Wednesday 28th October 2009. Vancouver. Show Day.
Feeling a good deal better this morning. I feel like I've been in a coma since we arrived in Vancouver. Apart from my outing for chicken soup last evening, I've pretty much been asleep since we got here. However, I appear to be on the comeback trail, so got up, packed and headed into the venue.
This venue is an old school air-dome, which is a stadium with an inflatable roof, held in place by the air pressure within the building. Consequently, to enter and leave the place you have to go through air-locks, otherwise you'd be sucked out of the door and spat out into the street. The side effect of this is to make it next to impossible to get a decent sound inside. A sound wave is essentially moving air and the visceral experience of a rock show depends on moving a very great deal of air. In an air dome, the roof of the building is fluid so can move to absorb the motion of the air, often to disastrous effect. (By way of example, the Tokyo Dome is about the worst sounding building on the planet.) Hopes for tonight's sound were not high, therefore, but it seems like the people at BC place have put a lot of work in to help the acoustics as it actually wasn't too bad - certainly better than I remember it being in the past.
Last-day-of-school fever was in the air, along with much packing up and emptying of flight cases, sorting through the year's accumulated crap, etc. There was also the taking of the school photo, with the entire crew and band assembled on the stage whilst a photographer climbed a ladder out in the house. I had a moment of concern in that the stage was engineered for four people, so I did wonder how it would fare with a couple of hundred all over it. In particular, I kept a close eye on the bridges to see if they looked like they were distorting lest they collapse, which would have been potentially hilarious, though not terribly helpful for the gig.
The show itself was great, with a loud and appreciative audience helping us wrap up 360 for 2009 and making a total of forty-four stadium shows since June 30th. The tour has gone astonishingly well in all departments. When we look back to that first load-out from Barcelona, where the universal production took 19 hours to get out of the building, it would have been impossible to believe we'd eventually complete the same task in just four hours 20 minutes, which was the tour record. Most arena tours take at least that long to load out.
After the show the band party and backline crew got on the plane and headed for New York whilst the rest of the crew continued the final load-out of the year. Everyone goes their separate ways now, but it's good to know we'll be reconvening next year. Not all of us are quite finished though, as there's just a couple more things to do...