27 May 2001
Show Day: Montreal Molson Centre, 1st night
As we sat in the van leaving the hotel in Toronto and heading for the airport, a huge bolt of lightning accompanied by a whopping great thunderclap heralded the arrival of a torrential rain storm. Ah, yes, Elevation Air must be about ready to depart. The glamour of flying soon wears off on a day like this.
Our journey was far from wasted though, as Montreal is one of my favourite cities and the audiences here are reliably over the top. We're in the Province of Quebec, where French is the first language so it all feels very Euro and more sophisticated than the bulk of North America. I lived here for three months about ten years ago, putting a show together with Montreal's legendary dance company La La La Human Steps. It was December to February 1990/1 and I had a great time in this city, though I can't recall ever being so consistently cold for such a long period in my entire life.
Killer show. Joe O measured the audience volume at 106 decibels which, he assures us, is the current tour record. How he manages to mix sound with, effectively, somebody screaming in his ear remains a mystery, but he copes admirably. I had a nice moment right before the show when I was squatting at the front edge of the stage fussing unnecessarily with my little footlights & a woman right at the front of the crowd started talking to me. She said that reading the Willie Diary had prompted her to start keeping a journal of her own, so I felt irrationally proud for a moment, though also felt the need to apologise for the bulk of the diary being this disconnected stream of consciousness ramble about nothing in particular. "Although," I added, "I met Harrison Ford yesterday, which helped fill a paragraph". "Well," she replied, "I met Bono on Monday which filled the first volumes..." Don't try this at home, kids.
Back at the hotel, the bar was awash with tour folks and guests including Stephen Dorf, Matthew Modine and my pal Lukas Haas who are making a movie here, as the exodus from Hollywood continues. It was a fun night.