With the sunshine glistening on the water of Boston harbour, we flew up and away towards Pittsburg. Mark and I were trying to work out when we last visited this great city and neither of us could recall doing a show here since the heady days of DS. Unless I’m mistaken, it was in fact on 6 August 1985 at the Syria Mosque. The building was torn down on August 27, 1991 despite community efforts to have it designated a historic landmark. The site is now a parking lot for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Pittsburg has come a long way since then and as soon as we drove out of the tunnel, over the bridge and into the city, we could sense a real atmosphere, probably something to do with the effect of suddenly bursting into the open and being right there in downtown. The views across the bridge look over the point where the Ohio river is born, a confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers to the spectacular arenas of Heinz Field (home of the Steelers & University of Pittsburgh Panthers football teams) and PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Our destination was the Heinz Hall, home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra is a 2,676 seat venue which puts on about 200 performances each year. Originally built in 1927 as Loew’s Penn Theatre, the former movie palace was renovated and reopened as Heinz Hall in 1971. The backstage dressing rooms are comfortable and numerous. Glenn Worf’s 4 kids were all in the house tonight and it was great so see them all backstage, looking so well.
The show was great, the band were on form (again) and the audience were truly special. Catering wasn’t too shabby either and included the best Chicken Noodle soup (Jewish Penicillin) I’ve tasted in years, with a follow up of a huge rib roast and Salmon in sweet chilli sauce. Very tempting to go overboard but experience has taught us not to over eat before a show (burp). Our drive back to Pittsburg airport was perfect as we were the lucky benefactors of one of the best drivers of the tour. A gentleman named Mike, who drives a lot of the acts that come through here (including Jimmy Buffett) was not only a nice guy but a really conscientious driver who knew all about passenger comfort in the extreme, by way of smooth and safe driving. A really rare thing, trust me.
We boarded the plane and Debbie had drinks and Chicken wings waiting although no alcohol for me tonight, I enjoyed my favourite non-alcoholic champagne, San Pellegrino. Within an hour we were on approach into Teterboro airfield with spectacular views of surely the most exciting city on Earth, New York City. Another ‘three cities in a day’ day and as we drove in towards Manhattan island past the Meadowlands arena, now so beautifully renamed Met Life arena (sarcasm), Mark and I agreed that we have come a long way since our show there in 1992.
Today’s Track of the Day is Thief in the Night – Rolling Stones (a fun track on an album that had too many producers – Don Was, The Glimmer Twins, with Rob Fraboni, Danny Saber, Pierre de Beauport, and The Dust Brothers)