Exciter Tour Diary
The Exciter Tour Diaries were written by Nichelle Carlson whose job on the Exciter Tour was to handle all the press and promotion, organize all the interviews that need to take place as well as the photographers and TV crews that come to the shows. She also took care of the "meet and greets" that take place in each city. Nichelle's diaries are meant to be an insight into the "behind the scenes" aspect of the tour. They are not meant to be a song-by-song account of each show. On days that Nichelle was unable to record events, BRAT, webmaster for Depechemode.com - from whence these diaries come - filled in as story writer. This tour diary can also be found on the official site here.
Thursday, June 7
"We got into Quebec City at about 11:30 PM and began rehearsals Friday at the venue - Colisee Pepsi. It is so amazing to see everything up and working after so much preparation. It is also so different hearing the guys perform in a large venue rather than the tiny studio they were previously practicing in up in Santa Barbara. On Saturday, there were some interviews with Canadian press that went very well - a couple of daily papers along with some TVs. We also had 6 contest winners from 3 different radio stations come and meet the band, then stay for 30 minutes of the rehearsal. They all seemed to enjoy it and were able to take part in a very special event."
Sunday, June 10
"Tonight we had a dress rehearsal, which was fun because the guys wore what they are going to wear for the first show, and the set went along with no stops. They sounded amazing and the lights and projections looked great. We are all very excited for the first show on Monday."
Tuesday, June 12
"The show went very well last night, but there were a few mishaps with the projections. For It's No Good, the projection was not put up in time, so the audience was not able to see Anton's work. Jordan (backup singer) also had some problems hearing herself, but that is why we had these first few shows, to fix those problems and make everything perfect! Though the venue was not completely sold out, the crowd was amazing and very into it. During Never Let Me Down Again, they went crazy and sang along to every word.
Afterwards, some people came back to the "Pub" as we call it - the hang out room at the venue. Of course there is table football in there as well as a ping pong table. The guys were very happy with the show and it made them excited for more to come.
This afternoon we took our plane to Ottawa - our first time on the new plane that we are going to have for the US leg of the tour. Let me tell you, it is a pretty nice one and one that I think we all will be very comfortable on!
Tomorrow we have our show in Ottawa, so I need to start organizing some things for that. Will write more later..."
Thursday, June 14
"Ottawa show went well, though not overwhelmingly crowded. We are all excited for Montreal and Toronto as those shows have sold amazingly well. And today we have a day off - yeah!"
Friday, June 15
"Today is the Montreal show - looking forward to it. I think we sold about 12,500 tickets, yeah! Our first decent size show thus far. I am so excited and have realized that the crowd makes such a difference. We also have a photographer from MAGIC here - a magazine in France. He is going to take pictures all throughout the night, before, during and after. The photographer and one other (JC from Virgin) flew in that morning from Paris, are going to hang out for the show, then fly back in the morning. They seem a bit tired - I wonder why!"
Sunday, June 17
"So the last two days have been pretty amazing. The Montreal show was fantastic - the guys kept saying afterwards that they could barely hear themselves because the crowd was so loud. Others also said the same thing - the loudest crowd they have ever heard. And when you are in a venue that is completely full, there is just so much energy.
We were also graced with the presence of our two agents - Carole Kinzel (US agent) and Andrew Zweck (European agent). It was great to have both of them there, and to listen to Andrew's jokes! Carole also had fun with us in the bar afterwards, let me tell you! We only got Carole for one day, but Andrew came with us on the plane onto Toronto.
Toronto was absolutely amazing. Though everyone else did not think it was as beautiful as me - well they did, but I was so surprised by the venue and everyone else had seen it before. It was right on the water and by a harbor, so every window you looked out had a beautiful view. And to make things better, it was a beautiful sunny day. It just made everything great - those surroundings.
During the meet and greet, the guys were presented with a "star" from the House of Blues. I guess everyone who sells it out gets one. It was a pretty picture though that they received, a painted picture of the venue.
Another great thing about that venue - Molson Amphitheatre - was the catering. We had not had the best catering at the previous venues, but this was exceptionally good as far as catering goes.
Today was our day off in Toronto and boy did I go a bit crazy. I had not shopped in so long, so it felt so good. I also got to see a bit of the town which was nice. All in all, it was a great time."
Wednesday, June 20
"I am writing this right now as we take off from Minneapolis to Milwaukee. Okay, here we go!
Okay, we are high off into the sky. The show last night was okay but the crowd was not the best. They were not as loud and into it as the last two Canadian dates. The town was also not the greatest - no offense to those who live there, but not much to do. How many times can you walk around a 3 block area, ya know? I heard that the better parts were about 20 minutes away, but we never made it out there. I think they also have the second largest mall in America - is that right?
Tonight we play Milwaukee, then leave right after the show to travel to Chicago overnight. It is a quick flight though and we should get in around 1:30 AM. Then day off - YES! I have never been to Chicago and looking forward to it. Shopping one again! I am so sick of the clothes that I have brought on this trip already, so new ones I must get!
Our security boys getting excited for the Detroit show since they are all from there. It is so nice when you are able to go back to a familiar area and see those that you recognize. I am very excited for New York (I use to live there) and to see all my friends and my sister. We are stationed there for several days as well, so that is nice.
Okay, enough rambling. I will fill you guys in a bit - probably after the Chicago show. Be good!"
Friday, June 22 (Chicago)
"I am writing this as the band is on stage - seen the show a few times already! Anyways, we are in Chicago and leaving tomorrow for Detroit. Chicago is a very beautiful city with so many things to do. We had a dinner last night hosted by Jeff McClusky (independent radio guru) that was really nice. There were about 40 or so people there and everyone seemed to have a good time. Then afterwards we went to a club down the street - I think everyone had a little TOO much fun. We all seem to be a bit more slow paced today than normal, a little more quiet and out of it!
The show seems to be going well - the band has been on stage for about an hour now and the venue is really pretty and outside. At the meet and greet tonight, the guys were greeted with a round of applause - first time that has happened so far. I think they were pleasantly surprised and it got them excited for the show.
A familiar guest is here tonight - Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, an old friend and fan of the guys.
Okay, that is it for now. Not too sure what our plans are tonight, but it is our last night in Chicago, so we must enjoy!"
Monday, June 25 (Day Off)
"We got into New York City late last night and today is a day off - thank goodness! Last night as we got into the airport, a few of us who were taking a bit too long to get organized were stuck in a van with the worst driver HUMANELY possible. Not only was he rude and unfriendly, but we almost got into several accidents. At least 2 times he swerved into the other lane - people kept honking at us. It was very frightening to say the least, and everyone in the car was very thankful to make it to the hotel alive.
We are going to be based in New York for the next 10 days which will be so nice. We are going to Philly on Saturday and staying overnight there, but we will keep our rooms in NY as well. Then going to Boston from Philly on Sunday, but then straight back to NY Sunday night. It is just nice to be able to actually unpack for a bit and stay in ONE place for longer than a day or two.
Tonight I am going to meet with the wonderful and amazing Allison McGregor of CAA to organize the tickets for the upcoming shows. Since our guestlist is rather over the top, I have needed immense help, and because Alli is so great and incredible, she has offered her time to us to make my life easier. Tonight we are going to begin organizing as many tickets as we can so people can come by the hotel and pick them up before the show. That makes people happier - it is nice to go to the venue with tickets in hand, and it also makes it easier for me - that way I do not have to be at the venue arranging all of them that night. So now I am off to Alli's room to begin a night of work - yeah!"
Tuesday, June 26 (Day Off / Letterman show)
"Alli McGregor and I worked until about 2:00 AM last night organizing the tickets to hand out at the hotel from 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM today. I will only stay until 3:00 because tonight the guys are on David Letterman. I LOVE Letterman, so I am very excited to attend. We also have a MTV / VH1 cocktail party to attend. It is basically for these companies to schmooze the guys a bit and to make it easier to get them to do things for them in the future. I will let you all know how it went tomorrow."
Wednesday, June 27 (New York City)
"Well, Letterman was a huge success, hopefully you all saw it (WEBMASTER NOTE: If you didn't see it, it's available for viewing in the Archives). I was not able to be in the studio during the show, but I was able to see the setup when the guys rehearsed. And I am not sure if you all know this, but everyone always jokes about how cold the Letterman studio is, and I always laughed about it and said oh, it is probably not THAT cold. Let me tell you - it is FREEZING! I guess the reason is because David Letterman never wants to sweat on camera, so the studio is about 20 below - funny, huh?
Anyways, the show went well and the guys seemed happy with it. I thought it was funny how Letterman had them all sit by his desk after they performed. That rarely happens on that show - usually the band performs and then the show is over. So I thought that was a bit cool.
The MTV / VH1 cocktail party was interesting, though not too exciting. All the guys hung out for a bit, so that was nice.
I am now at the venue - Madison Square Garden and the craziness has began. I will let you know how it went tomorrow."
Thursday, June 28 (New York City)
"I had SO much fun at last night's show. Since so many of the tickets were taken care of at the hotel, I did not have to deal with too many tickets at the venue. That is a huge burden off my shoulders since I have other press and meet and greets to deal with then, and the guest list has become the biggest pain in my butt! So I decided once the band went on stage and all the problems that concerned me were solved, that I would pack up my office and enjoy the show with my sister and friends, and that is exactly what I did. It is so much more fun to watch the show with your friends and those that you can have fun with than by yourself, as I do at many of the other venues. I had the best time dancing and singing to all the songs, and I thought that last night's show was by far the best one yet. And the families were there as well, with the wives and children, so that made it even better. The audience was incredible and just gave the guys more and more energy than they already had.
After the show, we had an after party at the venue which was fun, lots of friends and schmoozing. A friend of mine, David Peris, is a big fan of Anton Corbijn's, wanted me to ask Anton to take a picture of us. So of course Anton willingly obliged, and David was very excited. The pictures came out quite funny actually, with no one really posing and just kind of laughing!
Once we left the venue, our band party went back to our hotel for some drinks at the bar and had a nice time chatting and socializing. It was a very long yet successful day and everyone seemed really happy with the show."
Friday, June 29 (Day Off)
"Last night's show went just as well, though I seem to think Wednesdays was a bit better as far as the crowd goes. Fletch did an interview with WPLJ before the meet and greet which went smoothly. Sometimes those radio ones are a little cheesy and superficial to say the least, but this one Fletch was very happy with.
After the show, we again had a little after party at the venue, but this time we had planned a party at the W Hotel's Underbar. It turned out okay, but was a bit hectic when we all arrived at the same time and the guys had trouble getting into their own bash. It was also a bit crowded inside, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and take advantage of the free alcohol, if you know what I mean.
Overall, I think the MSG shows went very well. Though I had a great time and was so excited for them, I am SO very happy they are over. I had been working on those darn tickets for so long that, to think I do not have to take anymore requests for that show is an amazing feeling."
Sunday, July 1 (Boston)
"Last nights show went fairly well, though not too comparable to Madison Square Garden. Donna Vergier and Kate Whitby graced us with their presence for the Philly show which was nice. We all spent a great deal of time with Kate and Donna doing press in London last March, so we all enjoy their company greatly. Kate took care of me when I was there in London and realizing that the tour had not even started yet and I was already so exhausted! She is a great friend and I LOVE it when she comes to visit.
The MTV interviews went well, and David did indeed pull the camera out on stage and tell everyone to wish MTV a happy birthday. That is exactly what they wanted, so I think they were overjoyed.
I am now in Boston and we had a crazy time flying over here. There was a severe storm that we had to fly around, so the last 20 minutes of the flight were a bit scary. We kept dropping down, then popping back up - UGH! And Georgia, our backup singer was up in the cockpit at the time, so we all blamed her for the turbulence. Tonight, as we fly back into NYC, I reserved the seat in the cockpit as we land into New York. I heard it is amazing to land into a large city like that, so hopefully I can tell you all how it was tomorrow.
Poe just finished her set, so I need to go out and make sure the photographers are in place. Not too sure if many people are here since a friend of mine phoned me who was on her way, yet turned back because the storm was so bad. Oh no, I hope our flight is not too rough on our way back!
I also wanted to say thank you to a woman who came up to me at the Philly show and complemented me on my entries, I did not get her name. It was so nice to hear that and made me feel as if people do actually read them and enjoy them rather than criticize what I write about. Hopefully you all enjoy them and realize that our life out here is pretty repetitive. I will try to make them as interesting as possible, but bare with me!
I also forgot to say thank you to Dan in Detroit for bringing me a Michigan sweatshirt - so nice of him, thank you!"
Saturday, June 30 (Philadelphia)
"We are now in Philly and flew straight to the venue from the airport. MTV is here to film the guys for their 20th Anniversary special as well as get an interview for MTV News. They are also going to film Personal Jesus and Dave is going to bring the camera out on stage and say a little greeting to MTV - should be interesting. Need to go and organize the interviews now, will write more tomorrow."
Tuesday, July 3 - Jones Beach
"So we are now back in New York and on our way to Jones Beach in Wantaugh. I have heard a lot about this venue but have never been to a show there. It is surrounded by water and tonight it is supposed to be beautiful. On the last flight from Boston back to New York, I was able to sit in the cockpit as we landed. Let me tell you, it was pretty amazing. I had never done anything like that before, and it was something that I will never forget. To see the city from that far up was crazy, and to be able to see how everything is done is quite amazing. I think there are a few of is on board who have yet to be up there for take off or landing, but I am sure that by the end of tour, we will have all had a chance."
Wednesday, July 4 - New York
"Jones Beach was great and went very well. Martin sang "Dressed In Black" with Peter doing vocals and it sounded amazing. I think the audience was really happily surprised to hear that and sang along to every word. Martin and Peter singing together is a pretty incredible thing to witness. Our next trip is Washington DC on Thursday - yeah!"
Thursday, July 5 - Washington DC
"When we landed in Washington, it was a bit rainy and the traffic was miserable. It took us quite a while to get to the venue due to that and everyone was going crazy by the time we made it.
Fletch did an interview with WHFS which went well. A young woman had won a contest that allowed her to conduct the interview. Fletch enjoyed that is was an actual fan asking him questions rather than a DJ just doing their job.
When we were doing our meet and greet, it began raining which we were a bit worried about because the venue was outdoors, but it eventually stopped and became a beautiful night.
We got back to the venue pretty late and a bunch of people went out to some clubs. I ended up staying back and enjoying a night of relaxation! It is nice to do that sometimes, though it seems like those nights never come."
Saturday, July 7 - Ft. Lauderdale
"We are now in Ft. Lauderdale and staying at a beautiful hotel right on the water. We got into West Palm Beach - where we are staying - at about 6:30 PM on Friday which we were all unhappy about because we had wasted that day. Oh well, nothing to do about it now! Some of us - Andrew P., Jonathan, Ivan, myself and David and Jennifer went out to a great place for dinner. Then we went back to the hotel and watched the beautiful full moon above the water. Florida is great for their warm nights."
Sunday, July 8 - Tampa
"The Ft. Lauderdale show went pretty well. I have never heard such a loud one as of yet, but maybe it was just me. My father came down to see it, and since it was so loud where we were sitting, we moved to the front of house, but even there it was ear shattering. Sounded great though and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
We are soon on our way to Tampa in the afternoon, then Atlanta - three in a row.
The families are back out with us which is nice - good to have the children around and having them see what it is their fathers' do for a living! They all seem to enjoy it a great deal as well."
Monday, July 9 - Atlanta
"So tonight I am in Atlanta and the guys are singing I Feel You. The meet and greet went well though a storm came in during the middle of it. The weather around here is so crazy - with it being beautiful and sunny one second, then thundering and lightening the next. It is also so humid that no matter what, you start sweating immediately - hate that! We are doing a runner tonight - leaving immediately after the show. I LOVE those because that means we do not have to hang out at the venue and waste time, but rather get on our way to the next city. Another great part about them is that there is always a HUGE Indian feast on the plane before we take off. So the guys come off the stage, we leave the venue, then eat as much as possible once on the plane before we take off. And I wonder why I am gaining weight!"
Tuesday, July 10 - New Orleans
"Last night's runner went well. Most of the time we get police escorts which is so cool, but they never do more than just turn on the sirens and lead the way. The one last night was a bit scary because they blocked off the opposite side of the road, so we crossed the divider for several feet while they stopped the oncoming traffic. When you have those escorts, it always makes you feel quite important. I mean you'd think we were the president or something they way they rush us out of the venues and off to the airport. I do enjoy them though I must say! So we have the next 3 days off before our show on Friday. That is pretty amazing, and tomorrow night we are going to have a big birthday bash for Fletch's 40th. He has invited tons of friends and it should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow we also have the video shoot for the third single "Free Love." It is going to be directed by John Hillcoat who also did "I Feel Loved." His take on the video seems really cool and different, and I am excited to see the final product. I will let you know how it went on Thursday."
Thursday, July 12 - New Orleans
"So yesterday was a very active and busy day. We had the video shoot all day which went late, then Fletch's birthday party that night. Lets first speak about the video shoot.
As all video shoots go, the main motto is to "hurry up and wait," and that is exactly what we did. And each time they say 5 minutes, in real life it means 25-45 minutes. Fletch, Martin and myself got down there about 1:00 PM - David had arrived earlier - and we did a lot of hanging out in the trailer. David did a few shots by himself (I cannot say TOO much because I do not want to give it away), then Martin and Fletch did some as well. The bad part came when it began to rain. It had done this earlier in the day, but passed over quite quickly. We kept thinking that this last storm would do the same, but it ended up staying much longer. The best part was watching it come in. Some of us stood outside before the rain began and watched as it started much farther away with the lightening and thunder. I guess Louisiana is famous for these type of storms, a bit like Atlanta.
So after waiting and waiting and waiting for it to pass, John Hillcoat decided to shoot them under a nearby bridge, allowing them an interesting background as well as some cover from the rain. John and his staff shot a bunch of footage the day before as well around New Orleans, so I think that the video will be very cool when it is finished. The guys seemed to think so as well.
Now onto Fletch's birthday. We began at an amazing restaurant called Andrew Jaeger's House of Seafood for some cocktails and appetizers. Then about an hour later dinner began. It was incredible food and good company, just what Fletch had wanted. Then after dinner, a few people went up and gave toasts, as well as Peter and Christian doing a birthday song for him. Of course Martin did not want to be left out - he sang several more songs, some Elvis and one of his own - a country version of "Just Can't Get Enough" with Peter and Christian accompanying him. Overall, it turned out to be a great night!"
Saturday, July 14 - Houston
"Last night's show in New Orleans went well, a rather different set up. All of the floor was general admission which we had never had before, and the venue overall was small and somewhat intimate. CD:UK and Popworld, two TV shows from London came over before the show and interviewed both Fletch and David after sound check.
I think we all were happy to leave New Orleans since we were there for quite a few days, and geez, they just make it WAY too easy to drink there! We all had a great time though, but were ready for a new city.
I am at the gig in Houston now and WOW, it is hot out there. The coolest part though is that the stage is air conditioned. Not too sure how that works when it is outside, but somehow it does.
We are here overnight, then off to San Antonio tomorrow, then a runner to Dallas tomorrow night. Oh how I love those runners!"
Tuesday, July 24 - Los Angeles (day off)
"OK, so we've made it to Los Angeles for a couple of much needed days off. Since I last updated you, we've done shows in Dallas - insanely hot and humid, but a great show (nice people too). We then moved further into the heat and desert for a stop in Las Cruces, a nice intimate indoor show - how I love that air conditioning. We spent that night in El Paso, Texas - on the border of Mexico, so the next morning myself, Ed, Georgia, Bean and Phillpott took the short walk over the bridge and border into Juarez, Mexico for a little exploration and souvenir shopping - Georgia is a true hustler, bargaining with the local tradesmen until they were virtually giving the stuff away for free!! After the heat took its toll we headed back to the hotel and flew on to Albuquerque.
Albuquerque was pretty quiet - we stayed in a hotel with absolutely nothing around it but the airport. The show had the potential for disaster as just before it began, a huge lighting storm headed in our direction showering the audience and stage - but like true DM fans they stuck it out and the sky cleared making way for a great night and a great show - still it was damn hot....
Next day on to Denver - altitude hell!! A great town but far too high in the sky - we were all walking around gasping for air!! The band found the combination of heat and thin air tough going - everyone was exhausted after the show, but it was definitely worth it. A good night at the hotel afterwards and some of our air-crew joined us for the revelries.
Sunday, July 22 was a much needed day off in Denver, and time to contemplate what to buy Martin for his birthday and a quick trip to the cinema for David, Jordan, Georgia, Jonathan and myself. We all saw America's Sweethearts - not too sure if I would recommend it.
That Monday, July 23 on Martins birthday, we flew to Salt Lake City for a welcomed indoor show at the E Center - as usual the Salt Lake City fans were amazing, pushing the band into playing a storming set and just as Martin thought he was about to play his solo set, Dave walked back on stage and got the fans to join him singing Happy Birthday to you - you should have seen the look on his face!
After the show we did a runner to L.A. for our next few days off as the crew make their way to Portland for a bit of tax-free shopping. You know they're all going to be wearing new Nikes when we get there on Friday!!!!"
Friday, July 28 - Vancouver, B.C.
"So we have made it into Portland. It is odd to be back at a show when we have had so many days off. I feel like we are just getting back to school after a long summer break. I am exhausted for absolutely no reason but too much relaxation.
We all had a nice time in LA. I rented a car so I had a bit of freedom for once. That is one thing I truly miss - the independence you get with a car. It was also nice to be familiar with an area and know where you are going. I also had a break from the group - I was able to leave them for a while and see some friends who I had not seen since I left. That was nice and made me remember that I do have a life outside of the tour. I tend to forget that at times!
Martin had a birthday dinner with friends which I did not make, and Fletch had an important pool tournament that he entered with Tony. They all seemed to enjoy their time off as well, forgetting the craziness of tour life for a bit.
Tonight after the Portland show, we will be in Vancouver. I have never been there and heard there is great shopping."
Sunday, July 29 - Seattle, WA
"We are leaving for Seattle in a couple hours, but had a great show last night in Vancouver. My mom and aunt came to it which was nice, and surprisingly enough, watched the entire show! The crowd was great and everyone, meaning the band, seemed really into it. They all looked like they were enjoying themselves and putting forth that extra effort. It is so much more exciting when you can see the guys having fun. And good ol' Peter with his fantastic dance moves - gotta love those spins! After the show, we had a great time down at the hotel bar with Martin entertaining us with his beautiful voice. There was this man at the bar that turned out to be a piano genius, so him and Martin became the best of pals and showed off for us the whole night. Martin even sang some Elvis to my mother - she was in heaven!"
Monday, July 30 - San Francisco (Day Off)
"The Gorge in George, Washington has got to be one of the MOST beautiful venues I have ever seen. For those of you who have not been there, it is out in the middle of nowhere, and lays upon the most beautiful scenery. Behind the stage is this huge canyon with a body of water at the bottom - it is amazing! It is hard to describe if you have not seen it, but trust me, it is a beautiful sight.
"One thing different in the show that night was that there were no projections. It was a bit too windy for the screen to be up, so we decided not to have it all. It was quite odd at first, but then it was kind of cool to see just the guys performing. At times you get distracted by the screen and forget there are people on the stage. It was also cool because all you could see was the mountains behind the band - SO pretty, it almost did not look real.
After the show last night, we did a runner to San Francisco. And for a change, we had Mexican food as our feast on the plane. We are all so used to getting Indian that any sort of change is nice. The flight took about 2 hours, one of our longer ones, and we did not make it to the hotel until about 2:30 AM. So as you can assume, I am a bit tired today like everyone else seems to be. I am so very excited to be in SF until Sunday - I can finally unpack some of my things. Then again, I always say that but end up just taking out the minimum, not wanting to bother with repacking."
Saturday, August 4 - Mountain View
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"Now this was the show for me, so far! 20,000 plus people, all hyped up and ready to see a DM show. Even with my earplugs in, the people were loud. Every time a band member came to the front of the stage, I had this bad fear of the little wall separating the photo pit from the rest of the venue was going to collapse from all the people standing next to it, reaching to touch said band member (though it did provide for some great picture taking). The screams of "Maaaaaaaartin" during his performance of "Surrender" were particularly loud. After the free Pepsi and nacho chips (read: backstage), we all went back to the hotel. Can i just say that the drive from the venue to the freeway was awful! I'd have to say that was the longest part of the trip. It was definitely an adventure trying to keep up with the band's mode of transportation (no pun intended - really) in my little rental car."
Sunday, August 5 - Santa Barbara
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"The hometown show (for Martin, at least). The layout of this venue was rather odd. You walk in, and you have the concession stands. Along the right side, there's a long fence. What was amazing what that literally 25 feet from the fence, behind an ambulance (it was just there, on call - no one was injured or anything), the band were freely walking around. If only people knew that while they were buying their t-shirts and beer, the band was within shouting distance. Well...a few people did notice actually...
The show started off rather early, due to the many curfews imposed on the venue (one of which was, sadly, a low sound level). It was odd seeing DM come on stage with the sun still out. Probably the absolute lowlight of the tour so far for me was during "Dream On", when some ass in the front pit decided to shower David with his beverage - twice! People...if you see a band member come to the front of the stage, and they look a bit sweaty, this is not a cue to shower them with unsolicited mystery liquids! They have fans on stage, and water bottles all around the stage. Suffices to say that the unwanted drenching pissed David off (he spit at the guy in the crowd, then came back and almost speared the guy with his mic stand - thank god he didn't). After security dragged the loser's ass out of the pit (to the chanting of "kick him out" from the crowd, and a "thanks a lot fuckhead" greeting from David), the show went on. A few songs later, David came back out to the same area of the crowd, and was "high fiving" people and shaking hands, making up for the earlier show interruption. The performance highlight was when Martin came back out after his earlier performance of "Sister of Night" to sing "Home", he said "this is home" (meaning his new hometown, not necessarily the song title). The lyrics took a new meaning with that.
After the show, David went to Los Angeles, while Martin, Andy, and much of the rest of the main touring crew went to an aftershow party. Since I don't do the whole party thing, me and my "plus one" of the night (Chad) simply drove back home. I then spent Monday processing all the images I took over the last three days. As I type this now (8:55 am, pst, Tuesday morning), I should comment that I passed by the line already forming for The Tonight Show performance (it's down the street from my home). It is already a rather large line. This should be as energetic a crowd as the one the band had last time when the band performed "It's No Good" on the Leno show (which can be viewed in the Archives | Video | TV area). Oh yeah - go look at the pictures from Santa Barbara!"
Tuesday, August 7 - Burbank (The Tonight Show)
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"Nothing like a five minute drive to a DM event (down the street from my home). I arrived at NBC Studios around noon. Just like I saw earlier in the morning, there was already a large line outside the building. The crew, security, management and band were already there. After a little bit, they rehearsed "I Feel Loved", then David left to go to KROQ FM for a radio interview (to be broadcast later). We he came back, I snapped a picture of him with an actor dressed as the ape from Planet Of The Apes (which were being used in a skit in that night's show). Pictures are here."
Wednesday, August 8 - Las Vegas
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"Vegas baby! After driving from L.A. with my "plus one" Lee (his sisters, and friend Octavio) in the pimp rental Caddy, we all headed towards the Hard Rock. When I got to the hotel / venue (around 4 pm), there was already a line. This was impressive, considering the oppressive heat.
To the important part - the show. Of the shows I've seen, this was the best (along with Shoreline). Even without the projection screens (the venue was too small), the boys still rocked. The crowd was singing along as well, which was surprising considering the high number of record label employees scattered throughout the crowd. Martin's acoustic number of the night was "Surrender".
After the show, I gambled a bit (I won enough money to buy the special DM Hard Rock $5 and $25 poker chips), and then we drove back to L.A. (yes, that's a lot of driving - I refuse to fly), watching the video I shot of the show (which the images on the Pictures page come from)."
Friday, August 10 - Phoenix
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"When I was planning what shows I would work for the site, Phoenix was on my "no way in hell" list, due to the thought of driving for 4.5 hours through the heat on Interstate 10 from L.A. to Phoenix. While the drive was horrifying dull (the only highlight - the "Speed Limit 75" sign at the Arizona border...I was already doing 100 anyway), the show was great. Hope the car rental place doesn't mind the layers of bug guts embedded all over the front of the car (ewww). I guess high speed, and an interstate, are not friends of little flying insects.
An indoor show - aaah. No more unwanted tanning (I am a webmaster ya know - we don't get tans much, except from our computer monitors). One of the first things I saw when me and my "plus one" (Alex) entered the venue was two guys getting kicked out for wearing "Bong tags" (laminates made by people on the Bong internet mailing list so they could spot each other). During the sound check, we were treated to a rather different version of "In Your Room" (very "happy" - maybe one day I can beg to put a snippet on the site). As with most of the other shows on the tour that I've seen, the crowd was loud (read: nearly shattering the mic on my camcorder). A nice highlight was during "When The Body Speaks", when Dave turned to Martin halfway through the song and said "It's a beautiful song you wrote, Martin". Another one was letting a fan sing the chorus of "I Feel Loved". A special thanks to the girl who gifted upon me the Hello Kitty watch (did I look like I needed one?). :) Martin's acoustic number of the night was "Sister of Night".
After the show, I hit the backstage after show party for the obligatory free soft drink and nacho chips. Included in the Archives | Video | Exclusives area is a small Quicktime of Martin and Philpott playing table football against Peter and Christian - enjoy. Then, I left Phoenix...by car...for a 5 hour drive. Sleep is overrated."
Saturday, August 11 - San Diego
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"On the Singles Tour, San Diego was one of the best shows. The main reason was the fanatical Mexican fans that came across the border for the show. This show was no different. The Germans still have Mexicans beat for pure devotion and energy, but not by much.
Another loud and great show, minus a few technical glitches. For some reason, the sound on stage left (the right side of the stage) was shorting out all night long. And, during "Waiting For The Night To Fall", Martin and David were about a half a beat off on the singing for most of the song. I was actually impressed that they were both singing the song incorrectly, but still in perfect unison! For me, the only bad part was the height of the stage. It was very difficult to get good pictures for you all. At the end of the show, two girls walked up to me, displaying their "Exciter" license plate - definitely worthy of a picture.
After the show, I drove straight home to L.A., minus my "plus one", "site visitor" Asif (there was no after show - the band left directly for Los Angeles). Sad thing is that a 90 minute drive took over 4 hours. I guess the lack of sleep caught up with me, because I almost crashed no less than 7 times. Nothing like blinking, then opening your eyes to see you've magically drifted 1.5 lanes to the right. Suffices to say I pulled over a few times, and caught enough quick cat naps to get home in one piece. I lived long enough to give you a page of images from the San Diego show."
Tuesday, August 14 - Los Angeles
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"The L.A. show. I didn't know what to expect from the crowd. Over the years, the L.A. crowd, as a whole, doesn't really participate in the show as much as they used to during shows like the World Violation tour. When they're supposed to sing, they merely scream. While it wasn't a stellar crowd, it was definitely better than previous tour - excluding when David finished up "Freelove" (screams, no "woah, just freelove" singing from the crowd). Looking up, and seeing him have this "hmmm...so much for that" type look was rather sad. Martin's performance of "Surrender" was great as always. I actually got to see as well the reason why I'm taking over for Nichelle (she will be back) for the last dates on the North American tour. It amazes me how many people in L.A. "call in" for their tickets. Los Angeles is a town where people do not buy records - they call their record label rep for a free copy. The same goes for tickets to concerts. I'd be curious to see how many tickets were actually sold, in comparison to how many went to "industry types" scattered throughout the crowd."
Wednesday, August 15 - Los Angeles
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"Now this was a show to be proud of. VERY loud singing, a turbo charged David, and (gasp) a flare gun!
This is the first show I actually had the chance to catch Poe's set. If you are getting to the final shows (Pond) late, you are missing out! She puts on a fantastic show. In hindsight, I should have skipped on the "meet & greet" sessions with DM (held during the Poe set). Why take pictures of people meeting DM? Are you that person? Percentages say no. I'm sure you all would rather see shots of DM performing anyway (which the L.A. shows have plenty of).
Now to DM. Two words - the crowd! Even David commented on how great the crowd was, compared to the first night's show. A shocking highlight was the moron who decided to shoot off a flaregun a few times during the show. Man - if you thought mystery liquid being flung at band members is bad, how would you like to be seeing the business end of a flare? I saw two of them (someone said there were more - I was too busy taking pictures to see). The first one landed in section 114 (go hit Ticketmaster for a seating chart), and the second one apparently got about halfway from it's launch point, from the back of the venue. The show, however, went on. Martin's acoustic number of the night was "Sister of Night"."
Saturday, August 18 - Anaheim
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"Besides the fact that David kept referring to the (Orange County / Anaheim) crowd as Los Angeles, the only other extreme highlight was this -
Martin sang "Dressed In Black".
I already heard it via an MP3 off of the net from the Jones Beach show, but that recording sounded something like this -
"She's dressed in MARTIN - I LOOOOOOOVE YOU again, and I'm WOOOOOOOOOOOO - SQUEAL - SCREAM, but oh, what can you do when she's MAAAAAAAAAARTIN - SCREAM - WHISTLE".
This performance sounded exactly the same, but at least I had the opportunity to see it as well. :)"
Sunday, August 19 - Anaheim
Guest diary writer - BRAT (the webmaster)
"The final North American show, and it was not one to be missed!
If you missed Poe on any of the North American dates, you should go buy her CD('s) right now as an apology to yourself. She put on a great show.
As for the DM portion - where do I start. Since I'll never be able to do this in proper paragraph formatting (I hate typing, yet I'm a webmaster - go figure), I'll do it like this:
- Martin sang "Condemnation", as a special request from David.
- During "When The Body Speaks", David told Martin to get real close to him, since it was the last show.
- During "Enjoy The Silence", Poe's entire touring group (band, family, assistants) came onto the stage and danced along to the song. David also thanked them again for opening up for them (see - I told you not to get to the shows late!). Towards the end of the song, Poe's bass player stage dived into the crowd (Fletch's side of the stage - looked like he made it to about fourth row).
- During "In Your Room", a few inflatable sharks were being tossed around (on the tour projection for "In Your Room", there is a shark and some goldfish on screen). One of the crew got a hold of one of the sharks, and was walking through the media pit (front of front row), moving it up and down to simulate it swimming. David had a very visible smile from this.
- During "Personal Jesus", Peter grabbed Poe's keyboard player, and had him playing the end of the song!
- David completely messed up "Clean" on the first verse, but eventually recovered (smiling the whole time).
- Before "Home", Martin teased that he was going to play another song they had not performed in years. Personally, I thought that was an evil joke!
A great show to end the North American tour. Still, the thing sticking in my head is what I saw at their hotel the next day. I was going to say goodbye to a member of the crew at the hotel, and what greets me outside but David, driving around in a big ol' Suburban type vehicle. Something about seeing him behind the wheel (no pun intended) just looked wrong. I work for the band. I know they have normal lives (more or less) offstage. But that just freaked me out. :)
In case you didn't notice, there are no images from the Pond shows. Thanks to the Pond / Nederlander policy, we were not allowed to even take one still image (thanks guys - big warm cuddly hugs to you all! :P ). At least it allowed me to finally "see" a show, without worrying if my batteries were running down, or if the flash was going to accidentally go off while I took a picture. Anyway, I put up over 400 images from the last couple of shows. How many ass shots of David does one site visitor need (that is a rhetorical question - do not email me with an answer)?
Nichelle will be back to her tour and image duties when the European leg starts on August 28th, in Tallinn. Thanks to all the people who walked up to me at the shows (sorry I didn't talk longer - I was working my butt off), with all the kind words."
Saturday, August 25 - Tallinn, Estonia (day off)
"So Nichelle is back - woo hoo! I am not sure if too many of you are excited about that because everyone seemed to be so very impressed with Mr. Barassi's comments over the last few weeks. I am sure he did a wonderful job and now you are stuck with me for the European leg. So today I am going to leave for the airport in about 2 hours to meet Martin and travel to Tallinn, Estonia. We had a week break between the US and European legs, yet I was stuck in Los Angeles working away. I am sure everyone will be excited and ready to go when we all meet up in Tallinn."
Monday, August 27 - Tallinn, Estonia
"Yeah, we have arrived safely into beautiful Tallinn, Estonia. Our flight was okay - I got upgraded because I was traveling with Martin, so that was nice. We both had trouble sleeping the majority of the flight from LAX to London, yet when we arrived into London Heathrow, we had a few hours before our flight to Tallinn, so we all got hotel rooms at the airport and tried to get a few hours of sleep before being forced back into the confines of a commercial plane.
After about 3-4 hours of sleep, Martin and I met Darrell, Ed and David, as well as our entire DM crew at Estonian Air. Yes, the airline was really called Estonian Air. Martin seemed to get a kick out of that for quite a while!
After a 3 hour flight, we made it into Tallinn. In order for Martin and I not to feel too jet lagged and out of it, we decided to hang out for a bit at the hotel bar with the crew to stay up until at least midnight. We did that and then crashed pretty easily. Everyone kept telling me that I would wake up a few times in the early morning, but for some reason, I slept the entire night through until my alarm call at 9:30 AM. That made me VERY happy.
Today Martin, Darrell and I walked around Tallinn in the morning and hit up a few record shops. Then, at 1:00 PM, David did a mini press conference for all of the media in Estonia. The turn out was nice and I was told we had ALL of the largest TVs there, but then again, it is Estonia - not very big!
Martin, Darrell and I again went out after the press conference which was not the smartest thing because we were then followed around town our entire walk. One woman was filming us while another few were snapping away. We knew we had enough when a nearby car parked near us and starting blasting "Somebody." It was quite amusing at the time, but a bit freaky!
Then at 3:30 PM today, David and Martin went down to the middle of Tallinn and met the mayor at a beautiful church from the 16th century. They were given the honor of getting the keys to the city - one of the first bands EVER in Tallinn to do so. The mayor was a very friendly man and greeted us as we got out of the car. Then, he told us the story of the church and how he was hoping to make Estonia the capitol of the entertainment world. Something, he said, that they have been working very hard on. He then told David and Martin that he wanted them to ring the bells at the top of the bell tower in this church. As we began our way up the stairs, he kept saying that we were almost there and that it was only 50 meters.
Let me tell you, it was MUCH more than that and we all had to stop a few times before FINALLY getting to the top. All of us, including about 15 photographers climbed up this narrow stairway made of cobblestones, many falling apart.
As we got towards the top, he then asked Martin and David to come out to the balcony and look at the amazing view. The view indeed was amazing, but the fact that the ledge on the balcony was sloped, and that the railing holding you in had a few screws loose did not make any of us feel the most comfortable. Martin would not go out very far on that ledge and kept a hand inside the entire time. Needless to say, he felt a bit nervous up there.
Then we went back inside and Martin and Dave each rang a bell, a very memorable experience for the both of them.
Each of them felt very honored to be given the keys to the city and to have been able to see this beautiful church and ring the sacred bells. It was truly a day that cannot be repeated."
Tuesday, August 28 - Tallinn, Estonia
"Show day - YES! I feel like we have not had a show in SO long. The bad news is that is it raining like crazy - and the venue is outside. The promoter has told us that almost always, for every show it will rain.
Last night we - David, Martin, Christian, Darrell, Ed and I went out to a great Italian restaurant with the Promoters - Peeter, Ingrid and Helen. They then told us about the Depeche Mode bar, a place the guys had never heard of. Some loyal fans turned this place into basically a Depeche Mode shrine. We were told that the week before they had 3 different parties preparing for the show, each with different themes. They also had just renovated the place.
So after dinner, Martin, Christian and I decided to go see what this place was about. As we walked in and down the stairs, we began hearing applause. I am sure that these people were shocked to see one of their idols walking into their place and I am sure they NEVER thought this day would come.
As we walked in and the applause stopped, people began flashing pictures left and right. Darrell stepped in and asked everyone to put their cameras away and just hang out and enjoy themselves. As we sat there, we looked around the room at all of the things. There was a TV on one side playing various Depeche Mode videos as well as clips from interviews, etc. Then of course, over the speakers was constant Depeche Mode music. It was a bit funny sitting there with Martin Gore and watching him on TV as well as listening to him sing, but at the same time, I was so happy that these die hard fans were able to say they hung out with him.
It was odd when we first sat down because there were not too many people there, and those they were there basically turned their chair towards where we were sitting and stared at Martin the ENTIRE time. As the night went on, it began to get a bit more crowded which helped the scene out a bit.
At about 11:00 PM, Fletch had arrived in from London and joined us there as well. He too received a standing ovation and seemed to enjoy himself once inside.
I am really glad that we decided to go to that bar because I know that it made those that work so hard on it very happy."
Wednesday, August 29 - Riga, Latvia
"I am sitting at a show right now in Riga, Latvia. Let me tell you, things work so differently over here. The show seems to be going fine as of now. They are on stage performing "I Feel You" at the moment and I am just about to go out for "In Your Room" as I do every show night!
This venue we are playing is brand new and the only other show that has been here is Elton John back in July. It is a nice venue - general admission, so people are all over. Not sure how they enjoy being squished in there, but they seem to be having fun.
Last night's show in Tallinn went over well too. It had rained all day, and even rained during soundcheck, but luckily, as the concert began, it stayed very clear. It is so nice when those things work out like that.
After the show, we had a party at a club called Hollywood which the promoter set up for us. Overall, we all had a lot of fun and it was a great way to spend our celebration of our first date of the European leg. All of the people at FBI (promoter of the Baltic States) have been great to us - Peeter, Ingrid and Helen have everything SO darn organized that it makes everyone's life that much easier.
Today we flew on our new European plane from Tallinn to Riga and boy is it nice. We could probably fit about 100 people in there. The flight attendants are a bit different though and very formal, something we are not used to. I am sure that they will become a bit more relaxed once they see how informal we are!
That is all for now. I must organize my things to get ready to go - they are singing the second to the last song Black Celebration as we speak. Bye for now!"
Friday, September 7 - Hamburg, Germany
"The Berlin shows were amazing and probably the best crowds we have had so far. They were singing so loud to the songs that you could barely hear David!
The venue was so very beautiful and had a great deal of history behind it. It is in the middle of the woods and Hitler used to make speeches there at the height of his glory. And the way you walk to the stage is through this underground tunnel that constantly curves toward the stage. Hitler used to walk through the same walls, so when you make your way down it, you get this eery feeling - it is rather creepy. The reason why the tunnel is curved, I was told, is because tat way, no one could hide behind anything and make a straight shot at Hitler. With it curving, his guards could see ahead and make sure he was safe. Crazy!
The venue is also amazing because instead of the audience going straight back, the venue goes steeply up a hill (you can see from the pictures). That way, from the stage, you can see ALL the people rather than just the ones in the front half. So during "Never Let Me Down Again," I cannot even tell you how great it looked. That song is always incredible, but with that setup, it looked amazing.
Today is a day off and the wonderful Anne Berning invited me on a sightseeing tour of Berlin. Let me tell you - she definitely can go into that business if her music career does not work out! She know Berlin amazingly well, so we had a great time and got to see a lot of pretty sights. We then went to the zoo and then home for a quiet night.
Off to Hamburg tomorrow."
Monday, September 10 - Vienna, Austria
"So both of our largest shows of this tour, and even of Depeche Mode both were ruined by rain. I guess the audience ended up enjoying themselves regardless, it was just a shame that the rain had to be there at all.
In Hamburg, the winds were rather high and small spurts of rain would come in and pound away. The about 10 minutes later, the sun would be out and it would look nice - and this continued on throughout the whole day and night.
MTV was there and filmed the guys as well as some of our crew. Of course Jez entertained them the most, showing them Martin's guitars and cracking them up - he must be the funniest person in the world!
It was a bit scary though because when we got there and did sound check, one of the PAs fell down due to the wind - and we thought that if this happened during sound check, it could easily happen during the show. So after this and due to the hard rain, we were thinking about canceling the show. And if the rain had gotten harder and caused more damage, it was going to be cancelled. But luckily, the audience was amazing, and with all that rain and getting soaked, they seemed to enjoy it regardless.
It was crazy because I was out at the mixing board at the beginning with my TV crews, and when we left during the third song, we were trying to get out and it felt like we were walking miles and miles to get away from the audience. The people went SO far back on the grass, and when you passed this certain point, there were just HUGE speakers playing the concert, and these people obviously could not even remotely see the band, yet were having the best time listening to the music and dancing. It was a great sight.
Leipzig went on the same way with the rain again. Though it was not as bad during the show, people still waited a long time in the rain and seemed to still be excited about the show. This one was even bigger - 70,000 people versus 60,000 the night before.
The guys had to cut a few songs because they were freezing their butts off, but hopefully the audience enjoyed it just the same.
It was awful that our two largest shows EVER had to come with those conditions, but I think that they came off pretty well and the fans would have enjoyed themselves regardless of the weather. As we know, DM fans are so very dedicated - that is why they are great!"
Friday, September 14 - Moscow, Russia
"We had the Vienna show on Tuesday and the Budapest on Wednesday. Vienna went well - it was inside, so that was nice and we did not have to worry about the weather. Since Christian, our drummer is Austrian, we had a large after party with most of his friends and family. I think he enjoyed seeing all of those he had not seen in a while.
Budapest went well, though of course because it was outdoors, it had to rain. We are not doing very well with our outdoor shows lately! But anyways, it did not rain TOO much, just a bit throughout the show. We left right after and went back to the hotel bar and hung out for a bit, then a few of us went out to another bar.
Eddie Murphy is filming a movie in Budapest at the moment and is staying at our hotel, and the other night a few of us ran into him at the bar - it was pretty funny.
Last night a bunch of us went to dinner at a GREAT Hungarian place - the food was delicious. Today is another day off, hopefully we can all relax.
Tomorrow, off to Moscow - that should be interesting."
Sunday, September 16 - Moscow, Russia
"So I am sitting in the management office behind the stage at the Moscow show and the guys have been on stage for about an hour already. Things seem to be going well and Moscow is definitely an interesting city.
We got here last night about 7:00 PM and were greeted by numerous fans. In fact, many of them followed our bus all the way to the hotel. There were a few times there when we thought they were going to cause some accidents!
After we arrived and were greeted by even more fans at the hotel, some of us made our way down to the bar for some cocktails and food. After a bit of socializing with each other and our several interpreters, some of us went out while others went off to bed.
Today we made it out for a walk to Red Square which we are right across the street from, and the buildings are amazing. Some of them do not even look real. We are going to leave in about an hour for the venue, so I will check back in after the gig."
Wednesday, September 19 - Helsinki, Finland
"The show in Moscow went very well, though the press was not as smooth as I would have liked. The guys enjoyed it a great deal because we had a couple of days off in Budapest to rest, so it felt good for them to get back into their routine.
After the show, we went to this club called "Most" which was very cool. They had a private room for us upstairs which was nice, and there was even a fashion show going on downstairs that we all watched. It was rather interesting clothes, and the designer walked out at the end in a see-through gown. We all swore that she flashed a bit of herself at Martin as she swayed passed us.
"We all stayed a bit too long at this party, but all in all, it was a fun night out. After that, we went back to the hotel to listen to the entertainment of Martin and Andrew Phillpott singing away at the piano - woo hoo!
The next day on our day off, a few of us went on a tour around the Kremlin, then later met up and went to this club about 30 minutes from our hotel. It was some sort of Depeche Mode night, and one of our support bands was playing, so we all attended. There were only 2 bands the entire night, but it was an interesting crowd. When Technique played, at the end of their set, Peter joined them to sing "Home" which ended up sounding really good though they did not have much practice.
After the club, we got back to the hotel and made our way down to the casino - you can always find Mr. Fletcher down there winning away! After about an hour, we all decided the night was over, and we carried our winnings away to bed with us.
Then we went onto St. Petersburg - very beautiful place. The show went well and we left the next day, so not too much time to do anything, but we did make it out before our flight left to see the amazing sights.
All in all, Russia was very interesting, yet I think we were all very happy to leave. A couple things I can say that we all agree on is that the food is not the best, and the drivers of our vans have got to be the scariest drivers in this world. We had so many close calls I cannot even tell you!
We are off to Helsinki today which should be nice."
Saturday, September 29 - Munich, Germany
"So let me backtrack now since there is a bit I have not told you guys about.
Our day off in Copenhagen last Monday was pretty uneventful - most of us just went to dinner and had a quiet night in. Then the next day we were off for another 3 shows in a row.
On Tuesday we played Amnéville which was very beautiful, yet in the middle of nowhere. We had about an hour drive from the airport to the venue, then after the show, we did a runner to Cologne. It was the same drive back, so one hour after the show, then once we landed in Germany, we had an hour and a half drive to the hotel, so all of us got in about 2:30 AM Wednesday morning. Talk about an exhausting day!
Then on Wednesday we had a show at the Kölnarena which was very nice, and the best part about it was that it was SO close to the hotel, so we had much of the day to wander before we had to leave for the venue. Also, the crew was staying at our hotel which is rare, and because we were doing two shows in a row at the same venue, we were all able to hang out together at the bar afterwards. It is so nice when we all get to see each other because more times than not, they leave right after the shows, and if they are around, they usually are not staying with us. So anyways, as you can imagine, we had a great time, though the majority of us felt AWFUL the next day.
Thursday was the second show in Cologne, and that went well too. The guys mixed up the set a bit by Martin and Peter singing Dressed In Black as the acoustic song, and Condemnation replaced Clean. They both sounded amazing, and the crowd really enjoyed it.
Again that night we had a bit too much fun and ended up in one of our rooms making up songs while Martin played guitar. Also, Andrew and I borrowed the luggage trolley from downstairs and pushed each other around on it in the hallways and into the rooms. It was fun until we got yelled at by the hotel staff saying that they had been looking for it for ages. Oops!
Yesterday was a day off and most of us relaxed and slept - this is what usually happens on these days off.
Right now we are in Munich performing at Olympia Park, and again, since it is two in a row, we have planned a big dinner tonight after the show with the crew. It should be fun, and since they are celebrating Oktoberfest here already, it should be a blast!"
Wednesday, October 3 - Stuttgart, Germany
"Now we are in Switzerland, performing at the Hallenstadion, then tomorrow a day off.
The band and crew party we had in Munich was a lot of fun. There was tons of food and there was a really good atmosphere. We closed down a beer hall in the middle of town and it was a great night, especially since Oktoberfest had just started.
Both Munich shows went well, and again, on the second night, the guys switched it around a bit and played Condemnation and Martin sang Dressed In Black.
When we got off the plane in Munich, we let our plane go for about a week since the next few shows were within driving distance, and it made more sense to do that than to try to go on 5 minute flights.
The next two shows flew by in Germany, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. We drove to both of them which was very different - we have not had drives that long in a while! After the show in Stuttgart, we had a little after party at the bar which turned out to be fun. We are seeing a lot of the same fans at these shows and parties, and I always wonder how they have the time to follow us around for such long periods, but I guess they make it work somehow. Too each their own I guess!
"Our hotel here in Zurich is beautiful and has the most amazing view of the lake, mountains and forest. I am so happy that we have a day off here in this gorgeous town."
Saturday, October 6 - Oberhausen, Germany
"Tonight we are on Oberhausen - back in Germany! We got our plane back as well, with new pilots and one new flight attendant. Martin sang a song tonight that he has not sang this entire tour - Judas. It sounded amazing and the crowd loved it. Peter and him practiced for such a short time backstage before the show, and Martin was a bit nervous, not knowing if he could pull it off, but of course he did and it was great.
We all had a very nice and relaxing day in Zurich. After the show that night, some of the guys went out to a club and met a man named Mark that worked for Cirque Du Soleil. The show happened to be playing that next night, so Martin, Peter, Jordan, Andrew, Georgia, Darrell and I all went. What an amazing show it was! And we were taken care of so very well by Mark and the staff, and got to go backstage afterwards and meet many of the performers. Some things they were doing you just could not believe. We ended up staying there with the performers until they basically kicked us out of their catering tent! It was one of their birthdays, so we felt the need to stay there with them and celebrate as they all drank vodka.
Tomorrow we are in Belgium, then we will do a runner to Paris - yeah! We will then be in Paris until Thursday, so that will be nice, to be in one place for a while."
Thursday, October 11 - Frankfurt, Germany
"We are now in Frankfurt at a gig, having had 2 Paris shows the days before and wow, those were great. Not only were we in beautiful Paris, but we stayed at this amazing hotel and had the most incredible weather. To top things off for me, my mother and sister came out to visit. It was so nice to see them and to be able to spend some time with my family. Also during these 2 Paris shows we filmed the upcoming DVD. Anton came out to take charge and seemed to be happy with all the footage he got. The guys, as well as others did a bunch of casual interviews backstage, and Anton and Richard Bell had cameras all over the place, catching things you all will be very happy to see. I am very excited to see how it all turns out. The audience for both of the shows were incredible too - I was very impressed."
Sunday, October 14 - Madrid, Spain
"We are leaving beautiful Barcelona today to fly onto Madrid. The show went well there, though a bit overcrowded. The security does not seem to be the same at the venues here in Spain - they tend to let people stand wherever they like. A few times I tried to go out into the seats to find friends, but the aisles were so full of people that it was impossible. The venue we are playing in Madrid is where they have the bullfights - hmmm, that should be interesting!"
Monday, October 15 - London, UK
"We got into London early this morning. The Madrid show went well - we were not there for very long though - we flew in, performed, then flew out straight to London. We had 2 radio contest winners that flew with us on the plane from Barcelona to Madrid which was interesting - I think that we were all so exhausted from our fun nights in Barcelona that most of us slept the whole flight which I am sure was not exciting for the 2 young women - but then again, that is a pretty nice prize regardless. The women brought each of the guys a Mickey Mouse hat with their names on it - I will send some of the pictures of them modeling the hats. It is so nice to be able to unpack for a while now that we are in London. We are actually here from today on until the following Tuesday, with one night in Manchester. The nice thing is that we are going to keep our hotel rooms even when we are in Manchester, so we can just pack a small bag for that one journey."
Friday, October 19 - Manchester, UK
"The Wembley shows went well and everyone was very surprised by the audiences. I was told that the English have always been very reserved during the shows in the past, but they really got into it this time. After the first Wembley, we had a large party at the Marriott which was great. There was a Polynesian theme with dancers on podiums and amazing food. We all stayed there until it was over - about 4:00 am - then of course some of us stayed up a bit longer enjoying the night. On the second Wembley night, Mute Records threw an after show party at a bar upstairs at the venue which seemed fun though I left pretty early to go to bed. Tomorrow is another day off, then off to Manchester."
Sunday, October 21 - Birmingham, UK
"We are in Birmingham at the NEC and they are onstage performing Freelove. Manchester was fun, though it did take us about 4 hours to get there from London. The best part about the drive was that we took a tour bus - something that we had not done on any of our driving journeys. We usually always take vans, but this was definitely different and it was fun to be able to walk around and sleep in beds if we liked. Most of the drive though was consumed by Ali G videos - damn he is funny. I had never seen him before and now I know why all the guys always comment on how great he is.
Then the drive from Manchester to Birmingham was awful - we were told it was only going to take under 2 hours - of course it took about 3+. There was traffic the whole way and awful weather - I guess that is normal in Northern England. We all kept discussing how spoiled we are with our own plane and cars, and how the crew travel on tour buses EVERYDAY with no complaints. We are taking the tour bus back tonight to London, then it is goodbye and we are back on the plane. Thank Goodness! Do you see how jaded I have become? I cannot even travel on a bus for 3+ hours without complaining - wow!
Tomorrow is a day off, then we are going to Lyon, France."
Monday, October 29 - Istanbul, Turkey
"Wow, we have been busy lately! It is so nice to have a couple days off to relax for a minute. We just had 3 shows in a row - Lyon, Milan and Bologna. We did not get to see much of any of these places since we basically just flew in and flew out. That is too bad when all of those places are so beautiful, but I am sure I will be back there sometime soon. The Greece show went well. It felt good to have a show after 2 days off since you begin to miss it - the whole concert feeling. Tomorrow we travel to Turkey for quite a few days. We were all a bit nervous with all that is going on in the world, but we have been told by numerous people that everything should be fine. UGH - I hope so!"
Wednesday, October 29 - Istanbul, Turkey
"The Istanbul show was great - and the best part about it was Martin sang "Somebody." I was so shocked that he did that, especially since I remember him saying at the beginning of tour he would never play it. I was really busy before the show began, so I had not heard anything about him wanting to do that song, and then all of a sudden, from the production office during the show, I heard Peter begin playing the song. It sounded amazing and the crowd was singing louder than Martin. It was such a great moment.
We have several more days off in Turkey - we do not leave until the 3rd. There seems to be a lot to do around here though, so I should be able to keep busy, besides all the work that I have to do. I think all of us are beginning to feel the exhaustion of it all. Once we all stop for a second, the tiredness sets in, and now since it is almost over, it does even more so.
"Tonight we are going to dinner with the crew to a belly dancing restaurant - should be interesting!
Friday, November 2 - Istanbul, Turkey
"The belly dancing proved to be quite interesting. We all enjoyed it at first, but after the third hour, we all began to get a bit tired. There was this host that went on and on and on, so as you can imagine, we got a little weary after 3 hours. All in all though, it was nice to spend time with everyone and do something fun on Halloween.
One of the best times I had on tour though occurred yesterday. A few of us rented some boats and went fishing early in the morning and had the best time. Though the other boat only caught 2 fish, my boat caught 28! And to think that it was only two of us fishing. It was a great experience and I have now decided to become a professional fisherwoman!
Tomorrow we are off to Croatia - oh my goodness, 2 more shows!"
Friday, November 6 - Mannheim, Germany
"Wow, to think that we played our last show yesterday is pretty amazing. It has not really hit me that it is over, ya know?
The show was incredible and so were the fans. They held up balloons and thank you signs - it was so moving. You could tell that they wanted this show to be remembered by the band and forever stick out in their minds.
Martin sang "Somebody" again, and then sang another acoustic song after the encore and before "Home" called "World Full Of Nothing". Then they sang "Condemnation" which was so beautiful. I had not realized it earlier, but David told me after that he got really emotional during that song and was trying to keep himself together to finish it. I think all of his emotions had come to him at once and he could not control it. It was a touching moment, one that I believe all the guys felt.
Then the best part came when they sang "Never Let Me Down Again" and all of us went on stage - the entire band party and crew, it was great. The funniest part of that moment though was when Peter went and picked up Bean, our tour accountant, and put him on his back and finished playing the song - it was hysterical. We all would always get angry at Bean because he would work through the entire show and never come out once to see a song, so this time, we made sure he was out there!
After the show was very emotional yet at the same time a great feeling of achievement. It was incredible to realize that you had just completed a world tour of 84 shows. We all went to the lads room after and joined Marek in a toast to congratulate everyone. Of course I began getting sad immediately - so typical of me!
Then we went onto the hotel bar and had a rather quiet night. Everyone was enjoying themselves while at the same time taking it easy and realizing we were not quite done yet - MTV Awards were coming as well as the video shoot.
Tonight Marek (Lieberberg) is taking us to an "end of tour" dinner - should be good!"
Friday, November 7 - Frankfurt, Germany
"Today is my birthday and I get to spend it at a video shoot - oh yeah! They are filming a video for "Goodnight Lovers" and it looks like it is going to turn out really cool and different. The weather outside is dreadful, so it is a good day to stay inside.
Last night's dinner was fantastic. Besides the food being delicious, Jonathan made a beautiful speech, commenting on each and every person there. It was nice to have everyone together for one last time. The sad part was to think that it most likely will never happen again - oh no! I do not want to get teary just typing this!
After the wonderful dinner, we began to celebrate my birthday a day early and I received an amazing cake as well as some very nice presents. Marek also spoiled all of us with presents which was very kind. All in all, it was a memorable night, one that none of is will forget."
Friday, November 10 - Los Angeles, CA
"Well, the tour is over and I am back home. It has not hit me yet that it is ALL actually over - pretty crazy! The MTV Awards went really well and we all had a great time. It was a nice way to end it, and we all had so much fun at the party afterwards. I hope all of you have enjoyed my diary and I have given some insight on the tour. It was an amazing trip, and though there were days when all I wanted was for it to be over, I look back now and realize what an incredible opportunity this was and how lucky I was to be a part of it. Thank you all for everything!"