Kaotican Alphabet

Roadie #42 – Blog #179

#42 gives us the world premiere of Graham Against The World

We head out to Boston spread across a couple of smaller planes. It would seem that there’s been some storm damage to the regular ride, so this is the best way forward. It’s impossible to sit on the tarmac looking at the similarly nippy looking plane opposite us out of the window and not think one thing: “Let’s race ‘em”. Plainly this isn’t going to happen – and the other plane contains the band, so us getting there before them is not on the cards. Trainer Dan, though, still suggests a whip round to offer the pilot some cash in exchange for “putting the hammer down”. Can’t say it isn’t tempting…

Boston sees more sound-checking and general fiddling. As well as a slight brush-up on God Put A Smile, they head off to the C-Stage to have a look at Us Against The World. The planned change is microscopically subtle, but the version they end up playing turns into a gag tune. I’ve talked before about how from time to time they’ll launch into a tune in soundcheck and Chris will make up lyrics on the spot to make a tribute song to one of the crew.

Today is Lighting Director Graham Feast’s turn. The lyrical re-write is extreme in its minimalism, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. As ever, Mr Champion’s harmony vocal is utterly exemplary…

And so on for three and a half minutes…

Soundchecking means longer days – we’re often in the venue merely for a few hours, but now we’re about for a little longer. We’re still part timers compared to the majority of the crew, but it’s a different experience nevertheless. I’m sat going through my flightcases just after doors and the first few hundred folks are finding their seats.

They’re whooping and cheering and yelling “Coldplay!” from all over the cavernous empty arena. It’s gloriously bonkers. There’s almost nobody here and there’s still a good few hours until showtime. Bodes well for a good night though…

I’m watching all this when DeeDee, who has been with the Band’s record label over here since way back comes wandering around with her adorable daughter picking up the previous night’s butterfly confetti. I comment that the crowd are pretty mad and she says she left the building last night to the sound of thousands of them doing the Viva chant all the way down the escalators and down onto the street.

This reminded me of the first night in Montreal last week where they were Viva-chanting a good ten minutes after the band had left the stage (and in Guy’s case – left the building, if I remember correctly). Maybe I’ll wander out through the crowd one night and see if this is a common thing…

A definite regular occurrence is the home-made outfits. Trainer Dan pops over during the changeover before the show claiming to have found a couple that definitely need to be photographed. They both have clothes in the full Mylo Graffitti style, but the fella has something slightly more permanent going on in the form of tattoos of the lyrics to Everything’s Not Lost and also Will’s Viva logo. Wowzers!

The B-stage gets a shuffle on Boston night two, with the re-appearance of Green Eyes for the first time in ages.

The C-stage also gets a new addition in Detroit, but not with the Graham-tinged re-write of Us Against The World.

Yep, instead, it’s a Birthday mention for Mr. Champion and Detroit were in fine voice to assist with the celebration.