Our Vancouver hotel is opposite a construction site. In the interests of noise avoidance I eventually end up moving between three different rooms before settling on a place to stay on the other side of the building up on the 26th floor. It’s a smaller room, but it’s well away from the noise and when you’ve spent a year in clanging arenas most days, peace and quiet is a luxury – even if it does mean sitting and listening to your ears ring.
I later learn that Dave Holmes, Coldplay’s manager once worked as a bellman at the hotel where the noisy hole in the ground opposite us now is. I sit waiting for the van on our first day watching the bellmen in our hotel and wondering where they’ll end up…
Actually, talking of Dave, the band were doing some photos on the way to the stage and they grabbed him for a shot together. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, George and the Zorins….
The first day in Vancouver sees the return of the soundcheck. The Vancouver shows are being filmed, so there’s a lot of working on cameras, checking shots and making sure that the recording folks are happy. The final city of a tour leg normally feels like the last day of school. The addition of a bank of cameras postpones the relief somewhat.
Thankfully, the first gig goes very well, leaving the band with one good show in the bag and one in hand the next night. There is a little party upstairs afterwards. It’s not a crazy all-nighter by any means – there’s not only a show to do the next day, but it’s being filmed, so nobody wants to be derelict when it matters.
I leave reasonably early and learn the next day that keyboard tech Neill Lambert had attempted to walk back to the hotel, before getting completely lost and finding himself right back where he started. He arrived just as Chris was leaving, so he decided to stand behind a gang of fans who were waiting to meet him as he left. It’s unsure who was more surprised: Neill that he was back at the gig; Chris that one of the crew appeared to be waiting drunk with fans asking for an autograph; or the fans who had no idea who Neill was and just saw a scruffy-looking drunk bloke ask Chris for a lift home – and get one!
The second filmed show is a stormer. Word has obviously got around that the shows are being filmed and the crowd are keen to put on a great performance. They sing like angels, they wave their cellphones like gurning ravers and it’s a solidly great gig, much to the relief of us all.
Inevitably, emotions afterwards run between excitement that school’s out and general collapsing in a heap. It’s getting to that strange point in the tour for me, where it feels like it’s never going to end and I can’t quite remember what it’s like doing anything else. We’re leaving North America, but we’re back in a couple of weeks. It just feels like we’re having a few days off. Doubtless I’ll just get accustomed to being at home again and it’ll be time to head off to do some festivals…
Anyway, I’d better pack. I shall leave you with this youtube clip from Edmonton. Did the guy on the left really propose in front of the B-Stage during The Hardest Part? If so, it certainly looks as though she said yes….
Best of luck folks!