so before i can even begin to write about erfurt, i have to finish the story of the swiss border control...what goes in, must come out again, after all. after all the pain we went through coming into switzerland, we were hung up at the border again for an additional 6 hours while they went through merch counts and tax refunding, paperwork, and other general bullshit. now, as i mentioned before, the show in pratteln was by no means a big show...it was probably the lowest attendance of the tour so far. consequently, this means that we sold considerably less merchandise at that show simply due to the number of attendees.
in the end, after spending 11 or 12 hours hung up in border crossings, the swiss government collected a whopping 90chf (swiss francs) from the tour. as of today, the currency conversion to dollars is basically at parity, so they got NINETY DOLLARS from us!! there were some additional fees, i believe, that had to be paid to a third party expediter to help us get through the border with enough time to make it to the next gig. all for 90chf. way to go switzerland!!
needless to say, this put us quite a bit behind schedule again. so in a move of utter brilliance, patrick (our driver) called a fellow he knows in zurich that has a van, and so some of the lighting gear and flatscreens were loaded into a van, and sent ahead of the bus with pete (lighting director) and tueni (loading crew) so that they could get that stuff setup and ready for load-in when we finally arrived. like i said, it was a brilliant move that saved our asses, since it was a long drive, and we got there with just 90min or so before doors. the drive to erfurt from the border was about 6 hours through the countryside, cows and beautiful farm country.
it was another full team press load-in, and we got everything in and setup very quickly. the venue itself was pretty interesting, it was sort of like a generic conference hall that happened to have a stage in it. it seemed to be part of a condo complex, which i thought was particularly weird. but it was a nice space, and had decent sound. the stage was small, so we had to be pretty careful not to bump any mesh equipment. its tough, cause i have a tendency to get pretty physical up there.
drank a bunch of awesome dark german beer before hitting the stage, and i have to say, the place was packed and a lot of people seemed to know our music! i was really happy with the crowd, even though after we got offstage we had multiple people tell us we needed to go back to the sound of 'syntax'...which just isn't going to happen. but other people seemed to be a little more open to our new stuff, and we signed a lot of cd's and took a lot of pictures.
after mesh wrapped up, we headed over to the aftershow party which was held in the basement of a museum...i couldn't figure out what the museum was there for, since it was closed and i cant read german. from what i understand it was some kind of german heritage museum...it would have been cool to see during the day, but c'est la vie... in any case, we had a really awesome time at the aftershow party, drinking and dancing with the entire team, the mesh super-fans, and even some informatik super fans!! and of course, the minute depeche mode got played, the entire room hit the dancefloor. that shit still kills me. i mostly drank and danced on a table, trying to show them how we do it in america (even though i kind of never do this anywhere), but i was pretty trashed (i think we all were).
after that, get back on the bus, pass out. i love it here in europe, i really do!
we'd like to thank everyone that came to the show, and everyone that came to the aftershow party!! we had such a great time!!
some pictures from the show can be seen here at 'alive-erfurt'