QueenOnline on Tour: Notes From The Road Part 9
Exciting news! I have a new job, 'Toweling Robe Assistant', when the band does what is known as a 'runner'. This basically means that when the band leave the venue straight from the stage, as you guys are still applauding, I have to greet a band member right behind the stage, hand them a towel, drape them with their unfolded toweling robe and show them to their waiting vehicle. It does not happen at every gig, but I have to say it was actually rather exciting when I did it after the Winnipeg show.
I was stood ready to go after ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, before the encore, and the energy at that moment is incredible, I have chills just thinking about it. The crowd was roaring and stomping away out front for more, the band are buzzing around behind the stage in a huddle, clearly full of adrenaline, security was now present and a clear avenue has been cleared towards the cars that had their motors running, as the noise in the arena soared even higher Roger shouted "OK, let's go!”, it took all of my discipline not to run out there with them! It was thrilling to be part of. ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Champions’ flew by and the next thing I know I am being told the same old jokes by Neil as we skip down the ramp towards the cars...does that man ever stop? I stand back as the rest of the guys quickly filter down, a beaming Brian whizzes by acknowledging people on the way, I give him the thumbs up, he slaps me on the arm and says "Thanks Nick!" and that's it, they are gone. That memory is a keeper, a little thing in the whole scale of this trip, but I am taking that one with me.
The show itself also stood out for me for two reasons, an addition in the set list and the fact that I was assaulted.
During the latter part of the sound check in which they ran through 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives', 'I Want It All' and 'Love Kills' the band got together and for a discussion on the stage. A few minutes later it was announced. "Set List change, can you redistribute these please?” 'Don't Stop Me Now' had been added after 'Radio Ga Ga'. Get in. For many this track is some what of good time anthem, well it is round my way and caused mayhem on the dance floor at my wedding, and it was great to see it dropped into the arena show after it brought the house down at the iHeart show in LA. I think Chicago got a tiny bit jealous... ;)
The attack: Being the professional I am, I was doing my online job side of stage and just about to take a picture of Adam above me on one of the walkways and I was groped. Full blooded backside action, a really handful was grabbed. I jumped out of my skin, remember is quite dark round the back of the stage, Glamberts I thought, and spun round with a glare ready for action, but no. All I could see was RT's drum tech Nigel running way, screaming with laughter holding Adam's gold microphone stand like a spear. A few of the crew were chuckling away and pointing at me, I even saw a couple of the audience who witnessed the ordeal give me smile. He'll keep, he'll keep.
Here we are in Saskatoon then, show number three and by this time next week I will be at home. It's been a riot so far, but hard work and long hours, but the experience has been immense so far and I have met some truly great people. Yesterday was a day off and almost the entire crew, even the non-football loving ones, and couple of Adam's team headed into town to watch the USA / Portugal match. It was good game, but the highlight for me was Rufus and the impassioned rant he gave me about his thoughts on England captain Steven Gerrard and his performances at the World Cup, I could not stop laughing. Not sure Stevie G would have been quite so amused. The bond we all have as crew grows everyday, it sounds cliché but it IS like a family and many have said that the vibe in this tour is an absolute joy. There was a lot of love in that bar...and lot of empty glasses.
I have a few ideas on forthcoming blogs including 'Bus Life' and the 'Load In/Out', so hopefully I can get to those topics shortly.
One final thing, if you are interested, my highlights of the shows so far, in no particular order, are: 'In The Lap Of The Gods', Roger and Adam smashing 'Under Pressure', 'Love Kills' on the B-stage and 'Who Wants To Live Forever' and the disco ball.
Saskatonians, let’s see what you’ve got.
Fact: Canadian musician Joni Mitchell calls Saskatoon her hometown, and funnily enough the Tour Management team here were just the other day showing off their new orange flight case that used to be owned by Joni, it has her signature scrawled all over it in massive silver print.