When we arrived in Alexandria yesterday we were pummeled by a full-on Southern Rain. But it didn't matter, we all took to our rooms and most of us didn't re-appear until it was time to go to the venue this afternoon. This was our first non-moving bed in the last 12 days….pure luxury.
Two nights at The Birchmere…the first night was a Trinity night and the second night was the first time that we ever performed Black Eyed Man in its entirety. The Trinity night went like a dream. A very excited audience (especially for The Birchmere which can be a bit staid at times) and we played with a lot of energy and invention. It was an excellent night.
We have been working on the songs from Black Eyed Man for the past couple of weeks in soundcheck and have been playing a few of them each night. This is not an easy album to play…way too many chords. Songs like A Horse In The Country and Murder Tonight In The Trailer Park have been in our repertoire for decades, but about half of the material hasn't seen the stage in ten years. After listening to us in soundcheck for the past week Jared has decided to buy a clicker and keep track of the amount of mistakes that we make during the performance. The show went well. We only had one little train wreck during the bridge in The Last Spike, I lost track of where we were and then Al followed suit, and I also screwed up Jeff during the solo of Winter Song (we have never played this song live). There were a couple of other minor hic-ups but all-in-all I think we pulled it off. It wasn't the most relaxed show that we have ever done, but the challenge was exciting and it felt like the audience was in to the whole premise. A very succesful two nights.
We also had the pleasure of visits from the ghosts of Tour Managers past. Blair Woods and Craig Chapman were there for the first night and Mike Sponarski, who is in town with The Chieftains, came down after the show and kept us up all night. It's always fun reliving old campaigns with comrades in arms.