Woke up this morning having NO clue where I was once again- so fun! We’re inside a garage under the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. No sunshine today it looks like. I exercised for 35 minutes in the back lounge with a workout that wouldn’t shake the bus at all- that felt really great. As I was having my big nasty vegetable smoothie, Nathan texted and said that Gina had a room for us all to use to warmup in and learn Psycho for tonight. I went to Gina first to get confirmation on where it was, and she was a bit held up trying to help Bob (our tour manager) rent a car (apparently the one he rented yesterday never closed so he was stranded at Avis.. oops). Us horns finally got a multi-purpose room to use to warmup in that was really echo-ey. Warmed up and felt really good- practicing last night was a GREAT move! John’s son Tyler sings Psycho…. or, rather, he screams it. They’re a real talented family, it’s still pretty amazing that they can all perform together like this on a national tour. We choreographed some dance moves… so sit tight for those! Hope they go well at soundcheck tonight. We found some showers- this venue actually had three showers in a crew room that we could use at the same time hehe. Heard some clips of our last shows on Instagram- we sound pretty together! I don’t really come out very strong in the mix, and we could work on intonation. BUT it’s no fun to talk about our shortcomings.. we’re killing it. Will update after soundcheck.
Its 1130 after the show! We went to wait in our multi-purpose room for soundcheck- ZZ Top was running a little bit late which made us all kinda restless. Supposed to start at 4 PM, it was around 450 when we were finally able to get on stage. John wanted to run New Orleans in this venue- it’s a huge stadium! Ten thousand seats!! It helps not to think about it to be honest. We practiced the song maybe four times all the way through with the marching out into the aisles- it gets better every day. Wayne the stage manager is always there with us too- the hospitality at this venue (Morega Sun) is fantastic. That was about it for us at soundcheck- ohh we also played Psycho for them. After soundcheck we went to dinner and we chatted long with the bass player James. He is such a legend of this music- he’s played with so many people. We talked about how in high school he and a few friends would basically run their own tour operation out of their van and run around to different venues on the weekends. Fogerty’s one of his heroes, and to this day it’s still mind blowing to him. Quite inspiring. At one point he figured out that the traveling life is the life for him- that communicating to others through music is the most powerful feeling. It made me really think back to the feeling I get when I perform for others and made me so grateful that I’m in a place right now where I’m playing for thousands every single night!!
Prepped for the show, started on time, it went great for us! We slayed it! John turned the last two songs of the set into an encore and that made some things confused- Wayne kinda freaked out, we didn’t know if we’d be playing them at all. Apparently during ZZ Top’s set they did a tribute to John since his birthday is tomorrow! There’s a cake waiting for us on the tour bus too. I gotta be real though, as Proud Mary started and got going I was missing a lot of notes. I lost focus. I drifted mentally, and came in wrong on an entrance. I noticed Kenny the drummer give me a look and a smile and I felt worse. As soon as the show ended I had a tough time feeling pumped. BUT I decided I didn’t enjoy feeling that way. I decided I wanted to be positive instead. So.. I didn’t talk or think about myself at all. In the post-show briefing I asked everyone else about how they did, or how they felt, or what they’re thinking. Any talk about myself would’ve either been a problem, a complaint, or self-praise, none of which is really that valuable in the long run. So I complimented Steve on taking a phrase up an octave to support my sound, complimented Nathan on his solos. I got as involved as I could in external factors, and that brought joy to me. Pretty soon I forgot entirely about my mistakes. It’s crazy how effective that was for me at bringing my mood up and I have to keep that in mind if I ever feel overwhelmed by judgements of my own actions. Post-show today was spent entirely out and about and talking pretty much- didn’t do anything on my own except write this journal (even though now its 3 AM and I’m still sitting in the tour bus lounge). But it was super dope. Ate some food after the show, went to see some of ZZ Top- Billy and Dusty are much quieter rock stars than John interestingly enough. Less energy onstage. Waited for Steven in the bathroom (he told us not too but we weren’t sure hehe) and the line for the ZZ Top Meet and Great was right next to us- the three of them, as Bob said, are contractually obligated to provide meet and greats at every concert!! Back on the bus we listened to Maynard Ferguson and some jazz.
Gina had us run a bunch of errands tonight- we took everything from the band dressing rooms and took it to the bus- food, alcohol, drinks, etc., crazy amounts of stuff. It’s not stealing- it’s provided to us in the rider but just never used- ha! The band dressing room is FULL of workout equipment- probably for Kenny. Crazy. Last thing I really did was chill out in front of the buses with the crew while they talked, smoked, drank. It was nice to bond a bit, I’m having a lot of trouble with all the smoke though. At this point we’re leaving Connecticut and heading to Vienna, Virginia for our day off!!
Being underground all day was crazy- never saw any sun, don’t know what the venue looks like- spent the whole day either in an underground parking lot, a hallway, or a dressing room pretty much.