10 Feb 2008 - Rod in Melbourne

Rod Diary Feb 6

Sleep? What's that? No chance. Just lay in bed til about 1am head buzzing with ideas (just wait and see what happens at the Forum LA soon!!) so got up and fired up the trusty laptop. Of course Melbourne is 11 hours ahead of London so it was afternoon there and all the UK based emails were flying in so had to keep up with that and prepare a press release draft about the start of the tour (final will prob go up here on tues or wed). I intended to get the Feb 5 diary done but never got to it, so much stuff that needed dealing with. It's incredibly busy right now and thank god I have a great team with Val, Dave and Mary to deal efficiently with all this otherwise I would certainly spin out of control. Not to mention of course my partner Andy who is still on the road with us (his longest road trip ever, must be the plane!!) and Maiden's accountant Peter.

Not complaining about the work load though, everything is going so incredibly well that massive international interest is being generated which is reflected in incredible ticket sales everywhere, especially in Latin America. I can always deal with positive stuff on Maiden and Eddie even if it takes all night to do it right and get the ideas flowing!!

About midday I tried to get a nap and had finally got off. Then the phone rang! Dave Pattenden calling for me to go to a studio in Kensington -- Kensington Melbourne that is. We are preparing a short intro to the set and Dave was editing the first version with footage from Mumbai and Perth. So I showered and crawled out into a cab. On reviewing it I thought it would definitely work but needed some changes and additional footage. So Dave proceeded to get on with that though it would take another day and we wouldn't be able to use it for first Melbourne show.

Back to the hotel for a while then at 6 off to show with Bruce. The Rod Laver Arena is a magnificent venue -- I said before how we are thrilled playing great sporting arenas and stadium and this is one of them, the home of the Australian Open. I could see it out of my hotel room window (which has a magnificent view over Melbourne) surrounded by tennis courts. It's a round building so from on stage you feel that all the audience is really close to you. This was the first of 2 sold out nights, cap 11,000. So that's 22,000 seeing us in Melbourne, somewhere we haven't been for 15 years although we certainly wanted to -- but more about that later.

Audience were totally up for it and as loud as any anywhere and the show went very well except I felt the sound wasn't as good as it should have been. Talked to Doug and sound guys and some of the band after but our crew had already sussed that the stage was acting as a bit of a bass box as the distances between the struts were more than usual which gave the stage a slight "springiness" so our backline, which sits on the stage, made it reverberate causing a heavy bass effect. This stopped the vocals cutting through as much as they should hence the sound not being as expected. The crew assured me that they could take care of it and no need for a dreaded soundcheck -- and the next day I found that they were right. I think I was the only one to notice though as the reception was fantastic. The band are now getting the edge on this third show and the show itself is starting to look truly spectacular with Rob's lights getting more and more artistic every show as he introduces small classy touches here and there and the pyros giving us plenty of bang right on the button.

Bruce and Nicko stayed at the venue for a while and rest did a runner to get showered and out to the pub. Talked a while with them and then headed back with Barry Drinkwater. Dropped at the hotel and it was pissing down (Aussie summer??!) and we got lost trying to find the (Irish of course) pub -- Bridie O'Reillys. We got drenched but finally made it -- I wont trust Barry with directions again though this is not a strong point with me either, ask my kids!!

The pub was rammed with fans and various band members and had a great atmosphere. The fans could not believe that the band came over one by one walking from hotel with not a security man in sight!!
I don't think any other band at this sort of level would ever do that and we are mad I suppose but the guys want to keep things as "ordinary" as possible, not that that is really the right word but you get my drift. And anyway there are always plenty of fans around to give us any protection we may need. Anyway the crew also arrived shortly after us -- they love a 2 night stand as they get away early to the pub too!

So another late night, but I had had a couple of beers so did get to sleep thankfully!!

- Rod

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