part of that motivation is for us to finish the tour strong. Most of it is for respect for Ozzy and his friends and neighbors.

The crowd is a really fun one. Ozzy is very pleased with how many people traveled to see the band. Word is getting out in this area of Netherlands.  The second set sees a group of folks move forward to the dance floor and party down. “Cocaine Baby” feels especially good tonight as it is the encore and it wraps up the night of music and the tour itself.  It’s bittersweet. There’s the sense of accomplishment with the completion of another great tour. There’s the desire to play another show tomorrow too.

Mon July 3 – off day, Amsterdam

We get to spend our final day in Europe in Amsterdam. We do a lot of wandering as a group.  It’s a wonderful place to end our travels. I’m leaving details out on purpose. Ask me about our day here in person or leave it up to your imagination. Whatever you prefer.