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Backstage with Baldy

Copenhagen – June 14th

Despite the fact that the jet lag is in full effect and I haven’t slept in 24 hours, Copenhagen was a blast.
Maybe part of the reason I say that is because as I write this I’m sitting on a chartered jet eating sushi on the way from Copenhagen to the Download Festival.
Sometimes it’s nice to dip your toes in the waters of the upper crust, and right now my toes are soaking wet in crustiness.

Let’s backtrack a bit though.
We had a day off in Copenhagen to get acclimated to the time change, which everyone did to varying degrees of success.
Unfortunately Sean used his day off to plunge head first into what appears to be a solid case of the flu, while most of the rest of us managed to make it out and explore the city.

I didn’t sleep on the flight over from Seattle, yet I somehow managed to stay awake until midnight of night #1, and I actually got a full night’s rest and switched over to Copenhagen time pretty seamlessly.
Until night #2. I faded out around 12:30, only to pop up wide awake at 3:00 A.M. and never get back to sleep.

So as the sun rose on show day I was cranky, jet-lagged, and sleep deprived when we arrived on site, and I didn’t have the highest hopes for a good day at the Copenhell festival.
I stayed in the production office all day, and word coming from the stage was that there were some technical difficulties. (foreshadowing) Not on our end, but in terms of the local equipment & facilities.
Over the course of the day, things seemed to get worked out, and the show went on as planned.

Fast forward a few hours. Alice In Chains was about two thirds of the way through their set and a couple minutes into Stone, when…………..
All power went out on stage and in the front of house mix area, and the show came to a grinding halt.
So long story short, the sheer crushing power of Alice In Chains blew up Copenhell.
The local staff began scrambling to hook up the backup generator, the band hung around on stage wondering what was going to happen, and we all waited and hoped.
Eventually after about 25 minutes of hand-wringing, the power was restored, the onslaught continued, and the band killed it as they came down the home stretch.

And as long as I’m mentioning the show, I should point out that the Copenhell crowd was awesome. And unique.
Our driver told me earlier in the day that Copenhagen was the happiest city on earth. Now I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I definitely noticed something a bit different out in the crowd tonight, starting with the mosh pit.
We don’t get mosh pits all that often, and when we do, it’s the usual scene of scary looking guys amped up on testosterone and beer slamming into each other.
Well, that was the scene in Copenhell, except for the fact that I kept noticing something I’ve never seen in a pit before: dudes wrapped in each other’s arms hugging and smiling.
Every so often a pit would break out, guys would slam into each other at full speed, back up, do it again a few more times, then get all giddy and hug each other in the middle of the pit as a bunch of other rowdy dudes kept on slamming into one another. Interesting.
As I walked out amongst the crowd for a few songs I also noticed a lot more smiles than I normally see. Maybe it was the beer. There was a lot of beer.
Or maybe Copenhagen is indeed the happiest place on earth.
Even better was the fact that it kind of rubbed off.
Despite the power failure, the guys had a great show and were in high spirits afterward. And despite my lack of sleep I ended up having a really good day.

These 2 ½ days in Copenhagen represent to me everything that I love about touring; being in a great city, hanging out and having a blast with some of my best friends, and watching the band put on a stellar show.

And of course capping it all off on a private jet with a mound of sushi while Sean makes the flight attendant blush by doing something inappropriate.
Yes, what good road story is complete without mention of the drummer using a strategically placed dinner napkin to feign an erection in front of a befuddled flight attendant?

So there you go. The cherry on top of the Copenhagen sundae.
Hope you enjoyed it…

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