My Liverpool trip had a rather rocky start. The train from Manchester was packed, and wifi was not working at my hotel. I was assigned to the top floor, and there was no lift in the hotel, so I had to take my 50 pound luggage up 3 flights of stairs. If I haven't lost 10 pounds by the end of this excursion, I will be surprised. My hotel was lovely, right on the lake in Sefton Park, but I didn't have much time to enjoy it.
I got to the soundcheck as they were just setting up, and was around for several hours. Rob and Rob turned up for this one, and I met some other people, some who were doing work for John, others who were there for the "VIP" meetup. Rob told me that John did a Beatles song during soundcheck; it must have been the moment I stepped out to make a call. Dammit.
There was some female pop singer playing in a venue next door, so there was about 8 million teenage and pre-teen girls outside. Some would occasionally walk into soundcheck, thinking they were somehow going to make their way backstage to the female singer's area. Security eventually threw all of them out. We all laughed and thought how funny it would be if they were there to see John.
Soundcheck ran late, leaving Tara Busch about 10 minutes to get set up and checked. The gig sounded good, though afterward I heard discussion that John's vocorder kept fading in and out, as well as the bass. The setlist was the same, and the projections were better at this gig than any other so far. The crowd was enthusiastic, and it seems that at every gig, I hear requests for John to play "Quiet Men". Must be a favorite.
After the gig, the two Robs and I ended up in the Maths dressing room, and had a beer with John, as the others had taken off for a local pub. John was in rare form. We chatted about Karborn (whom John expects to push him around in his push chair when he's old and wait on him), about how much roadies get paid ("They all have fancy estates outside of London. The band lives in council housing."), and yoga (We were talking about difficult yoga postures, and I mentioned that those are to prep the body for meditation. Then John came back with, "Yes, you do that before your medication." He pointed around the room and said, "Welcome to the fabulous rock and roll lifestyle. See how cheerfully the walls are painted, and how beautiful the furniture is, and how the woodwork has been carefully worn by bottle caps, as bands previous have tried to open their beer bottles on the edge of the counter, since they can provide beer bottles but not a bottle opener." (Apparently they found a place on the radiator that worked.)
We helped them gather up everything left in the room as they were getting on the bus, and said goodbye. Rob was kind enough to give me a lift back to my hotel, and I came to the unpleasant realization that I had to be at the train by 9:30 in the morning. (I am actually writing this on the train, fighting off another headache).