First show. The promoter tells us that we play in the basement because it is better to have a small room full of people than the bigger room upstairs mostly empty. This does not sound promising already and then he says they expect 15 to 20 guests. We played in the main room on the last tour but I don’t remember how many people were there, maybe they are right.
The basement is small and much like a dungeon. Low ceilings, arched doorways, stone walls, dust, and later, filled with smoke. As small as it is, there is still room for a bar, of course. We load our equipment in and go upstairs to relax and wait for food.
Unkind shows up and we meet everyone for the first time. We will spend the next two weeks playing with this Finnish band. They are somewhat personable but seem happier to be by themselves. One of their guitarists, Tony, who was in Rotten Sound, is more friendly and hangs out with us for while. First meal of tour is delicious: baked red peppers stuffed with spinach, pine nuts, and sunflower seeds/ potato, squash, and zucchini casserole/sautéed tofu with peppers/some sauce or gravy to put over everything. After we eat this, two apple pie/cakes appear. German promoters do it right.
The show starts and there are more than 20 people, closer to 50. Basement is full. We break a string in the first song. My vocals hold up well after years of minimal practice. German audiences are notoriously stoic, only confirmation they are enjoying themselves is the clapping at the end of a song. It is strange when they ask for more songs at the end of the set after an evening of folded arms. Outside, many people are on LSD and getting dumb. A few are thrown out.
Drinking increases immediately after things are packed up. There is some plan to go to a local bar to drink more and dance(?). My first instinct is to turn down this retard plan but historically the nights I stay back are the nights that I miss out on the most bizarre or amusing events. So, I go along.
We stay outside and drink the free beers we brought with us, waiting for 3am when there is no more cover charge. Then, we enter and take over a third of the dance floor for our own brand of drunk body motions and foolishness. Troi loses his shirt and I retreat to only a wifebeater. We party hard, to the point that some locals approach Troi and one says “I want to dance but not with a faggot”. Greg and Troi respond by maxing out the gay dance man boy contact. Locals leave in disgust and we continue our first show celebration until it becomes a blur. Maybe unfortunately, many pictures exist.
Brett and Troi reconnect on the dance floor
I pass out quickly but not before Manuel knocks over a beer on my pants and jacket. Later, Brett comes to sleep in the wet spot.