July, Monday, 27th - San Francisco, CA Last day of this first leg of the tour and first time back in San Francisco after a couple of years. We have an acoustic performance for Mevio.com and we get picked up around noon. After a short drive, we get to the studios, meet everybody and have a quick drink (because, it’s too early to start drinkin’ alcohol!). Then we sit down and get ready to play a couple of songs and do a quick interview. The show’s cool, although it’s hard to play this early. We say goodbye to everybody and drive back to the venue.
Lacuna Coil's San Francisco Show
I walk around to do some errands and go back to the venue to do soundcheck. Around 6 PM dinner’s served and I chat with the cook, a very funny Mexican guy who, I remember later, we met the last time we were here. He even makes some fried fish especially for me and promises he’ll prepare some Italian food if we ever come back there. We’ll see... The venue’s full tonight and the show goes very well. There are some friends from Dean Markley strings and EMG pickups and even Steve DiGiorgio from Testament and Sadus comes to visit. He’s been a longtime friend and he’s always at the show whenever we’re in town.
Balloons at the San Fran Show
As expected, during the last song everybody from all the support bands come onstage with balloons and we say goodbye in front of a screaming crowd! It’s been a great tour and everybody’s been very nice: it’ll be great to see both old and new friends on the road some day.
July, Tuesday, 28th - Travel Day Bob, our bus driver drops us off at the airport early in the morning. I didn’t get much sleep, hoping that this way I’ll be able to sleep on the plane (no matter what, it always fails though.). We check in and go look for something to eat. We end up having a great burger and then walk through the security check. No rubber glove for anyone today! The plane is a 747 with the narrowest seats ever and I’m sitting next to CriZ and Marco. No personal TV screens. This sucks! And, oblviously, I can’t sleep much so I end up tossing and turning for hours until we finally land in Amsterdam, Holland, after almost 10 hours. Ugh!
July, Wednesday, 29th - Travel Day After we land and get through customs, we meet my wife Nats and Andrea’s girlfriend Paola who will stay with us for these next few days in Europe. The bus is waiting for us outside and we have a long drive ahead of us: we’re going north of Hamburg, Germany, to play the Wacken Open Air Festival. Everybody’s dead tired and although we try to stay awake for as long as we can, we all end up going to our bunks and pass out shortly after. Damn jetlag! We get to the hotel in the evening and after settling in our rooms we all meet at the restaurant for a proper German dinner. It’s actually very good but we’re in for a great surprise: water’s more expensive than beer!!! Seriously, 1 litre of mineral water costs us over 6 euros or 9 US dollars. They don’t mess around over there...
Wacken Stage Before the Action Begins
July, Thursday, 30th - Wacken, Germany We all meet around 11 AM, at the bus and drive to the festival site. It’s not a long drive (about 30 min.) but halfway there we receive a phone call: Gus our tour manager is still at the hotel! We forgot him there! Well, not exactly. We all thought he went to the festival earlier this morning, with our light engineer but he actually ended up staying in bed and didn’t hear his alarm. Luckily there are people at the hotel that we met the previous night who are going to the festival, too, and he ends up driving with them.
When we get to the festival it’s early. Today’s the first of three days and no bands are playing yet so we walk around the backstage and go to the catering area for breakfast and coffee. Our dressing room is a small container and right by it Mr. Wolfgang, our Lighting Director, is already programming the light show on his rig. It’s gonna be a busy day, between interviews, signing sessions and other bands I wanna check out. The weather’s not really good, it keeps raining and it’s really cloudy and overcast. We all hope it’ll stop when we go on but unfortunately while we walk to the stage it just gets worse! There’s a ton of people out there and they’re all standing under the pouring rain.
The Wet Wacken Crowd
As we’re standing behind the stage and our crew’s finishing line check to make sure everything works it seems it’ll rain all night but as soon as the intro starts rolling it happens: the rain suddenly stops! Super pumped by this unexpected turn of events we get on stage and play in front of a huge screaming crowd. Everybody seems to just be thankful for the rain to have stopped and is in for a great time. It’s one of our best shows ever, a mix of great energy and fun. When we walk off stage the crowd’s still screaming and they want more but unfortunately there’s no time. We get back to the bus and wait for our crew to load all our equipment on the trailer and leave: It’s a crazy drive ahead. We’re going to London!
Lacuna Coil's London Show
July, Friday, 31st - London, UK Wow, this is crazy. We’ve never done something like this. We leave Wacken and drive all night to get to Calais, France, where we’ll take the ferry boat that’ll take us to England. When we get to the docks it’s early in the morning and we hope to be able to catch the 11 AM ride. Unfortunately, because we’re stuck at customs for a little longer than we hoped, we miss it just by a few minutes and we’re forced to wait there for about an hour. People go to the coffee bar and have breakfast and we all wait for the next one. When we finally get on, we all run to the restaurant, hoping for a good English Breakfast but it’s too late: they’re serving lunch already! Well, I’ll have a fish and chips, of course.
We arrive to Dover where we all take pictures of the famous White Cliffs and then we get back on the bus and keep travelling to London. It’s almost 5 PM when we get to The Forum and our crew work their asses off to prepare tonight’s stage. This is by far the best stage we’ve ever had. It has lots of risers and lights and we have projectors that will project images in the background while we play. I can’t wait to see how it’ll look. After a quick soundcheck we get dinner and get ready for the show. We’re definitely tired, these past couple of days have been really stressfull and we’re totally jetlagged. Hopefully the adrenaline will kick in and will help us getting through the set.
Tonight’s intro should look great: there’ll be a white backdrop that’ll cover the whole stage on which a video will be projected and while Andrea and Cristina will be standing in front of it, the rest of the band will be behind, with lights projecting our silhouettes on it! It all works great, people flip out. Tonight’s show nearly sold out: over a thousand people here. It’s a really great show, we have a lot of fun and the show is indeed a great success. Everything goes as it should and we even have some friends over from Italy who’ve seen us many times and they all agree that this is probably one of our best shows they’ve ever seen.
Apparently this trip back from the US was totally worth it!