Having arrived into the USA via Boston a mere 10 days ago, it was somewhat strange finding ourselves landing at Logan airport once again, for what is a fleeting visit. This is a well worn section of tour routing and logistics. Lunch in New York, gig in Boston, after show drink in Toronto. The fact that the Boston venue is clearly visible from the airport means it’s only a short drive to and from the GA terminal.
After a second day off in New York, it was time to move on but for the crew, the day off didn’t quite pan out as planned. On this perfect Summers day, they should have been relaxing in their Boston hotel, but a bus breakdown meant most of the day off was spent in a truck stop just outside New York city. The thing is, if I hadn’t been quite so nosey, none of the band would ever have known about it such is our crew’s incapacity for whingeing. They work their asses off day in and out, put up with a lot of nonsense, musician bullshit from us… then when we’re off on our jet, toasting the evening’s fun, they are left clearing up our mess and loading out often in less than ideal conditions (in some of these older theatres). Thank goodness they love it!
Right of the waterfront, the venue originally known as the Harborlights Pavilion has undergone 6 name changes and one location adjustment. Back in 1999, it used to be several hundred yards down the shoreline but was moved when the US district courthouse was built. It used to be a tent out in the middle of an unused harbour landscape but since our last visit, the iconic white ‘tent’ has been literally surrounded by new residential buildings. I can foresee another move as Boston expands at an exponential rate and land values soar.
Boston weather was typically moody as low cloud greyed out the landscape as we touched down. The sun was allowed to peek through later however, offering a lovely late summer sunset. After sound check, the venue filled quickly and show time was upon us once again. The Harborlights Pavilion, or whatever it’s called these days is an open-sided tent and its location means it is prone to any sea breeze influence and with the wind increasing from the North-East, there was a distinct, slightly fishy breeze across the stage. It wasn’t chilly but it wasn’t entirely comfortable. A few of us, including Mark, wished we’d added another layer. John, Mike, Tom and Graeme did extremely well keeping their instruments playable and in tune. Adverse weather conditions affect blown and reeded instruments more than we realise. John said that when there is a breeze blowing across a whistle, it actually cancels out the sound. “I’m so glad I don’t blow something for a living” Mark commented in the car after show.
Our guest list is always active in Boston and tonight it was great to see backstage, Stu Kimball, who we got to know well when we toured with Dylan, Bo Ramsay, who partnered Pieta Brown on a few tours supporting us and the inimitable William Topley, the singer from our BluesClub band. Of all the shows in North America, this one is always a favourite. The reason? The Boston audience. Incredible. Every time we come, we say the same thing. There is just something ‘connected’ and musical about people here. It’s palpable.
Rolls of the Lobster variety seemed to be everywhere today. The dressing room fridge was filled with them, a gift from the promoter and Aleisha promised Boston’s finest on the plane after show. They didn’t disappoint. Stunning. At least we knew the crew had plenty too.
I would like to post a small tribute to my wife Laurie’s brother David Domeyer who passed away suddenly 2 days ago. David was an extremely gifted Hollywood pyrotechnician and artist. He was a man who certainly lived life in California to the full and had a huge heart. He will be sadly missed.