QueenOnline On Tour: Notes From The Road Part 4
Can you be tired, but wide-awake at the same time? I guess so, I am currently working on a cocktail of jet lag, late nights, hard work and a dash of adrenaline, it’s a confusing mix but it seems to be getting me through just now. To be honest it's only when I am switching off does any fatigue really kick in.
"Hang on, you are here in LA, about to jet off to Chicago and then tour with Queen for two weeks.” I'll sleep when I'm dead thanks.
This morning I woke up to double the excitement. We had our micro show at the iHeart Radio Theater later in the day, but my first job was to unleash the news across the Queen channels that we are releasing Live At The Rainbow '74. I have seen the reaction to the news and I am thrilled you have been so receptive. This is not the place for me to be rolling out gushing sentiment, but the whole team has been behind this release with such gusto it has been and will be a pleasure to work on. Like I have always said, my fellow colleagues and I are professionals, but also fans of great music and this just what Rainbow is. So in conclusion it looks like we have uncorked the 'non-moustache' years of the 70s live catalogue...feels good doesn't it?
Anyway, back to last night - the 'Load Out'. As soon as Roger, Brian, Adam, Spike, Neil and Rufus left the stage following their last run through of the arena show there was a swarming of the stage…one moment, name check time, Foo Fighter and band friend Taylor Hawkins was there to watch the rehearsal, I only just remembered, right, sorry lets carry on …
I kid you not, there was the sound of a marching army, a roar of 6 trucks and two cherry pickers thundering their way down the hangar towards us and the stage, and literally within minutes parts of the stage where being broken down. It is very striking to watch. That said, this in the very 'un-sexy' side of the live show that many don't see, there is lots of lifting, pushing, pulling and hard graft for which is essential a big jigsaw puzzle that has to fit logically for load in at the other end. Impressive stuff, indeed I say. Of note, the haulage company we are using are called Truck N' Roll and are the same guys we use for the Queen Extravaganza when stateside...UK tickets on sale now folks! Queen - the masters of crossover marketing!
Today’s main event at iHeart in Burbank was fun. A little different to a regular performance as it was effectively a live TV show. It was another early start as there was much to do. My online role on this tour has been doubled up with a place in the production team so pre-show I was confirming guest lists, delivering shoes to wardrobe, finally meeting my work mates from iHeart, watching Germany smash Portugal in the World Cup, putting up signage around the venue, distributing set lists and most importantly taking silly pictures of Pete Malandrone, I tell you that mans ego is out of control.
The event went really well. The bonus for me was that it was hosted by Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame. I love him. Great songwriter, an engaging radio host and huge music fan, plus, I must say that album that Mötley did with John Corabi in 1994 just smokes, the best thing the Crüe ever did to my ears. Sorry, back to the action.
The room itself is half club, half TV studio with a shallow upper balcony, its pretty tiny, but isn't that where you want to see your favourite band? In the smallest place possible?
The 8-song performance was preceded by a neat little video piece that showed the iHeart Radio Festival performance from Las Vegas, rehearsal footage and Roger, Brian and Adam's recent interview with Nikki. If I am honest the show for me was a bit of a blur, it rocked past at lightened speed, plus I was nipping back and forth backstage doing a few jobs as well as tweeting the set list as it happened. I did however make sure I got stage side for the opening, Roger joining Adam on lead vocals and singing the backside out of Under Pressure (my favourite Queen song) and the finale. As for the crowd, you guys were rabid! The now famously devoted Glamberts and the feverish, loyalty of Queen fans was a potent mix. LA you should be proud of yourselves; the noise when the band hit the stage was defending. We salute you! After the show is a bit of tidy up backstage and back in the van.
It's all out there now of course, but here is the set list from tonight’s iHeart show. For those of you who did make it down or managed to watch it online, I would love to know your thoughts on Love Kills. For me it is an utter delight. It was such a nice shock to see it the set list, and how about that arrangement? I reckon we will be hearing a lot more of that track...
We Will Rock You
Another One Bites The Dust
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Fat Bottomed Girls
We Are The Champions
Don't Stop Me Now
Tomorrow, we all travel to Chicago for the big one, the opening show, why we are really here. I am hoping to hit town and catch up with some friends I have there, so you might not hear from me much tomorrow, but do you really want to know about a plane ride and what I had for dinner? I wouldn't.
"Baby, don't you want to go...Sweet Home Chicago!"