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Backstage with Baldy

July 1st – Vancouver

I was recently asked what my favorite cities to visit on tour are.

Somehow I neglected to include Vancouver on that list, so I’d like to take this opportunity to remedy that omission.

Maybe it’s because it’s so close to Seattle, but I sometimes forget how awesome Vancouver is.

It’s a beautiful city with nice people, and it deserves to be on the list of my favorite places.

And it has some pretty exuberant music fans as well, which helps boost my opinion of it.

We arrived a few days early into Vancouver before the actual show in order for the band to rehearse and to set up the new stage set and break in a few new crew guys.

Yes, we’ve once again ramped up the production for this Canadian run, and things look great.

Speaking of great, on the drive to the gig we were reminded that today was Jerry’s 10 year sober anniversary, so the day kind of got off to a celebratory start.

Not to mention that it was Canada Day, so the entire city (and country) was celebrating as well.

And to top it all off, catering was serving corn at dinner, which caused me to do a little rejoicing of my own.

How could the day get any better?

How about a little strangeness added in?

Tonight it had to do with the meet & greet.

We held it outdoors not far from the fence line that separated the main venue field from the backstage area. (The gig was outdoors as well)

The fence was about 8 feet tall with a scrim that kept people from seeing into the backstage area.

When the sun hits it just right you can kind of see through it though, so right before the guys came out to do the meet & greet I noticed that there were four or five guys lined up by the fence right behind the table where the band would be sitting.

I wasn’t really paying much attention to them, as no one was yelling or trying to climb the fence.

But as I looked again more closely, I noticed that everyone seemed to have their hands down by their crotches. Just as I was trying to figure out why a bunch of dudes would be grabbing their man parts while trying to peer through a fence at Alice In Chains signing autographs for fans, I realized that what I was actually witnessing was a urinal trough that had been set up next to the fence.

It’s well documented that I love firsts. Anything new that I’ve never seen before always perks me up.

Tonight was the first time that the backdrop to an Alice In Chains meet & greet was a bunch of dudes taking a leak.

And sure, it’s a bit odd that an ever-changing procession of lightly silhouetted men relieving themselves into a urinal trough made my day, but it did, and I’ll own it.

As far as the show was concerned, the Vancouver fans got this Canadian tour off to a great start. Any time you see a guy with a broken leg crowd surfing to the front while sitting in a wheelchair, well, that’s a good gauge of the level of craziness.

And to top it all off, Layne’s dad Phil came to the show with us today, and he got a great response when Jerry introduced him to the crowd before the band played Nutshell, which was cool.

All in all it was just one of those days where everything lined up perfectly.

The band sounded amazing, the fans were A++, the weather was beautiful, and as I write this I have a perfect view out of my hotel room window of Vancouver’s Canada Day fireworks celebration.

Now I’m going to polish off my Diet Mountain Dew and go looking for a urinal trough…

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Backstage With Baldy

Indianapolis – August 19th

When you’re standing on the side of the stage behind the amp line, you don’t get the clearest mix of the show, and it’s especially difficult to decipher what William or Jerry are saying when they’re talking to the audience....

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