Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jukes EuroTour Wrap-Up

Greetings friends ... hope this finds you all well.

So ... I never really finished my Europe trip did I?

Well, I'm going to do that now ... whether you want to hear about it or not! LOL

The last post talked a bit about our day in Bremen. I was so excited to have the opportunity to visit one of my best friend's home cities ... and what a blast we had!

One of our first stops was the cathedral (or "Bremer Dom") in the middle of the city. As an American, it's always amazing to explore places with such an incredibly long history. I live in such a young country. The cathedral was originally built in 805 I think and then restored after the war ... it's hard to even fathom how old that is! Imagine the stories those walls could tell!

We spent some time just walking around and decompressing a bit. We listened to the organ and lit a candle for a couple of dear people we'd lost. A very soothing and reflective visit. Just what we needed.

Just outside the cathedral I had my first glimpse of the Freimarkt festival. But first we had to get a picture with the "Town Musicians of Bremen" statue (based on the Brothers Grimm folktale.) Supposedly, touching the hooves will bring you good luck -- and being a musician myself, and having so many friends who are also musicians, I held on for dear life knowing we could use all the luck we could get!

We then stopped to listen to the Bremen Glockenspiel ... a system of porcelain bells strung between two roofs. Watch the rotating wooden panels that depict the "Conquerors of the Ocean". You can read all about it here ... it was VERY cool!! I could have stood there for hours.

By that point, it was definitely time to stop for a pretzel and some beer!

After that we headed to Schnoor -- the oldest part of Bremen. I absolutely loved it there ... all these tiny little streets and buildings, shops and cafes. Its exactly what I pictured "old Europe" to be ...

I was SO HAPPY that our friend Iris was able to take the train in to visit!! We have 'known' eachother online for quite some time but finally got to see eachother IN PERSON (here we are, with Rike in the middle.) :-)

We then headed over to the BIG Freimarkt celebration ... oh lordy!!!

So, I learned a couple of universal laws on this trip. First: that firemen in their gear in any country are sexy -- met an awfully nice-looking lot in Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Haha. And, second: no matter where you are, festival food is not healthy ... but tastes darn good! Here's how we tried to justify things ...

A Schaumkuss: this MUST be good for you ... it's just egg whites (dipped in chocolate) ... light and fluffy! Yumm!

And, its important to have protein right? So, how about some bratwurst!?

AND!! Did you know that beer has a ton of Vitamin B in it?! See?! Healthy!!

We really did have a fabulous time at the festival. Our trip to the biergarten is a story for another time ... oh ... and me trying to get these damn frogs onto the lilypads in this game ... oh the videos ... the girls have blackmail material for YEARS to come! Suffice it to say, it's not pretty when a type-A personality is taking on flying rubber frogs! LOL

Now, keeping in mind that all us girls met eachother because of our love of all (ok...most) things Jovi, we had to get this picture ...

...and look! We were even checking out venues they should play in Bremen! Jon Bon Jovi, you can play here.

I was sad to leave Bremen, but we still had one more Southside Johnny show before I had to fly back to NYC.

So, the next day (after I cleaned the city out of the new BJ 4-track maxi single with "What Do You Got?"...we don't do singles here in the States), we headed BACK to Holland on the bus. By the way, what is it with the Netherlands and rain?! LOL

My final show on this little excursion was in Groningen. In a recent interview, Johnny called this show "a disaster". Ok, it was definitely one of the rougher nights. The venue, though attractive, was absolutely atrocious in terms of sound. I was 10 feet away and couldn't hear Johnny at all. Tom was pounding his heart out on the drums and we couldn't hear him. All I heard was bass. It's frustrating to play in those conditions, even potentially dangerous from an over-playing standpoint. Add to that, there was the sadness many were feeling about the sudden passing of former Jukes drummer Louie Appel...Johnny's a cappella performance for him of "My Mother's Eyes" took our breath away.

I was happy, however, to hear them do "Lead Me On" which is hands-down my favorite track from Pills & Ammo -- but I really missed JK's harmonies on it. I sang them myself, not that anybody could hear me in that place! (Oh, and if you don't own Pills & Ammo by now, what is your problem!? I've been talking about it for MONTHS! LOL)

The crowd was really into it ... but I'm not sure the band could feel that given the "wet blanket" acoustics of the hall. I give those guys a lot of credit for forging ahead. And for the record, it wasn't me who yelled out a request for "Soul's on Fire" ... but I fully support it! :-)

So, that was it. Four nights. Four different cities. Three Southside shows. Countless laughs. And a few sad sighs. A helluva way to spend a long weekend.

It was great to meet so many friends I've only known online ... see you all in June 2011 when I'm back for UK JoviChaos. Hugs all around!!

P.S. If you missed any of the other posts, here are the links: Amsterdam, on our way to Melle, the show in Melle and a Bremen preview.

P.S.2. So, what's next? Well, we've got the "One Night Only" JoviMovie thing on Monday, the Best Buy show on Wednesday and the (ugh, I really hate early mornings) Today Show on Friday. But up first, a trip to Niagara Falls to see the Jukes...and the wheels keep on turning! :-)