Monday, May 2
Somehow, amazingly, the crew got their shit together and transformed the church into a working theatre. Here are a couple of photos of the space:
from sound check,
from sound check,
and from just before the show with all the candles lit and in place. Sound went rather well, once the new generator and the replacement board had arrived; we're fairly self-sufficient so once the rental guys got all the amplifiers and speakers and cable runs in place our part of the day went smoothly. It was the lighting that took all day, both days, even though it was a really stripped-down setup in the first place. I'm so glad I'm part of the Audio Family.
Soundcheck tripped by in record time, the Talent was happy with the sound, and we were free to try to spend our dinner vouchers on pub food at the hotel bar/restaurant. I had a Caesar and a steak for the third night in a row, not on purpose. The first night was a perfectly cooked striploin, with a bit of extra rib roast that the chef was showing off, on baby vegetables, with an extremely garlicky tangy Caesar. The second night the chef came out with a huge wooden bowl and made the Caesars for us tableside before I enjoyed my tender filet mignon with herb butter. This third was the cheapest of the three meals, and it showed. Bottled dressing, a crappy gristly cut of steak, cooked way to the wrong side of medium. But hey, free food.
Back to the theater where the chaos had started anew. I dropped my buttons off at the merch table and hightailed it up to my post in the nice quiet balcony. All my gear was as I'd left it, and line checks revealed no problems, so we went back into wait mode and passed the time double checking settings and hoping somebody had topped off the diesel in the generator. We got a little bummed when they started seating people in the balcony with us, since we'd been assured they wouldn't sell those seats, but nobody expected the crowd she'd get.
The show went swimmingly. A couple minor fuckups on my part, but nothing that can't be fixed later. DG was clearly happy in the space with its warm lush sound. B mixed her voice dry because the space was so live. The natural reverb seemed to make her sing longer and stronger than ever. She did a version of Lament for Marmara unlike any I've heard before, heartbreakingly soulful and sad; you really got the lamentation. Later in the show, there was a scary moment when she lost her voice for a little while after a particularly strenuous section of the show, and there was much discussion amongst the crew on the ClearComs, but she got it back with interest and finished strong. The crowd went apeshit, standing O and everything. This was not her normal crowd at all and they were just blown away.
Striking the gear after the show went fast. We had our audio stuff wrapped up right away and packed in the van, at which time the rental crew had the lighting stuff practically all dismantled, and finished just a few hours later. DG schmoozed for a while and we all went back to the hotel pub to drink and tell stories and eat yet another Caesar and gossip with Garth. The tour manager is a funny fuckin' gal. You had to be there, of course, but she's got some damn fine comic timing and a flair for imitation. Went to bed late.
Woke up early. Packed up our gear, our clothes, our Canadian merchandise—cheap subsidized toothpaste and Ziploc vegetable bags, which you can't get in the States anymore—checked the room, and down we went to the lobby. Our pickup was at 8:30 so we had to get there crazy early to try to find a coffee place in town that was open. None of them were, but the hotel cafe came through with go cups to get us the fuck out of Kitchener and to the airport. Pearson's not much of an airport, really, but somehow being there sticks that song in your head and it kind of motivates you no matter how tired you are. That, and a large coffee, and another freaking Caesar since I knew they wouldn't feed us on the plane.