Hello everyone everywhere!
I’m back…here, but not home! It’s a few hours after the last show which is show #30 on this “Night of the Proms” tour. I must say that this is a well-oiled machine. This last week is a different city each day usually adding up to a late night and early morning. Thank goodness that we have no sound checks at all! That means an afternoon nap comes in handy.
It has been a blast getting to know all the artists, musicians and crew on the tour. Some of us have made friends, probably for life. Plenty of singing, dancing (after the show!) discussions, go karting, eating and traveling for a lifetime of memories.
It all started at the top of November in Antwerp, Belgium with about four days of rehearsals. Those days paid off and everything has gone super smooth since. This is our first time doing our “all vocal” made for N7 arrangements with a 68 piece orchestra. I really enjoy it. I’m glad we get a chance to do “Wall of Sound” by ourselves and other sections of the other songs, “In the Air Tonight”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” but I also really like the power of 75 musicians on stage. We’ve been blessed to be really well received each night with nearly every city chanting along to one or more songs.
If you haven’t seen a show in person or online, check out “The Battle”. Total high energy! Six songs over eight minutes. I’m usually ready to drop after the song. It’s a good thing that the audience takes so long to quiet down…it’s a huge chance to catch our breath before sliding into the next ballad which is bare bones…old school a cappella for the first minute before exploding into a full blown anthem with everyone on deck! This is a duet with John Miles and the song is “Music”. We return to the stage twice more to sing with a duet with Mick Hucknall (only four of us) and then we all return for “Hey Jude” the finale.
I’m not sure if I like a standing or sitting audience…we’ve had both on this tour. And they both have advantages and disadvantages. But in general, they both work well with the show. I’ve almost seen the full show twice, but it’s impossible being in it to see it for real. It’s kind of strange to see the mixture of pop and classical and still have such high energy. Of course compared to doing our own show…this is a walk in the park, but a walk we welcome.
Because it’s 32 shows, many of the orchestra members only do half the tour as they have to sometimes get back to their full time jobs (teaching, playing, etc.). So this has created even more faces to remember. We were told that the orchestra would create choreography for many of the songs in the show and at first this wasn’t happening. So I assumed it wouldn’t happen…but little by little they added more and more moves and now it is so much fun to watch them. They tell us that it is fun to watch us. We’ve even received a little instruction from one or more members on the proper way we should hold our invisible instruments :-)
Some of you know from my Tweets and Facebook posts that I got to meet The Jacksons on the first half of the tour. This was a nightly treat for me and Warren. We both grew up listening to all their music. And when I say “all” I mean “all”. Not to be confused with being a Michael Jackson fan please! Those are two different things completely! Ok, not completely, but you know what I mean :-).
They performed with us for 12 shows…so I saw…yes, you guessed it…12 shows! The music sounded so good with the 68 piece orchestra! They were a perfect match. We traded info with them and the musicians and hope to see a full show sometime in March in London (opposed to the five songs they did for Night of the Proms).
The only four constants have been Anastacia, John Miles, Remy (a Harpist) and us for all the dates. In each country they’ve added an artist from that country which has been a very nice touch.
We’ve since become friends with Remy who is an amazingly talented Harpist. We had hoped to do a song together in the set, but timing didn’t work out…so we decided to do something together for YouTube. Look out for that in 2013…it really sounds nice. Voices doing what they are not ordinarily doing…so why not the same for a harp? :-)
On these types of runs, you always have to be careful that you get enough sleep! I woke up to my alarm yesterday and it took me about 20 seconds to figure out if it was day or night. “Is it time to go to breakfast or is this show time?” That was a record for me. I couldn’t believe it once I figured out it was 5pm!
And then there’s the hotel room deal. The day before yesterday I could swear my room number was 416, and after lots of up and down, it came to me that 416 was the room from the day before. Then I did it again today…I couldn’t remember what room…guessed 177…but the door wouldn’t open. I assumed I got it wrong and asked reception if they would kindly tell me. Answer: 177. I said, “I just tried that (showing my key). You’re probably mixing me up with my brother.” She answered, “No, that’s your room…but you might want to try using our hotel key!” Embarrassing to say the least, but I did smile and nod.
So here I am with two more shows to do…do I miss home? “Miss” isn’t the word. I cannot find the best word to describe it…but I can’t think on that with two more days in front of me. I plan on giving them all I’ve got and then Christmas, here I come!
I am very thankful to make it home for Christmas Eve (night)…that would hurt to miss that special night with my family. When I get home my youngest will be exactly five months to the day! And I hear she’s doing a lot of smiling now :-). I told Lynette make sure she saves some smiles for me for Christmas and she answered: “She doesn’t have to save them, they’re made right here at home!”
Well everyone, if I don’t see or hear from you between now and Christmas (which is highly likely)…may God Bless you immensely!
Roger, over and out!