And then before I knew it, it was Saturday, the first gig of the tour. After almost 10 years of absence the mother ship called Transatlantic finally hit the stage again for their first concert of the Whirld tour 2010.
Load in and set up was easy as a breeze, as the hotel was next to the venue. So after a few hours of tweaking, changing the stage plot, tweaking some more, deciding we do need the whole band to move up more to the edge of the stage, some more tweaking it was time to start the sound check. When they hit that first chord of the Whirlwind, the theatre was trembling (no it was not an LA earthquake) and like a rocket, slowly the mother ship rose for a test flight of 1,5 hours or so. At 7:15 pm it was time to open doors for the crowd, and it took not much time to fill the theatre up with sheer excitement. You could feel the expectations of the fans and there where a lot of familiar (and famous – people from other bands) faces. I was back stage fighting with my Internet connection and in the end I spend many walks back and forth between the venue and the hotel to get online. What a hassle. Jim Harrell from CalProg promoted this first show. They organise a lot of progressive rock concerts and festivals and it all went pretty smooth. They really took good care of us during this week of rehearsals and hosting the first concert. Of course catering was impeccable and they brought in some great Mexican dinner (what else can you eat when you are in this area, hahaha).
At 8:10 I had them dim the houselights, and Rich started the intro tape. The excitement of the crowd rose into a loud cheer and applause, and when the band hit the first chord of The Whirlwind it was a fact: Transatlantic is back on tour! They played for almost 3 hours, and after the show there was a special meet ‘n greet with a select group of fans. Well, I’m not going to tell you all the details of the show – you just have to come and see it for your self. But it was a great gig, great set list and only the first of 22 shows.
I am typing this while sitting in the lobby waiting for our ride to bring us to the airport of Long Beach for our flight to San Francisco. Tonight we play there, so I’m looking forward to that!
I’m singing off right now!