November 22, 2012: It was a late night last night and an early departure this morning. Pete and John continued their search for ancient demons below Jared’s room, but failed to gain access to their lair. We hung out and talked and drank with some of the local musicians and journalists and music lovers from the area. It’s a very fragmented music scene in Italy, but it’s very passionate. It’s just difficult finding those little pockets of fanatics, but I would have no problem spending a month here, travelling from town to town, searching: so much pleasure to be found in the journey in this country. In the past couple of days I have signed many covers of rare Junkies vinyl, including a mint condition copy of the Hunger Project single….I think we only manufactured about 500 of those and that was thirty years ago. As I said, there are passionate pockets.
We piled in to the van way too early this morning for a drive that was a couple of hours too long. We are all definitely feeling the pain of enjoying a bit too much of Europe after hours. The gig tonight was in the small room at the newly built performing arts center: a nice building but a bit cold and lacking personality. We were told in Rivoli that the tickets for this show were way over-priced and perhaps that is the reason for the small audience tonight. The audience also seemed to be affected by the more formal surroundings and were a little reserved, but we made the best of it and had a decent night on stage. Since it was an “early” show tonight, 8:30pm, plans were made for us to have a late dinner. So at midnight we sat down with the promoter (who treated us like gold) and his wife and a few of his friends at a beautiful little restaurant, tucked away behind the Vicenza’s main square. We were once again wined and dined and didn’t stumble out of the restaurant until 2am: another excellent meal, another night with too few hours sleep.
November 23, 2012: This morning I forced myself to get up a couple of hours before bus call so that I could spend some time wandering around. Vicenza is a very wealthy city, you can see it in the clothes that the locals are wearing, you can see the prosperity in their skin, the young women positively glow. It is also a spectacularly beautiful city with some of the most stunning Renaissance architecture in Italy, with over twenty buildings designed by the Andres Palladio, one of the most influential architects in the history of Western architecture. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Venice (about 100 miles from here) try and spend a couple of days in Vicenza, you will be happy that you did.
It was a short drive to Rezzato, back toward Milan, a little town on the outskirts of who knows where. There was not much time to explore the new surroundings today and I had little inclination to leave the hotel before soundcheck. The hotel was originally built as a palace by some no-account Venetian count who took a liking to Versailles and wanted his own smaller version in the Italian countryside. Centuries go by and now the building hosts conventioneers and travelling rock bands….so I guess not much has changed when you get right down to it. Ironically, on the day that we stay at the most glamorous hotel on the tour, we play at the crappiest venue: an old movie theater that has seen better days and a dressing room lodged in its basement that was not only disgusting but had the strangest, darkest vibe. Fortunately we had a decent sized audience tonight and they were enthusiastic and engaged from the first chord. They infused us with their energy and we had a great show, an excellent way to end the tour.
This has been a great little jaunt through Portugal and Italy: enthusiastic fans, great food, new places and some excellent music. Tomorrow we make the long trek back to Toronto and start to settle in to the Holiday season. We’ll be back at it in January, unless the world ends on December 21st, so stay tuned and stay safe.