Day three rubbing has me rubbing my eyes and deciphering last nights trip down the rabbit hole. This day marks the start of the tour official with a gig at the local basket ball stadium. After the obligatory morning lobby meeting, we take off with the hoots and honks of a cab run through Heshuan. The driver actually had to tie the boot down with Jay’s violin hovering precariously on top. We make it through the haze with no accidents or damage and head toward the main stage with a light grey mist and feelings of trepidation and excitement. It becomes apparent very quickly that the sound guys don’t speak English. In fact we have not met a person (including our translators) who speak anywhere near fluent English. Paul has a hard time getting his laptop set up happening. Ben and Jay are rather enthused by their big ‘amperage’. Big stacks for both of them.
I was spun out by the three tiered stage and glad I brought a big lead. I had visions of leaping up the stages to jam with drummer Carl aka the Gunners. Or maybe not. The thought crosses my mind does the band actually remember the songs? I am also slightly concerned with my mini-maton acoustic being slightly out of tune. Ben on bass has a very good ear for pitch. In this case out of pitch. Seems the new environment is playing havoc with the little guitar (later a new set of strings seemed to resolve things at the next gig fortunately - but not after asking another band to borrow their guitar, only to find out, just before the start of this set that his battery was flat forcing me to limp through the set with my battling acoustic!) Ben you know what I am talking about! I finally get to meet Robert who booked the band. He has a cool swagger. Leather jacket. Man of few words. He would later agree to sing /record Chinese to one of our songs. We hope he is happy with the show. Sound check done we return to watch a few of the bands early. They were actually pretty tight. Very eclectic sounds happening. Definite leaning toward rock. I even got handed a flag in amidst a sea of smiling faces and instructed no the right technique.
The gig was awesome. First in ChongQing. Bright lights big sounds. Kind of rocked it in a loose way. So much fun! Ans so much more to come!