The 2011/2012 USA and Barbados tour is under way!
Day one: the flight over.
An excited band and excited families met at Sy dney airport at the brisk hour of 6am. Check – in was uneventful apart from the confusion among the staff at the Korean Airlines counter: “you are only allowed one checked bag each, you’ll have to pay excess”…äctually, your flying to the USA, you can check in two bags each, there is no excess”, and so on. And Jono’s booking seemed to have vanished altogether. All was sorted out and we got through to the plane, which left right on time. And then sat on the tarmac for half an hour.
The flight was via Seoul, ten hours there, a layover of about 1.5 hours, and then 9 hours to LA. It was pretty comfortable and a nice airline to fly with. There was a lot of turbulance, and a couple of the group made good use of the sick bags.
The only other noteworthy event of the flight was that Saul beat Tyaan in a game of computer chess. Actually, beat him pretty comprehensively…
In LA: Quick trip in three vans to our hotel near Hollywood. After a bit of rest and free time, a group dinner in a local Thai restaurant to celebrate the start of the tour.
Day Two: first gig!
Breakfast is included at this hotel, and we all enjoyed a traditional “continental”breakfast of coffee and pastries, and muffuns, and sugar frosted corn flakes, and sugar frosted all bran, and sugar frosted sugar. In this case the “continent” is North America.
Our gig today was in the tourist precinct of Hollywood, righ tin the thick of the action. The band played against a backdrop of the famous Hollywood sign and giant replica movie sets, and it was a really good gig. We played two fifty-minute setsand were heard by several thousand people over the hour and a half or bit more.
Jamie and Shaan were each asked by young women to pose with them in photos after the gig, so not only the first gig of the tour but also the first groupies.
This evening everyone had free time around Hollywood to see the sights, enjoy dinner at their leisure and pick up a few tasteful souvenirs. All looking forward to day three, featuring workshops with a couple of prominent jazz artists, as well as a trip to see the Cirque de Soleil show Iris in the evening.