Carl Verheyen: Travels in Europe, March 2010

I’m on the road this month in Europe with my band and watching the scenery go by out the window of our tour bus as we cross over the Pyrenees Mountains from Spain into France. This tour has been defined
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I’m on the road this month in Europe with my band and watching the scenery go by out the window of our tour bus as we cross over the Pyrenees Mountains from Spain into France. This tour has been defined by its extremely contrasting experiences from country to country, more so than any others I’ve done in recent memory.

In Switzerland our show was facilitated like clockwork and very typically Swiss. Everything was perfectly organized, and even the sound check was quick and painless. The show began at exactly 8:30 pm, not a minute later. But the most striking difference was actually the audience. They were the most polite, attentive, and perfectly silent audience we’ve ever seen. Nobody even spoke between songs, and after our German, Austrian, British, Irish, French, and Italian audiences, it seemed almost creepy.

Contrast that with the four shows we just finished in Spain. The crowds were so rowdy we had to completely change our set list. Any songs with dynamics or subtle sections were out, and only the most rocking, hard-hitting numbers were possible. The entire country smokes cigarettes and in some of the more unventilated venues the haze was so thick it was difficult to see the audience and even harder to breath. The shows always begin at 10:30 or even 11:30, even on a Monday night. But they are very appreciative and seem to experience music very emotionally. The food and wine are incredible and a siesta is mandatory. Each country is an inspiring experience!
Next stop Paris, tomorrow night. —Carl Verheyen

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