These are two Tour Diary entries made by Chad Taylor posted on July 21, 2003 on Friends of Live.
Since this is my first installment of the tour diary and I have ten weeks of touring to review, please excuse the length.
We kicked off the Birds Of Prey World Tour in Europe with 26 shows in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy and Denmark. It was six weeks of nonstop travel by bus, plane, train and boat. After 12 years of touring we are pro's but this was one of the most intense trips of our career.
The countless hours spent on the bus were eased by the help of the Sopranos and Godfather Box sets. After two weeks of viewing we assumed roles as if we were apart of the HBO series. Patrick is Tony - Ed is Junior - Adam is Christopher - CG is Paulie and I'm Silvio - If we call our next record Bada Bing you'll understand. Hey Ed, nice leisure shirt!
One of the more memorable travel days had us and the crew packed into a private jet with guitars in tow. With only eight hours of sleep in two days this is roughly how I remember it going down. Depart Dublin (10am) - Arrive Southside Festival (Germany, 3pm) Play Southside (8pm) - Depart Germany (11:30pm) - Arrive London (7am) Soundcheck London (4pm) Play Shepherds Bush (10pm) Aftershow Party (12:30am) Aftershow Hotel Frolic (4:30am) - Depart for Hyde Park (? uhh, can't remember). Truly no sleep till Brooklyn'. Who am I?
On our first night in Dublin we went to see our friends in AudioSlave and they helped us get aquainted with the rather strong Guinness served locally. What an incredible band, if you haven't checked them out do so. We have got to do a tour with them sometime (safe travel on the Lollapalooza run). As for the Irish fans, we can't begin to thank you for the love and support you showed us....see you again soon.
Italy had us traveling from Milan to Imola by train in over 100 degrees of heat with no AC and windows that opened just six inches. It was our first show in Italy since Mental Jewelry and we worked our asses off to make it happen.
Our last few shows on that run were over the top. First was the London gig at Shepherds Bush Empire which sold out in minutes. Let's just say it was our finest gig in the UK, I can't believe how many fans showed up in old LIVE swag. It was really cool to see the loyalty displayed by some of the fans wearing the oldest T-shirts, absolutely blew us away!
Next was playing to over 90,000 people in Hyde park. It was the largest show in the park since Queen played there (remember the show with all of the flags and Freddie's king costume). We hung with the boys from Bon Jovi that night to pay our respects for such a huge opportunity. Say what you want about those fellas but they treated us with love and respect and we have to give them many thanks and wish them well on the final leg of their tour. A big shout out to the Bon Jovi fan club that treated us like part of the family, hopefully we'll see you at one of our gigs. Thanks again guys!
The final European show was on our own again with Coldplay and Supergrass supporting and 40,000 LIVE fans in attendance. What a spectacular rock and roll show. Supergrass played a hit filled set that was shortly interrupted by golf ball sized hail. Then Coldplay serenaded the rain soaked crowd with songs from their first two albums, I didn't get to see the set but I sang along
backstage while getting ready (we hung with the guys at the hotel bar afterwards and watched as ED freaked out the entire place by spotting two rats having sex on a cigarette box, it's true!).
After the skies cleared our set went off like a horse launched from the starting gate. We played for just about two hours and I swear it felt like 10 minutes. I was having such an incredible time. I will always love playing for the screaming Dutchman.
Just after taking our final bow we were rushed into the waiting caravan of limo's and police escorted back to Amsterdam for good-bye's and our final taste of fresh Heineken (Ahhh, you can't get it like that in the states).
A six week trek through Europe, followed by total exhaustion. Champagne then bed. Next stop America.
OK, I'm not over my jet lag from the Euro run but batter up. Major League Baseball calls and we answer with a performance during the All Star Home Run Derby. Not a typical LIVE venue but I can think of no other place where you can rock out with Barry Bonds, Jimmy Kimell and those cute furry mascot's all at the same time. I must admit I was tempted to pull a Keith Richards and hit one of them in the head ala Pittsburgh Pirate, Randall Simon. Something tells me
I would hit a lot harder!
The House of Blues show had some cool moments but I must tell you the guitars were rockin' in Chi Town. It must have something to do with those legendary Chicago guitarist ghosts hanging about. Man I love that town and MLB can sure throw a slammin' party. I'm sure well be back again soon for a proper LIVE experience.
It was good to be back in Milwaukee. This will always be an important city for LIVE as we made Mental Jewelry there way back in 1990. I think we signed more MJ records than I've seen in a long time...way to keep it old school. I will never forget Jerry Harrison showing us the ropes when we were just out of high school.
Indy - Crazy Indy. Band and Crew with a day off in a city known world wide for fast cars, a great place to celebrate Ed's birthday. First you book a table at a family styled Italian restaurant (See Soprano's above) and you let one of your best friends know you love him by sharing Grapa and Pasta for a few hours. Then you take him out to a nightclub until 3 or 4 in the morning and
hope that the party doesn't go to over the top when Lars from Metallica joins in. Happy Birthday Ed, I hope the hangover stops soon.
Play Indy and jet over to Baltimore for a quick nights rest before heading out to the Delaware State Fair. Purchase John Deere and Mopar baseball hats and fit in with the locals before taking the stage. Rock the house while slightly offending the local police by asking them to please let the PEOPLE 'GET THE F*CK UP'. Turn rural Delaware into happening rock towne.....mission complete.......