It was time to take the stage, get behind our instruments and test our memory banks. The crew had done about everything they could without our presence and were ready to fine tune the lights and sound while we ran the set list. This was about as close as we would get to a real concert situation and we had to make it all work today because our first concert was the following night.
This was the first chance we'd had to work on stage with lights, sound and a full monitor system. And of course, getting a monitor mix that satisfied each band member's requirements, though time consuming, was absolutely necessary. Without a good monitor mix we can't really hear each other and if we can't hear, the performance will always suffer to some degree. Also, keep in mind that because the acoustics of each venue are different the monitor mix and the house mix must be adjusted for each show.
By the late afternoon we were starting to dial everything in and the band was really sounding good. Man! When the house system is pumping along with the monitors there's nothing like it. The whole venue fills with sound and you don't just hear the music, you feel it! And, let's face it! Part of the fun of playing a live concert is being able to crank up the volume and not worry about the neighbors. This made the overall energy level of the whole band go up a few more notches and once again the bar was raised.
We finally took a well-deserved dinner break in the early evening. And after refueling and relaxing for a bit, we all headed back to the stage. After all, there was still enough time for another run through before we had to stop and let the crew break the whole thing down, roll it all into trucks and move it to the next venue. It's amazing! By midnight, you'd never know that we were there. By the next morning, the crew would already be hard at work setting up this enormous electric circus at the next venue. This was a routine that would become an almost daily ritual for the entire tour.