Chapter 4 - RAISING THE BAR
This is the day
when reality comes up behind you and kicks you in the butt.
You've got one day of production rehearsal to make everything
work. After that, you'll have one shot a night to do all of
it right! That's definitely raising the bar. Keep in mind
this is the first time for the lighting and sound crew to
run the set list of the show on stage with Dan and the band.
And although these guys have most probably studied the set
list and made some pre-production notes, I'm always amazed
at how fast and efficient they are at getting everything together
when they're under the pressure of a one day rehearsal.
day started with a call from Bernie, our tour manager. I liked
Bernie right away. He had that great British humor and plus
he had a history as long as mine. So, after a chance to get
acquainted over a quick caffeine based breakfast at Starbucks
we headed off to board our land yacht to begin the "Great
Whale Expedition" known as the "Hunt For Roadzilla!".
The helmsman at the wheel of our beautifully appointed land
yacht, otherwise known as a tour bus, was a man I like to
call "Jeff the Invincible." I'm tellin' ya'! This
guy, given enough strong coffee and a constant supply of "Bulls
Eyes" candies (it's one of his favorites) could almost
drive forever! There'll be more about him later.
was only a few minutes later that Dan and the rest of the
band were aboard and we departed for the long day of production
rehearsal. The ride there also gave me a chance to check out
our new mobile facilities. Our tour bus, aside from some small
design differences, was like most other tour buses currently
in use. It had all the standard amenities commonly found on
most motor homes, TV, stereo, microwave, etc. What was interesting
to me was that, with a space approximately 40 feet long and
8 feet wide, the ingenious use of space which was required
for the bus is the same kind of design approach used for the
interior layout of large sailboats. Hence, our own "Land
we finally rolled up to the backstage entrance and piled out
to find the stage and take a look at the set. I have to admit,
I still get a thrill out of walking on stage and seeing those
beautiful drums up on the riser. Rob, our house mixer, was
already playing a reference CD and tweaking the sound system
for just the right mix. Our lighting designer, Steve, was
busy adjusting and focusing lights and programming the board
for the first run through of the show. Chris, our monitor
mixer, was casually waiting at his post off stage, ready to
give us what we each required for our stage mix. And Mason,
our production manager, was coordinating every detail of the
whole thing like it was a giant well oiled machine. No amateurs
here! I could see right away, I was in the care and company
of some of the best in the business.