The windows of the Montreal Ritz-Carlton looked out this morning to a proper dreary day. Probably the first such day of this leg of the tour. It was cold and very wet. Our departure was a little earlier to allow for any immigration hold-ups flying into Boston, Logan airport. I found Jim in the Gym and we pounded and sweated on adjacent treadmills and I headed for the room for customary breakfast, shower, packing and other general nonsense. The crew by this time were well into their load-in having dealt with immigration at 3am, no fun.
Two of our three cars arrived airside, at the plane and it soon transpired that the third car had been pulled over by the police. Not much information filtered through as the officer and driver were communicating in French. It appeared there may have been a speeding violation but one of the other cars was sent back to collect our boys. There goes our immigration leeway.
On the plane, Debbie served plates of slightly over complicated Sushi rolls. I noticed this in Vancouver, the Sushi roll selections now are more and more varied and complex, gone are the days of just California roll or Tekka an Kappa Maki. How long will it be before Key lime pie and Graham cracker inverted-rolls?
We landed at Logan and taxi’d to our stand where we were met by an immigration officer who said we needed to be processed in the main terminal, we were driven over there in a van designed to seat 4 people so most of us were standing precariously. The security doors on the building are on a timer, you have 20 seconds to get through or all hell breaks loose – apparently. We experienced this process once before and I seem to remember our escort getting lost. Luckily when we got to the immigration hall, we were between inbound flights so it was empty apart from about a dozen officers milling around. We were dealt with efficiently and were on our way without any difficulty.
It was with trepidation that we arrived at the Orpheum theatre, it’s a really funky building and I wouldn’t have expected it to have been upgraded since our last visit. Apparently there was a major renovation in 2009 but I fail to see what they did. Also, I recall there being sound issues last time. Even though the backstage areas are cramped and very basic, the auditorium seating has clearly seen better days and the general look of the place is tatty, it has a certain ‘club’ atmosphere which lends itself to a fun night out. Dave Dixon seemed happy after soundcheck and the catering was magnificent, a great Curry. Things were looking up. The dressing room banter was as good and ‘blokey’ as ever – I do sometimes wonder what the security lady must make of it all sitting so patiently right outside our open dressing room door, our language can often be, shall we say, uncensored. I’m sure she’s heard it all before. About half an hour before the show there seemed to be a commotion on the stairwell, we had noticed it was getting ‘foggy’ in the dressing room. Some firemen happened to be in the building on a routine inspection and the fire alarms went off, caused by one of Tellson’s smoke machines. It appeared that the building did not have sufficient airflow to disperse the smoke. In such a small building, there was nowhere for it to go. They just went round the place finding windows to open – there weren’t many.
The stage was set and we took to it with our usual ebullience. We had delayed the show by nearly 20 minutes and yet when we were running the first song it seemed half the crowd were on their feet looking for their seats. We ran through the set and had a great time playing to one of our favourite audiences in the world. Boston. A very quick runner back to one of the better Four Seasons bars where we toasted the evening and look forward to a few more days here. It’s great to be back.
Today’s Track of the Day is Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues – Eels (added as a bonus track to the album ‘Daisies of the Galaxy’ the song features heavily in the movie ‘Road Trip’. Eels frontman and writer Mark Oliver Everett (Mr. E) said that allowing the song to be used in the movie was one of the few real regrets he has ever had)
Follow Dr Fletch on Spotify