08 November 2003

Hotel Designer But My First


Hotel Designer But My First Room Sucked, Chicago.

The Happy Gigsters' Touring Manual warns me about this: check in too late or too early & your room will be awful. Around 06.30 this morning I was presented with an opportunity to embrace the despair that I associate with the hotels of my first 32 years of touring, but particularly 1969-74.

This is a Designer Hotel. That is, style triumphs over function. The fabric of the hotel is cheap 1960s motel - poor insulation for both sound & heat. The first room featured two beds (i.e. no space), a view of a wall, a door to the adjoining guest so that I might share their television viewing & become part of their telephone conversations, a bath with an unpluggable plug, a chill in the air dispelled by a loud old-fashioned air conditioner in the wall, and low ceiling - but hey! it looked very chic. Another feature of designer is loud rock music played loudly on good sound systems that pursue you everywhere, including the elevators. The elevators here arrive within living memory, so that's fine too.

Backtracking to St. Louis, Friday 7th. November:

Living Colour were strong, even for Living Colour. Within one minute they owned the stage & the venue. I caught all their set, mostly from the balcony. Why is music presented in stadia? The answer is, music is not presented in stadia. For me, smaller venues have it: see the player playing, thinking on their feet and dealing with stuff that goes wrong. And goes right. Living Colour ruled.

The Crimson show was strange. On the outside, everything seemed fine. There were the usual technical problems that you deal with. And a seemingly supportive audience. But there was no centre. Somehow the show escaped. Then, right at the end of the show during the final acknowledgement, a flash. What a pity. How strange to wait an entire show to do something you know is not quite right, because you have waited the entire show to do something you know is not quite right. Holding this intention throughout the shows has effect.

Park West, Chicago, Saturday 8th. November:

This is the show that was originally to have been two bands, LC & KC. Trey & I both expressed our concern that the stage was too small, but the double bill was booked nevertheless & then had to be unbooked. Living Colour will be here at the Park West in early November, so Chicago can get lucky then.

KC technical problems continue, particularly for Ade. Issues with the onstage sound. My spare TC2290 has flown in from Studio Belewbeloid to join its brothers in the Lunar Module. This has transformed its Soundscaping capacity. And I investigated the power of seconds, both major & minor.

Overall, a strong night to a generous audience. The standing-seating combination works well for us.