My alarm rang around 9 am. Took a walk to the nearest Starbucks, and went for a walk through the neighbourhood trying to find a birthday cake. Birthday cake? Yes! Today is Mike Portnoy’s birthday so we planned on getting him a cake.

The gig was booked in a very nice theatre/club Park West. A small stage, for the size of the theatre but enough room to fit the TA mothership. Preparations went well, and in no time the stage was set, and the sound check started. For me this was a special day too, as I had an appointment with Dave Gaynier, the inventor of the Moon Mic – a sub bass mic for bass drum and floor toms. I am one of his endorsers and I am very happy with these mics! They sound phat!! So Dave and his wife where my guests of the day and I showed them around. Dave brought a mike with him, and we end up using this mic on Mike’s drum kit. Rich, our FOH sound guy, really liked it, so we decided to use it that night. In the afternoon Dave and I took some promo pictures and we chatted a bit. Unfortunately I had to get back to my tour-managing job so had to get back to my little office in the attic of the building. We had some Subway sandwiches as diner and sooner than later it was time to rock. The place was almost sold out so it was pretty crowded.

The band played great, third gig and it sounded massive! In the second set after All Of The Above I walked on stage with Mike’s cake and the band jammed some Beatles songs in honour of Mike’s birthday. The set list was the same as the nights before (with the addition of the Beatles jam) – clocking just over 3 hours of music.

When the concert was over Neal decided to come out and chat with the fans. Around that same time Roine and Daniel came out, as well as Pete. Immediately there was a big congestion of people around the exit of the hall, and every movement came to a halt. No one could get out or come in, let alone meet one of the band members. So I decided to improvise, and stood on a chair and shouted some directions. So I put the band at some tables, and together with security we directed the crowd into a long line of fans, waiting to get something signed, or a picture to be taken with one of the band. This spontaneous meet ‘n greet lasted some time, and when Mike came out, the whole band was complete. It was nice to see all those fans and the love they have for this band.
It was also nice to hear from various people that they are reading my blogs and that they will continue to do so, so I am honoured to have you as my readers!

When the last fans where gone we all went back to the dressing room to enjoy the birthday cake and a very lovely Chicago Deep Dish pizza (very nice). We had fun, but it was getting late, so the runner took us back to the hotel.

I had much to do, but first had a nice Skype chat with Jessica and Debora. It is always good to be able to chat with home thanks to Skype. It makes the distance a bit smaller. Because I had to prepare some things for the comings shows, I decided to work until I was finished. The next day we would be picked up at 6:45 am to go to the airport to get to Montreal, so I planned on getting some sleep. But when I was done with my work it was almost 6:10 am – so a quick shower, pack up my stuff, and off to Montreal, with no sleep at all… pppfff….

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