Backstage with Baldy

Luxembourg – June 28th

Funny thing about water; people love to drink it, swim in it, bathe in it, and cook with it.

Folks enjoy using all types of devices to travel on top of it, filling balloons with it to throw at each other, and skating on top of it when it’s frozen.

Water covers about 71 percent of the earth’s surface, and makes up roughly 60 percent of each of us human beings.

Yet when it falls from the sky during a music festival, it f*@#ing sucks.

The Rock A Field festival outside of Roeser, Luxembourg was pelted by rain from the minute we arrived until the minute we left.

Fortunately, the festival promoters set things up nicely backstage. The production and dressing room compound was erected on an enormous wooden floor, so no one was slogging through mud to get around, which is often the case at outdoor festivals when it rains.

The stage was well covered too, so not much rain was making its way onto the performers.

But then of course there’s that area behind the stage.

The area where the trucks go.

The area that’s a dirt road.

The area that had become a mud road.

The area I had to walk back and forth through all day to get from the dressing room to the stage.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the old phrase that says, “Don’t bring a knife to gun fight.”

Well, in a similar vein, I’m coining the phrase, “Don’t wear white Adidas to an outdoor festival when it’s pouring down rain.”

It’s not all about the aesthetics of a sullying a pair of white sneakers, it’s also about practicality.

Because these shoes are old (I pulled them from the back of my closet with the full knowledge that they’d get trashed on this run).

But I forgot about the second reason most people there were wearing rain boots: traction.

My five year old Adidas are a bit worn down and the soles are pretty bare as you might imagine, and that’s the aspect I didn’t think about.

So when I hit a particularly slippery patch of mud and my left foot suddenly went out from under me on the way to the stage, I thought to myself, “Damn, I deserve this.”

Two things worked in my favor at that point; First off, I was carrying towels to the stage, and secondly, I have the reflexes of a cat. Or better yet, a puma.

As I started to go down, I reached out with my left hand and braced myself against the ground.

It must have looked like a graceful, ballet-like demonstration of athleticism and coordination as I caught my own fall, somehow managed to pull off a backwards limbo/Neo from The Matrix type move, then twisted my torso around, shifted my weight, and made my way back to a standing position, all without getting a speck of mud on me (the towel in my hand took a beating however).

Anyone who managed to witness that incident will surely be retelling it for years, and I have no doubt that the story of the “Bald White Puma In The Rain” (Glabres Puma Blanc Sous La Pluie?) will someday be a part of Luxembourg lore.

Oh yeah, Alice In Chains played a rock show in the rain at the Rock A Field Festival.

That was pretty cool too…




Backstage With Baldy

Bethlehem – August 16th

The last day of any tour is always a little extra hectic. You’re clearing everything off of the bus, dealing with travel plans to get everyone home, making sure gear is going to the right place, and on top of...

Tour Dates