There’s nothing like a good 26 hours of travelling to kick off a tour. I left my house at 3 pm in Johannesburg, and arrived at our first port of call, Münster, Germany at 4 pm the next day. With no sleep and a small vomit at Dubai airport, we were finally there.
For my first three shows I was a support act for Everlast. I only really knew his music from the ’90s, which was more rap driven. Hearing him do his first sound check was a real eye opener. Holy crap! This guy has the biggest voice I may have ever heard. He would kill as a blues singer, not that the stuff he is doing isn’t great.
Show 1: Spütnik Halle, Münster
I have to admit I was quite nervous as this was the first show on the Everlast tour. The room was rather bleak looking and smelled like old booze. I managed to get in a quick sound check after Everlast. The place started filling up around 7 pm and I was backstage warming up, hoping that the Everlast fans would receive a Blues Rocker well. Besides that worry, I would also be performing the next four shows solo, completely alone on stage. 8 pm showtime rolled around and the place was packed. As I stepped on stage I was received by 400 faces staring at me with great confusion. The set started off with “Miss Oowee” from my Wooden Thoughts album and about 30 seconds into the tune the crowd (thankfully) started to really get into it. This instantly put me at ease and I ended up having a pretty cool show.
Everlast hit the stage at 9 pm and his fans went crazy. After watching a few songs I went backstage to put my guitar away. Two minutes later my manager Franie came running and said, “You gotta come see this!” As I got backstage I saw Everlast having a full blown argument, over the mic, with a guy from the crowd. This guy was talking during the show, and Everlast was having none of it. The words that were used cannot be repeated in this blog. After a heated five minute debate in front of 400 people, Everlast jumped off the stage in an attempt to fight the chatterbox. Wow. What a start to the tour! In a way I can understand why he got so upset. Who pays a lot of money to see an artist and decides to chat about world events during the show? That’s what coffee shops are for. Luckily, Joe, Everlast’s tour manager managed to stop the fight, and the show went on. This event gave me a great idea for my next album title “Dear Silence Thieves…”
Show 2: Fabrik, Hamburg
The following morning we left for the next show which was at a venue called Fabrik in Hamburg, a three hour drive from Münster. Wow. What an incredible venue! Probably one of the best I’ve ever been to. Fabrik’s show line-up for upcoming months is insane. Jonny Lang, Larry Carlton, Beth Hart, to name a few. As for the show, all in all it was a great night at the office, apart from a broken string on my slide guitar. The sound in the room was incredibly crisp and clear. The crowd of 800 really seemed to dig it, and I was being received really well by Everlast fans.
Show 3 – Huxley’s, Berlin
Sometimes the crap thing about touring is that you don’t get to see the cities and the sights like one should. So far it’s all been a big blur. We arrived in Berlin after a five hour haul in the car, and checked into our accommodation. We were staying at a dingy hostel, and as we entered, the way our shoes stuck to the floor combined with the stench of cheap marijuana was unforgettable. Kinda my idea of hell. Luckily they only had one double bed, so we swiftly checked out and checked into a nearby hotel where the chances of catching dysentery were far less. Our photographer Ina would be left to brave a night alone at the Hostel. She was not amused.
The venue was a 1,200 capacity called Huxley’s, and was basically sold out. With two solo shows on this tour under my belt already, I felt this was my best solo show to date. The crowd were really responsive and got into the groove from the word go, and this reflected in the merchandise sales. After tonight, Everlast and his crew were off to another European country for a few days, and I would only be joining them again for their last German show in Munich.
Show 4 – Forum, Kevelaer
This was my first German show without Everlast. This would be one of my last solo shows before my band flies in. Kevelaer was a good eight hour drive from Berlin, and we arrived five minutes before sound check time, which I absolutely hate doing! On arrival we were told that the show had been sold out. This was welcome news and gave me a second to unwind from the long trip. I had a local support act called Gerrit Jansen and Friends, who were a really cool bunch of guys, and played a great set before me. It amazed and humbled me that I was in a town that I’d never heard of, yet the room was full of music enthusiasts from Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. I was lucky enough to receive two encores and the audience really seemed to dig the show.
I’m now in Munich waiting on my band to arrive so we can continue the tour electrically. Tonight is my last solo performance with Everlast at Backstage in Munich. Still haven’t met the guy, maybe tonight’s my lucky night. The rest of the tour to follow.
– Dan Patlansky
Photos by Ina Bohnsack