after a very difficult wake-up shower, we loaded out all the gear to the taxi sent to pick us up, and mesh was already on board! so we did a quick meet and greet of rich, sean, and geoff, then headed over to the venue for breakfast and load-in. we got to the markthalle, and no lift...instead we were greeted by an endless series of stairs. oh joy! so, we carried all of our luggage and gear up all these stairs, into a really massive room, the main room of the markthalle.
but first breakfast, which was awesome, fruit, bread, tea, coffee, etc etc. very nicely put together. sandra our new merchbot arrived, as did mark (he missed the taxi). general sitting around, checking email, etc. luckily mesh had already setup, they'd been rehearsing in the space since the previous day. we waited a few hours while waiting to soundcheck, watched mesh rehearsal, and met janosch (he is the other support act on the tour, super nice guy!).
we got all of our stuff setup and proceeded through soundcheck with nom ajor issues. thankfully, the wireless equipment all worked with absolutely not issues at all! that was one of our biggest concerns before we left, so it was a huge relief that it all went well. axel, who is usually vnv nations soundguy, was the house engineer for the evening, so at least we were assured that we would sound great (and we did, i think!).
met up before the show with stefan herwig (head of dependent records, which is home to both mesh and informatik in europe), got our euro merch (the shirts are based on the girls shirt design for the states), and tried to shake off the jet lag, but it was tough. i was so tired that i didn't dare to drink any alcohol before we went on, i was afraid that i might pass out onstage! janosch completed his set, and pretty soon, we were on!
the set went as well as possible, considering all the hurdles: an audience that seemed really unfamiliar with us, incredible jet lag and sleep deprivation, sobriety, etc. but we managed to power through with almost no issues. unfortunately, i couldn't get as crazy as i would have liked...but we managed to survive and people did seem to enjoy the set for the most part. we played a shorter version of our u.s. headlining set, just eight songs...almost. just before we played 'come together', da5id stopped the concert playback, and started packing up. he accidentally misread a lighting cue from the house lighting guy, and had a momentary panic because he thought we'd gone over on our set times (we only get 40min per night). so, i apologize to the hamburg audience that you didn't get a full set from us. but you can blame it on our delirious mental state...it was a simple mistake, it could have been any of us who did that. not the end of the world in any case.
stefan met up with us backstage after the show and had a lot of good ideas of things we could do to improve the show, and it was actually really helpful. over the next few shows we've started putting some of those ideas to work, and things are definitely getting better...
mesh was up next, and i have to say the show is really incredible! and their fans are just crazy in love with them, it was mindblowing! i watched almost the entire show before i needed to go backstage and lay on the floor and try to sleep (impossible, btw). eventually i realized it wasn't going to happen, so i went out to the merch booth to try and sell some cd's and stuff.
i should mention how much merch mesh is carrying, it was without a doubt the largest collection of shirts, cd's, box sets, posters, hoodie's, watches (really!), backpacks, bottle openers and lanyards i've ever see amassed in one space. and it all has to go on the bus! so, we met a ton of cool german folks, even steve naghavi from and one showed up at our show! it was nice to see him again, though we didn't get too much time to talk. i wanted to ask him about the 'pants off men' video on youtube, but didn't get a chance.
after the crowd had cleared out, it was time to load out. our tour bus is a double decker whose last assignment was carrying some of madonna's touring party around on the 'sticky sweet' european tour. it's super nice, much better than the bus we had in the states when we toured with vac and haujobb. however, all the aforementioned merch and mesh's crazy huge staging all had to fit in somehow. we were up until 5am doing the load-out and cramming it all into the bus. in the end, we had to leave about 15 boxes of shirts and cd's at the markthalle! and btw, yeah i want to reiterate, i said FIVE a.m.!!! i lost track of the hours with the time change, but it was a long, long, long night...
finally hit the bunks, and passed out while the sun was coming up, and we headed for copenhagen...
we would like to thank: rene for picking us up at the airport (hope you're feeling better, man!), axel for making us sound totally pro, all the staff at markthalle, steve naghavi, general elektrik and everyone else we met that night at the merch! i apologize if i forgot any names, i was so delirious with jet lag it's hard to keep it all straight. thank you for making our very first european show such a huge event!!!