Friday April 23, 2010 – New York
The day before the gig I arrived with Todd (our stand-in merchandiser, as Ruben was still stuck in Europe due to the volcano ash cloud) in New York to prepare the New York show. The band and crew came in a few hours later. Unlike the travel to Canada, the travel from Canada was a nightmare with all the gear. A lot of money needed to be paid for the extra or overweight luggage, and with almost not getting on the flight in the end they came into New York.
New York is a great, great city. I had a nice walk through the city with some of the crew. But as I was not there to hang like a tourist, I soon went back to my room to advance the two gigs that where still coming. In the evening I found some time to go to the Empire State Building to enjoy the view.
In the morning of the day of the gig I went for a breakfast and suddenly someone called my name. How big is the chance that when walking in New York someone will know you? Well… with almost 900 prog fans in the city that chance was a little bigger than normal. It so happened to be a fan from India who travelled all the way to New York to see Transatlantic play. Amazing! We had a nice talk, he asked me to sign his copy of So Many Roads – live in Europe, and after some nice chatting I continued my search for breakfast. I had a great organic fruit smoothie and loved it!
The venue was a nice but small club, with an even smaller stage. Unfortunately we could not use the risers, so Mike and Neal had to be on the floor. I set up my office down stairs in the basement where the back stage area was situated. Unfortunately the local sound system had some technical issues, what took a long time until solved. This concert was sold out for weeks, and still there where people who wanted to buy tickets at the door.
A few moments before the concert should start I went outside to see how many people where still in line to get in. There was a long row all around the block, and many where concerned that the concert would start without them. I quickly talked with the venue and the band that we would start a bit later, until everyone was inside. So I told the people still in line that we would wait until everyone was inside. So the gig started a bit later, and the place was totally packed. There was a good vibe and the audience was really into it. It was a partly standing concert, and I like those more than seated shows, as there is much more energy in the hall with standing audiences. During the show there was some technical difficulties like the headset mic of Neal stopped working and some other microphone lines that where bad. So the band struggled with it, but showed their skills by improvising around these problems, making the show have some unforgettable improv jams. In the intermission our tech crew solved the problems and the second part of the show went very good. Every night they seem to be playing even better and tighter. During Stranger Neal took over the drums and Mike went crowd surfing. The audience went nuts, and it was fun to see!
After the show a lot of fans wanted to buy some merchandise, but a lot of the T-shirts where sold out before the gig. So if you are coming to one of the European gigs, and you want a T-shirt, be sure to get ‘m while they last!
After the show Mike had to go to a radio station to get on the air with Eddy Trunk, and while he was doing that, we all went back to the hotel, that was actually 3 minutes walking from the venue.