Toronto pre-show - Dome from home.

Toronto pre-show - Dome from home. Back to work and the luxury of indoor shows and north American services.

Toronto. Load in day. So back to school. Everyone returns, having just had an experience in practical relativity - three weeks on tour seems like forever, whereas three weeks off seems like a long weekend. Still, everyone's back and in fantastic form. The crew all look so clean - fresh haircuts and laundered clothes. Some time off has helped everyone get back on their feet.

This North American leg consists of shows in what the Americans call "Domes", which are 50,000+ seater stadiums covered by a big inflatable roof.. This huge white barrage balloon-like thing covers the entire building, and is inflated by a constant flow of air. This means that all the doorways to the outside world have to be either revolving doors or airlocks, otherwise the roof would deflate and collapse. Bit of a weird concept, but it means sporting events can carry on year round. As it happens, the SkyDome in Toronto is a bit of an exception in that it has a solid, retractable roof, but the principle of it being a covered stadium remains the same.

Having just come from months of shows in open air stadiums, airports, ploughed fields and German car parks, the experience of putting up the stage indoors was ecstatic - if a little disorientating. It was a bit like the feeling you get when you come home after a fortnight's camping. Suddenly you notice all the little home comforts you took for granted before you went away, but now they suddenly seem utterly luxurious - carpet under your feet, a roof over your head, solid walls and running water. We were practically skipping around the place. The crew were loving it - English speaking local crew, prompt Fed Ex delivery, 24 hour stores. Western decadence certainly has its practical applications.

The only slight hitch was that due to plagues of frogs in the Atlantic, the shipping of all the touring equipment was delayed 24 hours. The band were due to spend today rehearsing (not having played a note in three weeks), but were denied the opportunity as the stage wasn't ready. Let's hope they haven't forgotten too much.

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Latest Willie's Diary

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