Well, we were back up bright and early again this morning to tackle our 8 hour drive. I know an 8 hour drive doesn't sound exciting (and honestly its not), BUT I must say that the Northern Italian country side is possibly the most beautiful scenery I have ever witnessed. Every moment from the van, at 120 kph, looked like a perfect postcard. Giant green rolling hills, a snow capped mountain here and there, and it seemed every 5 miles or so there was a small villa of maybe 30 houses with a church with a giant spire. Yes, every single one of them had a church. And every once and a while you could catch a glimpse of a giant castle on a hill top. It looked like a land untouched for the last century and was absolutely beautiful. Words can no do justice of how beautiful it was.
We trekked along, made a stop in Austria to look at a castle and stopped to use the restroom. You might think that the concept of a restroom is universal, but I can tell you that in Austria they got a whole different thing going. There is no porcelain bowls or seats to speak of. Just a hole in the ground that you somehow hover over. The entire concept of that kind of toilet is beyond all of the guys in the band, and that's about all I can say about that.
We made it to the venue "Arci Tom" in Mantova and started unpacking our Sprinter van, just glad that we made it on time. Only to have one of the venue guys say, in broken english, "you are not playing here tonight, you are playing 4 hours from here in another town." Let me tell you, after 8 hours of driving, thinking you have reached the end, only to be told you have ANOTHER 4 to go, is like a punch in the gut. Somehow the venue was changed a month ago, but didn't get relayed to the driver. The good news is, it ended up being about a 2 hour drive. We have learned when you ask Italians how long it takes to get somewhere they generally double the time. Its very odd, maybe they are calculating in time to learn how to use those random bathrooms. So back in the sprinter we go, another 2 hours.
We get to the venue without enough time for a soundcheck, but luckily the show hadn't started yet. We search out the venue and survey all it has to offer, including a Bidet, which I dont recall ever seeing one in person before. The catering was pasta with red sauce and pork. I can now say I have eaten pasta in Italy, and it was great. Oh, not to mention, our merch guy Joseph bought a mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich, and that was the best mozzarella I have ever had, it was amazing, and the sandwich came from a gas station.
So the show starts, and there is a decent crowd in the venue, but only about half is standing towards the stage, and it stayed that way for the entire set. There was a handful of people getting into it, singing along, moving, heck even nodding their heads, and the rest just stood there starring, almost seeming unable to move. It was the most awkward show DH has ever played. But no one left, and all eyes were fixated on the stage. They even chanted for an encore for quite some time after we left the stage. Which seems weird, since they were so un-engaging during the set that they would ask for me. Luckily some of those who are more apt to Italian touring explained "thats just how those crowds are." It seemed like we were playing a high school talent show, everyone judging and hoping for the end to come. But I guess they really liked it, their way of showing that is standing with your arms folded and starring at the stage in a look that would make an American think you were in a trance.
After the show we came and checked into our hotel room, which is one of the most posh hotels I have ever been in. It honestly took 10 minutes for us 7 grown men to figure out how to turn the lights on. The rooms are ultra modern and very classy. I wouldn't mind staying in more of these hotels, if they would only first tell you how to turn on the lights.
We have another 5 hour drive tomorrow, hopefully we make it to the right venue this time. And its already 2 in the morning here, so I better catch some shut eye while I can.
Still confused about Italian fans and their toilets.