tour report - pratteln (ch)

so we were up pretty late partying after munich, and headed out towards switzerland on an overnight drive. i fell asleep, and when i woke up the bus was stopped. we knew in advance that the border crossing out of the e.u. into switzerland was going to be difficult. but we didn't know exactly how difficult it would prove to be.

when i woke up, sandra and jan had both been inside dealing with the swiss border authorities for several hours (try doing that while still drunk/hungover!). the main concern was that they wanted total counts on all the merch onboard the bus, so that they could charge us the sales tax. this is something that happens pretty much anywhere (try taking a tour across the u.s./canadian border, for example). but because mesh has so much merch onboard, apparently this complicated the situation to the point where it took five hours or so to deal with the necessary paperwork, and get rolling again. of course, this meant that we were running seriously behind for our show in pratteln!

as we got closer to the venue, we decided that we were all going to need to pitch in and help unload the trailer, with all the flight cases as well as all the equipment and merch. so between the 15 of us and the local loading crew, we were able to get everything in and setup within just an hour or so (i think, it's a little blurry). we were able to get some laundry done as well, which was absolutely necessary at this point in the tour.

i should point out that the venue was easily the largest venue of the tour so far, and will probably be the biggest one we play the whole time. i think the capacity was something like 3000 people or so. just incredibly massive, i tried shooting a video, but it was pretty difficult to accurately capture the scale of the place.

since we had gotten in so late, the soundcheck times were greatly reduced, but it was ok because the local soundcrew was very on top of things. we got everything setup and checked in about 15min, not too bad. the backstage was pretty cool too, with a window overlooking the stage so we could watch janosch perform while getting ready for our set.

the downside to such a massive venue, of course, is that it must be full. and honestly, there was no band short of depeche mode capable of filling this place. so it seemed like a little bit empty while we were playing, but at least the audience seemed to enjoy what we were doing. the stage was so massive, i was wandering all over the place and not running into any of mesh's equipment (seriously, the stage was really really big). we powered our way through the set, and waited for mesh to play while watching from the main floor. if there is one way to describe their show tonight, i would say it was very much like living in the film 'close encounters of the third kind', the light show was godlike this evening!! not sure exactly what pete was doing out there, but it was like the hand of god crushing through the lighting system!! he filmed our set and their set, and i honestly can't wait to get my hands on the footage, from what i've seen it's absolutely ridiculous.

this was a mostly sober show for me, and a bit of a breaking point for me mentally. i had this semi-terrible realization that i'd been around the company of other people 24/7 for the past few weeks, and sort of needed some alone time...alone time that didn't really come. at home, i'm much more used to spending time by myself, so it was getting a little overwhelming. but i can't complain too much, i'm quite lucky to be in this position...in a reasonably well liked band, on tour with a really amazing team of people.

that said, it was kind of a miserable night for me, personally, and i think everyone was kind of overly stressed because of the border crossing and the rushed load-in, etc. i think we were all pretty happy when we were finally able to pack up and roll out at the end of the evening.

we would like to thank everyone that managed to make it out to the show, and the staff at Z7! and also extend a big fuck you to the swiss border control for the rather totally unnecessary delay in the morning, etc.

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