By the time you’re reading this we are back home doing laundry and paying bills, but a tour isn’t over before it’s been documented, now is it? In this last tour report of our Tour Of The Americas, Glen and Riekus provide you with an update about tremendously long drives, short nights and warm days on Brazilian beaches. Enjoy!
The last week of this tour has been rather exhausting when it comes to sleep, drives and late shows. With a 15-hour drive and a stage time at 4:30 AM we’ve managed to establish a few new records in our existence as a band. All in all we are still feeling pretty fresh, but there’s no way we can hide the sunburn we’ve fallen victim to in sunny Brazil. On the rare occasion of a day or an afternoon off, we’ve managed to visit the beach no less than twice. Of course, the locals must have had fun watching a bunch of pale, sun-shy Dutchies dipping into the ocean. And with the sunburn comes the smell of aftersun: 3 guys sweating it out on stage, while smelling like baby-bums. Why does after sun have to smell like babies anyway?
One of the coolest shows we play in Brazil is after those 15 hours. The ride takes us through an area that looks a lot like what we imagine a jungle to be like, and the venue on the campus of Sao Carlos’ University reminds us a lot of the AZ’s (Autonomous Centre) in Germany: loads of concrete and graffiti, and cheap drinks. There’s an extraordinarily good turnout for a Wednesday, and we get a great response from the crowd, which instantly makes us forget about the long trip: however long the ride, when there’s a good show and a good crowd that’s all you will remember.
So the days have passed by quite fast, and we’ve had better responses than we could have wished for. It’s really heart-warming to see how people respond to our shows and thanks to Bandcamp, Youtube, Spotify and other tools of this age we’re amazed to see that people are already familiar with our songs without ever having seen us before. After the shows, a lot of people are asking us to sign autographs or take a picture with them. God knows where those pictures will show up online..
Last Sunday, we played the last show of our tour in Vila Velha (Espirito Santo), a show that we flew in to and out of from Sao Paulo. Somehow, the climate up there was even warmer and more humid than what we had become accustomed to here in Brazil. This resulted in us leaving the stage literally dripping with sweat and even a full night of leaving our clothes to dry on the balcony of our motel couldn’t prevent that we had to throw out a bunch of just-too-filthy tour clothes before going home. And then there was this one pair of sweaty shorts that Glen had to trade with a guy who insisted on having a souvenir of our show. I sure hope he put them in the washer the next day. Oh, Brazil..
As I’m writing this we’re at Sao Paulo International Airport facing another 14 hours of flying home. After a month of touring (8 flights in total) we’re flying back to Amsterdam with a connecting flight in Rome. Meanwhile, we’ve just booked our next flight to Rome for another short tour: 4 shows in Italy at the end of November.
I feel like we’ve experienced a lot of Brazilian culture over the last 2 weeks. Possibly the greatest advantage of touring like we do is that we are always guided by the locals, who manage to bring us to the coolest places, without us feeling like (or meeting) tourists at all. On the other hand we also need to pay attention while walking around here. We’re not always playing the most fancy neighborhoods and there’s always the risk of being mugged if you get away from the group, being a ‘rich European’ and all.
Another interesting thing is the parties that seem to take place at gas stations around here. Somehow, people just gather at gas stations to enjoy a drink or two before they go out to a bar or a show. This is kind of unheard of for us, as Dutch gas stations stopped selling beer at least 10 years ago. In Novo Hamburgo however, the gas station party is taken to another level: the locals there just bring out their plastic garden chairs and watch a football match on the concrete floor while enjoying a beer together. And why wouldn’t they? There’s beer, a floor, a TV and a bunch of friends. Oh, Brazil!
The only thing I regret not doing here is playing some football (or soccer, not hand egg, Americans!). I always enjoy playing a game of ball with friends, and I’ve never seen so many patches of grass and whatever kind of improvised football fields as I’ve seen here. This country has football (excuse me: futebol!) running through its veins, and I’m pretty sure the 2014 World Championship in Brazil will be a great success.
All in all we’ve had quite a culture clash here in the last 2 weeks: the pace of life is a lot more laid back than we are used to. People don’t tend to get upset easily and they are a lot more relaxed than anything we’re used too. So much so that our tour manager didn’t even bother bringing a working GPS. “We’ll get there eventually” seems to be the motto here. It took us some time to adjust, especially since we were rather independent on the USA part of this tour with our own car. On the last part of this tour we’ve had to rely on the help of our driver, tour manager and people here, and it’s been so much fun meeting so many new friends here above all!
So now it’s time to get back to ‘normal life’ in the rainy Netherlands. Speaking of a culture clash: by now we’ll probably need some time to adjust to normal life..
Pictures or it didn’t happen!