Topic: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!  (Read 1776 times)

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Offline David Crigger

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Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« on: December 17, 2009, 01:40 AM »
Every year, the city of Milan puts on a free outdoor concert around Christmas time at the Piazza Duomo. This year they invited Burt Bacharach to do it - so tomorrow morning, it's off I go on a quick trip to Italy and back. It should be very interesting in pros and cons sort of way...

Pros -
     nice large string section playing with us
     expected audience of 50,000 plus (not something Burt does often... if ever)
     and, of course, I get paid - there's always that.  :-)

Cons -

    playing for a crowd that large could be seriously challenging for a show that's so intimate
    it's outdoors, it's at night - and the HIGH this week in Milan has been 36 DEGREES!!!
    and, of course, the fact that I'll be traveling for as long as I'll actually be in Italy.
    (but again, I do get paid)  :-)

Anyway - as I said, it should interesting.... exciting, if it goes well... but interesting nonetheless.

Here's a pic of where we're playing.

Wish me luck,

David





lopan

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 05:49 AM »
David,

It looks like a beautiful location. Another Pro, you won't need a fan to stay cool.  ;D  How long will you playing outdoors, and do you ever wear gloves when playing?
 

Offline Hannah Ford

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 06:21 AM »
That's awesome David! 

I'm looking so forward to my first opportunity to perform in another country!!

Have fun...

Hannah
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Offline Larry Lawless

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2009, 05:34 AM »
What a beautiful venue!! Hope you get some time to enjoy it!
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Offline eardrum

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2009, 04:42 PM »
Very Cool. Is this the Piazza Duomo in Milan? I believe there is more than one???
When I'm travelling for work and don't have time to see the sites I'll at least try to get some good intel on the local hot spots and make notes for a trip when I will have time to be the tourist.

AND of course one of the most important things to do in Italy is enjoy the food!!!
 
Have a great time.


Offline David Crigger

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2009, 12:00 PM »
Yes - that's the one. The Piazza Duomo in Milan.

Well - got through the daytime half of the gig - OMG, it's been one cold puppy. Our hotel is just a short 2-3 minute walk to the stage. But it was being a challenging day before even getting there - the group of us that I came with last night were only a little delayed getting in, but had three missing bags. Two of them (a somewhat spare equipment case and a personal bag) showed up around noon, the third case - one of our two cases of orchestral music - is still MIA. As librarian, this ended meaning that I was short one violin book. So getting that printed and the parts taped was then added to my list this morning.

But back to last night, the folks coming through London, ended up being major delayed - not arriving at the hotel till after 2AM - and ALL of their bags were missing. So besides three players not having anything warm beyond what they were wearing - but as all the instruments for both horn players were part of the missing bags - that meant rental horns (trumpet, flugal, and a bunch of saxes) had to be procured this morning (not my job, luckily).

So of to the stage a little before noon, and it was really cold - yes, there were big blowers pumping warm air onto both sides of the stage, and a ton of smaller radient heaters all over the place - which meant it was still really uncomfortably cold. So a two set-up and bit of a sound check moving right into three more hours rehearsing on stage with the strings. Finally got off the stage about 6pm - it was about 20 degrees - with a high all day of 32.

The string players were really quite good - and having great attitudes, considering the horrible conditions - plus all the regular difficulties, most notably the whole language thing.

Yamaha Recording kit is working just fine. I'm actually using my Supra with the Earthtone natural head on it. The humidity hasn't been moving around that much - so it's been just fine. The biggest problem playing-wise has functioning while dressed like the Michelin Man - that, and of course, if my hands get too cold, or so dry it's hard to keep hold of the stick.

Right now, everyone's back in their rooms trying to recharge and get warm - feeling as though we've already played about three shows today, so now just need to find the energy to do it  one more time for real.

Here's another pic - from back by the far corner of the cathedral, looking toward the stage, taken about an hour ago.

David





Offline NY Frank

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2009, 06:02 PM »
Great adventure.
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Online Bart Elliott

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 06:18 PM »
Thanks for sharing this with us David.

I might guess that living in California, any cold feels really cold ... so this "cold" must be REALLY killing you. I actually have an invention idea to help keep drummers while playing outdoors ... and no it doesn't involve adult beverages or attractive females.

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 06:21 PM »
I actually have an invention idea to help keep drummers while playing outdoors ... and no it doesn't involve adult beverages or attractive females.

Boooooooooo.      ;)
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Offline Mark Pedersen

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2009, 10:19 AM »
Thanks for sharing this with us David.

I might guess that living in California, any cold feels really cold ... so this "cold" must be REALLY killing you. I actually have an invention idea to help keep drummers while playing outdoors ... and no it doesn't involve adult beverages or attractive females.

I don't drink and my wife will be happy about that......

Congrats David on your adventure - and if you think about it, this is amazing. I am sitting here in my little slice of life in Portland Oregon and being able to read this on the net as it is happening.

Also curious - and this is open to all. Has anyone ever had problems with heads spitting due to cold? I played a barn dance a year ago October and it was in the 30's and I split a snare head. Just curious and don[t mean to hijack.
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Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 11:08 AM »
Also curious - and this is open to all. Has anyone ever had problems with heads spitting due to cold?
Yes, many times. But most were when using calf-skin heads. We had 20 drummers in the Army Band in Colorado. On an average 4 heads were split by the time we were done with a parade or or concert during winter months. We didn't always use that many drummers, but I was the guy who had to replace heads after a gig. Why, because I was the only one who knew how to tune drums right. I changed split heads on a regular basis.   ::)   Warning, I live in Minnesota and have been known to break bass drum heads during outdoor Christmas gigs.  ;)
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Offline David Crigger

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 06:28 PM »
Yes Bart - Ever since, at age 8, the folks moved us from Iowa to sunny California, I've progressively become more and more of a wimp when it comes to cold weather. But in this case, wasn't feeling that bad about as the locals haven't been to happy about this way early (for Milan) cold snap they're having.

So to continue this little saga - the weather did end up knocking the crowd down. Kinda of hard to tell exactly as its a really big space with just a bit of seating up front, so most of the folks were standing pretty bunched up - so guesses I heard afterward were in the 5k to 7k range, far less than the 40k-50k that the concert usually draws with better weather.

But the upside was that those that were there, really wanted to be - because they were standing around in minus 20 degrees to be there. Overall great, very enthusiastic crowd - as they usually are for Burt in Italy.

So here's some more pics - a shot from the front of the stage right before starting and a shot of me dressed, ready to play. (Actually the heaters and the lights allowed me to get that overcoat off - leaving in only four layers - I could hardly move my arms with that thing on).





Of course, as I'm typing this I should be on an airplane flying from NY to San Francisco - but no.....

The north east US weather mess affected just about everyone going home today - in my case, my flight was good to go from Milan to NY - but my NY flight to SFO was already cancelled, and Delta and I both agreed flying me to NY was not going to help me ever get home. So back to the hotel, and try again tomorrow morning - where I'm being routed from Milan to Atlanta to SFO - a much better routing, leaving very confident that by midnight Monday night I might actually being driving into my driveway. We'll see.

Normally - a free day in Italy would cause to go "woo hoo" - but in this case, again... it is flipping cold (about 15 at noon today), and of course, everything here is absurdly expensive - making the allure of great Italian food quite a bit less alluring. Anyway - I ended up getting some lunch, hitting a market, piling into the room for a nap - which is now leaving me awake for the rest of the night until my pick-up tomorrow at 7. Which is fine, because I certainly don't want to be wide awake and rested for the 25 hours of travel to follow.

I guess that's about it.

reporting from Italy for the Drummer Cafe - this is David Crigger, signing off.

Ciao

Online Bart Elliott

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Re: Flying to Italy tomorrow - for a one-nighter!!
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 07:49 PM »
Great update David; thanks for sharing!

I could not last five minutes behind a drumkit in that weather. You should have a big S on your chest for playing this gig.  8)

 

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