24 Oct 2006 - Rod: Los Angeles II

TOKYO OCT 24 8am

The show at Verizon Amphitheatre LA was all we could have hoped for and more. I got down there at about 5pm to check it out and meet some old friends from out old label in America Capitol. They did great by us in the eighties and l have always kept in touch. It was perfect weather for the gig - warm, sunny and little or no wind - for outdoor shows any wind can play havoc with the sound. Checked in with Dougie our sound man - we usually get a great sound at this gig and the layout of the arena is really good for sound and that night would prove to be no exception. Had a wander round outside and on stage and backstage - great vibe everywhere, you can feel the really good shows beforehand usually.

Bullet couldn't do this show so we used 3 Inches of Blood who did really well. Had a chat with them afterwards. Nice blokes - made a mental note that they would be good to use in future if it came up.

Saw a number of other old friends of the band and myself leading up to going on. Its good to keep in touch with people. One amusing incident was when l was walking past the side of the stage and 3 guys walked quickly past onto the stage holding cups of beer and wearing only vip passes. Vips don't get you on stage and l certainly don't want anyone on stage slopping round beer in open cups so l called them back straight away to ask where they thought they were going and basically throw them off. Nickos drum tech Charlie came over and said it was a friend of his - a fellow Canadian - Woody Harrelson!! Got to be one of my favourite actors who has made some terrific movies (and TV) so they were asked to get off more politely!!

Anyway the gig was amazing. I already told you it had sold out over a week before (16,000) and we really limited any comps the hall/promoter/band often request so the fans could be there not liggers!!! The atmosphere was terrific and the crowd did us proud. Thank LA . Ranked almost alongside Quebec as the best of the tour so far. The seats there rise steeply from the front of the stage where there is a pit for about 200 and at the back of about 1200 seats are about 4000 on the lawns. I like to go onstage for the last encore song to see the audience and here is looked amazing - everyone stood with arms held high lit by the blinders. Definitely had goose pimples.

This was the last show in north America and the whole thing went extremely well. Band really starting to fire up now and all production and sound aspects working well. We were concerned going into it how the US audiences in particular would react to us doing the whole of the album - we thought it may be hard work but every night the audience was with us. So thanks to every one of you.

As you all know we have been making tickets available a few days in advance of public on sale date for the online and fan club. So really every show the front should be you guys, can you let me know via your online BB if this has worked - did you get the tickets you wanted. We want to ensure that our best fans get the best tickets so let us know.

After the show we hung around back stage for an hour or so talking to old mates and meeting people. Got back to hotel about 2am and up at 10 to pack and get to the airport for the long flight to Tokyo. Everyone in great spirits and well pleased with the tour so far, very enjoyable. Long flight - read some English papers l picked up at LAX, watched a couple of movies (had to turn off Jack Black's new movie Nacho Libre as so bad - surprising as he is talented and smart but what a load of cobblers) nearly finished The Afghan, cat napped a bit but tried to stay awake as we arrive in Tokyo on the evening - the flight is about eleven and a half hours, arriving Tokyo Narita at 6pm. No problem going through customs and immigration, pretty quick and painless then in vans to hotel. I read a bit and crashed out.

Woke about 5am and pulled myself out of bed about 7. Here the promoter and record label leave gifts in your room of beautiful baskets of fruit so ate some of that and tried to get online. More problems... Its my connection to the Sanctuary server that's the problem, noone else gets the problems l am getting. It overprotective with firewalls and stuff to make it almost impenetrable. Gets you really pissed off. I have to try about 10 times to get any connection then it goes again so l am having to do things on word and copy and paste so l don't lose work all the time.

Anyway enough for now. Day off today then the legendary Budokhan tomorrow so more after that.
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