Kaiser Chiefs had sold out two nights at Ancienne Belgique, which is touted as one of the best venues in Europe. After a triple shot of the place in one week, and in our most recent experience touring over here I would have to agree. Our show with Mona was in the club part of the venue so we had some new Belgian fans that came to the show early to support, which was cool.
Here's where the second half of this tour has has taken us so far:
BRUSSELS - We somehow scored a sweet dressing room and after-partied with Tribes, Kaiser Chiefs and crew at a pub across the street from the venue. All great people. After many spirits I looked over as we were about to leave and Shaun was playing keys in the Acid Jazz band in the corner! Nice one, Corn!
AMSTERDAM (again) - We stayed at a rad hotel for the second time on this trip called Backstage. Big ups to Marcel and the crew for making our stay there so comfortable. The rooms had flight case bed frames, snare drum light fixtures and killer views of one of the canals that ran through the city. The street below was bustling with trains, cars and bicyclists, all hauling ass and seemingly coming within an inch of their lives. Jesus Christ. I was rehearsing my summer camp C.P.R. exam in my mind. This was of course, before the "Cafe" erased any chance of proficiency I may have had in resuscitating anyone. Card drew a wicked ram skull on the wall before we left.
The following day we played the Heineken Music Hall. It was our second time there so we knew what to expect. The largest venue of this tour, the room holds around 6K and was pretty full when we went on. We were blessed with someone that was interested in doing our lights for us when we played so we walked away from that one feeling pretty good.
We watched Kaiser Chiefs perform from the side of the stage. If you haven't seen a show, you are missing out. Incredible energy with one of the best front men I have seen. At one point in the show, Ricky, (singer) says, "Hey, that guy in the crowd looks like Seinfeld!" then he proceeded to part the 5,000 person crowd and runs about 50 yards out in the middle of everyone to check it out. I lost sight and could only hear him over the microphone amongst the screaming audience...then he emerged through the crowd riding on someone's shoulders all the way back to the stage...all while singing the song. So rad.
ZURICH - This show was a long drive from Amsterdam so we wound up showing up just before our soundcheck a little wiped out. The Kaiser's had a bus breakdown so we made a stop to grab some of their things for them out of the bus, on our way to the venue. The show went pretty well and we all kicked it on the balcony above the floor, which made a great vantage point to watch both Kaiser Chiefs and Tribes performances. We are stoked to be on such a good bill.
LAUSANNE - What a beautiful place. A predominantly French speaking town in Switzerland on the edge of Lake Geneva. We played a one-off club show at a place called the Bleu Lezard with Tribes. This was the pre party for the Metropop festival the following night. The room was a small basement bar and had all the makings to be a struggle with sound as the monitors were duct taped to the backs of chairs that were sitting in front of the tiny stage. When we took the stage and played our set we were pleasantly surprised that the stage sound was fantastic and the club was packed with a very responsive crowd. I guess you can never tell...
*Highlight of this one for me was the dreadlocked DJ spinning records in the back of the room. He was wearing shades inside AND at night AND having an air-guitar meltdown, leaping up into the air, getting juiced up beyond belief. Fucking incredible.
MILAN - Our first time. The venue was pretty cool and we had some food and wine at the restaurant connected to the venue before the set so we were feeling good and loose. A great thing about this show was the no decibel limit on the sound. Most venues in Europe have a limit to the volume of the show, so you wind up being at a lower volume than you might expect. We are a loud ass band and when we have to turn way down it feels weird. Not the case at this one...
The stage sound was killer and the crowd seemed quite receptive. Save for the Jack-off at the barrier Facebooking on his cell phone. I understand that our music isn't for everyone and it's not our crowd we're playing to, but i will say that if you make your way to the front at a show and spend your time "social networking", you're a douche.
Traveling from Milan, Italy to Munich, Germany through Austria, our van started to have some problems up the steep, mountain climbs. It seems like pulling over to let it rest for a few minutes helped it regain some gusto in acceleration but it's freaking everyone out. I got out to shake out the air filter in an uneducated attempt to help. Seems to be running a little better but I suppose we won't know until we hit some more mountains...most likely at 3AM in an unfamiliar country. Pray for us sinners...