Wednesday the 15th was a day off in Wien, a well deserved and needed day for most of the band who continue recovering from a vicious little stomach virus.
A sane and early night in bed after our show in Saint Margaethen paved the way for an early wake up. A couple of shots of espressos, a hard push in the gym, shower then out for the day….sunny, warm and gorgeous.
By the time I hit the streets it was noon and the first order of biz was a Wiener Schnitzel and a beer. Like Rome, there’s no shortage of outdoor, umbrella’d cafes. No problem finding a schnitzel, they all have ‘em and they’re probably all good. Really, it’s more a case of finding an empty table in a location you’d care to stay for a while. It didn’t take long to find one and I was not disappointed in either the food or the people watching. Following lunch I walked with all the other tourists past the endless high end designer shoppes. No interest. I stopped in at the Kunsthistorisches Museum for their Musical Instrument exhibit. Guitars and lutes, various keyboards and ancient horns going back to the 1500’s on display. Lots of them. I also, stopped at St. Stephans Cathedral to rest my legs and lit a candle for everyone gone. From there it was more and more walking ending finally at Audio Center, a jazz record shoppe that I accidentally stumble upon. Old and new vinyl as well as compact discs. On the way back to the hotel I ran into Jim who told me he’d already discovered the place. Like John and Mike finding an Irish pub within walking distance of any hotel, Jim and I can always catch the whiff of the vinyl.
Dinner was Italian with a few of the boys then back to the hotel for a night cap and another early night, book in hand.
Thursday…. bags packed and collected at noon. We checked out of the hotel in Vienna at 1:30, boarded the Legacy for an hour and forty minute flight to Geneva, France and drove to our venue, the Guitares en Scene Festival. Apparently it is the hottest day of the year here, nearly 100 f., 36 c. As soon as I stepped off the plane I realised that that would be as comfortable as I’d be until after the show. Of course it’s an outdoor gig and in a tent at that, where the heat further builds up and there is no moving air. I remember this gig from a couple years ago. HOT. Our friend and great slide guitarist Sonny Landreth opened the show tonight and it was good seeing Sonny again. He’ll be with us tomorrow as well.
We took the stage at 9:15. The gigs from here out will be later and later… Italy and Spain. The temps had cooled just slightly from when we sound checked at 4:30 but still hot. A sold-out crowd of 5,000, a fantastic audience. It’s hard not to have a great show with that kind of participation.
A 15 minute drive from the gig to our hotel and I think it’s going to be another early night. Don’t know what’s got into me but I’m enjoying a few quite evenings with a book. I just completed Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow and have begun Fever the bio of r&b singer Little Willie John.
Meantime, it’s hard to believe that in 15 days we will play our last show of this European tour. It really seems like we’ve just begun. I can’t recall a tour that has gone this smoothly or quickly. The good news is we’ll all have a good break with the month of August off and come back together in September for a great 6-week run in North America. Autumn is a wonderful time to tour the States, the weather is turning just a little cooler but still very mild.