November 12, 2017
“Who sprayed hair spray everywhere? Oh, that’s perfume?”
“Make me bluetiful.”
- John, when the glitter came out.
One night only, live in Eisenach: Sarah Smith and the Glitterboyz!
Yes, that happened.
Tours are about highs and lows. Sometimes you get both on the same day. As the highs are generally more fun to talk about, let’s begin this chapter with an awesome tour diversion that I got to experience yesterday.
If you know me, you know I’m a big soccer fan. Big enough that I call it football. You don’t need me to tell you how big football is in Germany, but you may need me to tell you how big it is in the city of Dortmund, home of the big German club Borussia Dortmund. I was hoping to take in a local game or two during the tour, but our schedule won’t allow it. I got the next best thing, though, when Sarah superfan Schimmi offered to take me on a tour of Borussia Dortmund’s incredible Signal Iduna Park. We had just enough time to make it work, and I give my eternal thanks to Sarah and the lads for accommodating me.
What an experience. The stadium holds 80,000 people. The tour took us right down to pitch level and the dressing rooms and media area. If you’ve ever seen a Dortmund home game on t.v., you know how crazy it is. The southern terrace, home of the legendary Yellow Wall, holds 25,000 people. YouTube Dortmund fans and you’ll see for yourself. It’s mayhem. It was really cool to be able to see that stadium. It’s not something I ever thought I would do.
The road, man. The road.
After the stadium tour it was another drive to another pretty German town, this time from Wetter to Eisenach. It was our first foray into East Germany, and the differences are pretty apparent nearly 30 years after the Berlin Wall came down. It looked different. Felt different too. There was less English, but we still found lots of people we could talk to. Eisenach is a beautiful town. Like Wetter, it looks like a postcard.
We were booked at a tiny bar called Schorschl, owned by Thomas and Caroline. Is there any room left on the list of people who treated us like gold? They were wonderful hosts. We set up on a spot on the floor, and they told us they were expecting a hundred people for Thomas’s birthday party. In that room? Boy, oh boy. They put out a spectacular vegetarian spread for us – quinoa and lentils and greens. We need nutrition. It was all delicious.
We went upstairs to Thomas and Caroline’s apartment to relax before the show, and that’s when the glitter came out. Caroline’s idea. She went after Deni’s beard with it and things escalated. I chose a nice royal blue. We looked fabulous.
The show was chaos. I’m going to come out and say it was probably my favourite show on the tour so far, which is saying a lot, because every show has been so cool. It’s great playing big rooms with big stages, but a tiny club packed shoulder to shoulder with people can be such a blast. Deni was literally in the crowd playing guitar. People loved it. They danced and cheered. They were right in Sarah’s face, which, of course, she handled like the pro that she is. We sounded great, played great, and had a really fun time.
There was a dance party at the club after our show. People wanted us to hang around, which was tempting, but we chose instead to return to our hotel. We’re all tired, and Virus of the Van is taking numbers these days. That’s where the lows come in. Sarah’s feeling it. Deni’s feeling it. It really came at me yesterday – sore throat, congestion, fatigue. I haven’t been sleeping well on the tour so far. I go through phases sometimes where Mr. Insom Nia makes appearances. Could be residual jet lag or strange beds or who knows what. I’ve had a lot on my mind. It’s all compounded now by a bug that hits like a truck.
But the show must go on, as must we. We’re on the highway again, bound for Berlin. I think the key to highs and lows is to not pay much attention. We’ve all been through this before. We conserve our energy, we lift each other up, we do what needs doing. Sometimes you just have to be a pro.
The Glitterboyz fan club would demand nothing less.