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Day 120 - Sept 20- Winnipeg Show Day

I wake up on the bus and it is 10 am and still moving. This is highly unusual and I must admit it has been a few days or maybe a week since I have opened my itinerary and now is as good a time as any. Five hundred and nine miles, and we got rolling somewhere just before 3 am last night, 'bout right I guess. With rigging calls typically in around 8 am and a 10:45 am arrival time according to bus driver roadie Brian, that puts us about 3 hours later today at getting 12 trucks of gear in, up and running.

Turns out it the production humans have it planned out and expected the crunch. I asked if the sound roadies need my help but they have a mind set to power through and make it happen. It becomes clear the my assistance would just dilute the accomplishment, so I set up office and work on my ratty stuff as usual and await the amp racks to to be un layered out of the sound truck.

Status report: All amps function so the search for local spares on hold can be released. The damage report:

  • 1 input panel partially ripped off the rack rails
  • 8 bent front panels on Lab Gruppen amps
  • 4 bent rack ears on Crown amps
  • All the front rack rail is bent or stripped
  • and the top shells on both racks have somewhat mashed in corners.

The good news is that though not pretty, it is patchable to finish the trip without shipping in costly replacement gear. The bad news is that at some point there is a pile of work to be done and a few thousand dollars in fix it bits to bring them back to the previous state of beauty. As with many things, humans included, it was not the actual fall that caused all the damage. It was the very abrupt landing when contacting the planet earth at a high rate of speed messed things up. I will try and shoot some pics of them at some point.

**** Highlight of the Day ****

I got a pile of Avril Lavigne swag to bring home to my shorties. Thank you Craig and Shawn!

**** End Highlight of the Day ****

Tonight the load out splits up the gear again. Next show is Virgin Festival in Baltimore for one truck and the global crew, all the rest of the hardware and humans have a 1400 miles bus ride to Toronto for multiple days off. Global crew has a 7:45 am plane international plane flight with a long layover and connection, that means like a 5 am lobby call, Super yuck!

The joyous

Dave Rat


Day 119 - Saskatoon Show Day

**** The Old Roadie Lap Story Continues ****

It was one of the most awkward moments in memory. Amazing how the ponderment of freezing to death can turn a normally fairly cheery group into grumps. Bits of blame get tossed around ranging from questioning the wisdom of turning off the van, the chosen parking region and whether the van battery was charged or old and even mentioned was wonderment of whether it was a great idea to tour Canada in the winter. Finally, like no tough punker male in the van would do, Kira announces that she can see a dim light in the distance and is going to try and hike over there. The feeling of relief that a solution could be at hand mixed with thoughts that someone other than the tiniest human we have to offer to the elements should be making the trek. The logic that turning off the van was not the best idea seemed to solidify her task at hand and none volunteered to join or replace her on the journey.

Some watched the little Kira in the moonlit darkness getting smaller and smaller as she hiked in knee deep snow across the field until she vanished. I laid there rebundled regretting not having a proper sleeping bag. The next thing I remember is headlights coming. Two brothers hop out of pickup truck with jumper cables. And after some charging time, the van sparks back to life. Heroic Kira has saved us all. And off goes the truck into the icy night. After a short while of letting the van run for a bit, I feel the van move forward and off we go. About two feet that is before the engine dies. Clickity clickity clickity is the sound of absurdity.

**** Stay tuned for the heart warming final segment of this Old Roadie Lap Story coming soon! ****

The shows of late have been consistently smooth and in the upper range of rock shows to see and each with its own nuances that make it special. I avoid rating specific shows as to do so would impose my skewed perspective. I also avoid judging the sound of the show and try and stick to focusing on whether one one venue is more challenging than the next and leave the opinion of the success or failure of my task up to others to determine. All that said, I have been enjoying the shows and again tonight I feel pretty darn good about the rock show. Lights, video, sound, and the comfort and energy from the band have all been very cool.

I was happy that was until I heard that two amp racks fell off of a fork lift while getting loaded into the sound truck. Ouch! One had four Crown amps at 80 pounds each and the other was loaded with eight Lab Gruppen amps at 22 pounds each. Four hundred pounds dropping from a fork lift generally means a whole lot of not good. With twelve amps buried in a truck for an overnight drive existing in a questionable state of function, my concern is only match by my compassion for the poor little amp racks with big ouch's. I wish I had gotten some time to console them before they were loaded but that will have to wait till the next show.

All I have for you picture wise is a quick pic snapped of the after show walk out. The "T" you see sticking out of the mixing board is two SM98's that we use for recording audience mics to the Pro Tools rig.

And finally, if there is any curiosities or roadie stories that you would like me to share or cover, fire away with requests and I will see what I can do!

The worried about the poor amp racks,

Dave Rat