Greetings from Moscow.
Initial thoughts upon arrival:
1. "There are a lot more trees here than in St. Petersburg."
2. "Oh yeah, remember that film 'Moscow on the Hudson'?"
3. "I think 'The Russia House' was also filmed here." My friend Ellen was actually in that film, playing the daughter of Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer. In her present day apartment she still has a souvenir from the experience: Russian nesting dolls of her film family. Sean is the largest doll. She's the smallest doll.
We only caught a glimpse of the city en route to the festival grounds, but I await our day off tomorrow like Christmas in July.
For now I will offer up an abridged list of personal highlights from the past two weeks:
1. Encore in Hamburg, Germany. Woodshedding our way through 'Oceans in the Hall' with new drummer Louis Schefano (who had never heard/played 'Oceans in the Hall') while the crowd patiently cheered/ pantomimed musical directions.
2. Rowdy-rowdy fans in Copenhagen, Denmark. One overheard shouting "Gary Olson! Gary Olson! I LOVE."
3. Mad foosball action in Denmark.
4. Playing football on the beach in Varberg, Sweden.
5. Frida Eklund travelling and performing with us from Gothenburg to Oslo.
6. Any opportunity to swim.
7. Ice cream in Vilanova, Spain.
8. More ice cream in Vilanova, Spain.
9. The cast and crew of the Faraday festival.
10. Catching up with dear friends whom we don't see often enough.
11. The ship from Stockholm to Estonia featuring a live cover band (see Ben's blog), a live dance troupe, and air hockey.
12. Seeing Russia.
There are myriad more good memories, but precious few minutes to spare before soundchecking here in Moscow.
So in closing...a very special shout-out to the Swedish yogurt brand Yoggi. A tour staple for me---and this go 'round, a lifesaver straight from a Swedish hospital vending machine. As you may have read in my bandmates' blogs, Keyboard Kyle paid a visit to the Gothenburg Hospital due to a wretched stomach infection. I ate four yogurts while waiting through Kyle's five (!) IVs. Photos from that episode to follow.