ZURICH WED DEC 6 2pm
So we had got to the second Milan show in my last instalment. This too had been sold out for months. However unlike Stockholm where both the first 2 shows went on sale simultaneously this (like Earls Court) was an added show. This is where we think we can do 2 shows so hold the second and put the first one on sale and if it goes according to plan (ie sells out quickly) – we will announce the second one. The first one sold out in a few weeks – and Italy is usually a market where ticket sales are late and leading up to the show – so we announced the second one some time ago which also sold out within a few weeks. Quite often the second night audience is not as good as the first as of course the core fans tend to rush out and get the first tickets. However it was not the case here!! Although at first they seemed slightly quieter than the first night – perhaps as they weren’t as familiar with the new album as the hard core fans of the first night – they made up for it in other areas.
During Bruce’s mid album talk the oway oway Mai-den etc hit 113db – one more than the previous night, but even more special was the start of Fear of the Dark. When Bruce commenced his spoken intro they were SO loud saying the words that Bruce left them to it right through to the four “fear of the darks” at the end of the intro. It seemed as if every person in the hall knew every word and were belting it out for all they were worth. I have never seen/heard this before – not even in Quebec, Rio, Paris or Spain. And what made it all the more special was the following. You all know how on the last 2 FoDs in this intro section Bruce sort of gives a throaty haha or something to that effect, well……so did ever one of the audience. It was just perfect mimicking – great stuff!!! Two absolutely wondrous shows – thank you so much Milan and the rest of Italy – we know there were lots of you from Rome too so we will have to get down there and see you all sometime!!
After the show we did a “runner” – straight off stage into the cars to change at the airport and fly home. The traffic getting out of the gig is terrible and if we had stayed around to shower as we usually would in the winter we would have been caught right up in it. We got back to UK in the early hours and l was half an hour from home at about 1.30am on the M23 just before the Gatwick turn off when we came up to 3 solid lanes of stationery traffic. After a few minutes got out of the car as had many others who were chatting and having a smoke in groups dotted around. We find out that someone was on the next flyover bridge threatening to jump and we could just make out the flashing lights of police and ambulances. The former to talk him down the latter to deal with the mess if the former failed!! As time dragged on the waiting motorists were getting less sympathetic as they wanted to get home. “Push him off” could be heard regularly for the last hour. Anyway we were there for 2 hours before the traffic got moving again and l finally got home at 4am!! Watched a bit of cricket test match – we were still doing ok at this point. As you will all know we collapsed on the last day to 129 all out and lost the test going 2-0 down in the process. What a disaster. We were in a possible position to win for the first 4 days – and certainly a draw which would have halted Australia’s momentum at least after the Massacre of the Gabbattoir (which is in Brisbane by the way not Perth as l stupidly said before). Lack of a good tight exciting Ashes series will certainly take a bit of the thrill out of Xmas. Will now have to look forward to England rugby beating the Scots on feb 3 – l will definitely be there for that. Cant see England coming back from 2-0 down in the land downunder.
Got up late the next day and worked in my home office. Quiet night watching a movie with the kids. Up the next day to fly out to Zurich.
We were presented with gold discs before the show = this was excellent as it’s a rare occasion for us here and over 10 years since our last Swiss Gold they told us. So thanks EMI Switzerland and our Swiss fans. The show at the majestic Hallenstadion was sold out at 12,800 but unlike a lot of the tour only did so in the week preceding the gig. This was very satisfying for me as with this and Stuttgart – with increased capacity – selling out in the last week all the continental euro shows were totally sold out, every one of them, and that is something we have never ever done before. And it was all the very biggest arenas with some multiple dates so the biggest arena tour we have ever done. We still don’t really get much radio or TV support in most places so how can you explain this phenomenon. We just seem to get more and more popular and it appears to be nearly all by word of mouth or the internet maybe. I guess the thing is though is to enjoy it and try not to analyse it too much.
The show went very well and after the show most of band went into hotel bar for a while – Jan then went off on his usual trip around the downtown bars with some friends from here. After a while it left Steve, Bruce, Nicko, Gaddsy, Ian, one of our pilots and our gorgeous german stewardess and myself. The bar was supposed to close at 1 but they took pity on us and kept it open a bit later. Even got Gaddsy to buy me a drink – though after l got him one!! There was a woman of a later but glamorous age playing some really quite good jazz on the piano. I was chatting to Steve before Nicko came down and he told me she looked and sounded a bit like a piano player in Stuttgart about 10 years before when Nicko was so pissed (yes wild young youth then!!!) he sat down next to the lady and played and sang along. Except he cant play piano - or at least couldn’t then. And he certainly cant sing!!! So it really was quite memorable. So just as Steve finishes the story Nicko comes in and his jaw drops. Yes it was the same lady. She may have relieved to see Nick perfectly sober and having abslolutely no intention of joining her again and after she finished her stint she came over and joined us and she and Nick had a good old rabbit !!!
Anyway they finally closed the bar so it was off to bed, up the following am – ie now today – at about 10.30 , a bit of breakfast and out comes the laptop. Maybe l wil get out of the room later!!! Anyway all for now. More after the last 2 shows in Germany.
Legacy of the WICKER MAN Tour 2019:
18/07/2019 - Sunrise, FL/USA @ BB&T Center
09/08/2019 - Toronto, ON/CAN @ Budweiser Stage
10/08/2019 - Toronto, ON/CAN @ Budweiser Stage
09/09/2019 - Sacramento, CA/USA @ Golden 1 Center
10/09/2019 - Oakland, CA/USA @ Oracle Arena
14/09/2019 - Los Angeles, CA/USA @ Banc of California Stadium