Eric Baines

From the Mall to the big time…and more Vodka

by eric on Oct.25, 2010, under Eastern Europe Tour 2010, Music, Uncategorized

I am exhausted! We played the big show in Kiev last night with the full orchestra. It was awesome but not without a glitch. We started the show and halfway through the first song the keyboards decided to freak out. They started making this super loud screeching sound which felt like someone was ripping your skull in half. Ugh! Keiko had to stop and call Casey (the sound guy) up to the stage. That worked out good for him because she introduced him and he got to take a bow. That’s pretty rare for a front of house mixer. I hope he got that on YouTube. It turns out that the laptop that plays all of Keiko’s keyboard sounds needed a re-boot. After that it was fine. Computer’s can be so winy sometimes. In the end the show looked and sounded incredible! For an encore we brought out a rising young super star singer to sing a traditional Ukrainian song. He won the Russian version of American Idol and his name is…something I can’t pronounce. He was good.

After the show it got really exciting. I should probably start by explaining what happens on a typical show for me. I usually start out with a little Jagermeister maybe 20 minutes or so before the show starts. I will have anywhere from 1 to 3 shots for a Keiko show. Then we do the first half of the show. There’s a 15 minute intermission in the middle where I will probably do another two shots. Then after the show, depending on how early the lobby call the next morning, is when I kick it into high gear and drink. Last night started out very typical but I forgot about the Russian element. I did my shots, played the first half of the show and then was met backstage by my favorite stand-up bass player, Vadik. He asked if I’d like a drink, I said yes and he said follow me. Half of that conversation was in Ukrainian so I’m guessing that that’s what he said. Anyway, he led me down some stairs and down some long, winding hallways into the depths of the theater where his dressing room was and pulled out, of course, a bottle of vodka. We downed 2/3 of the bottle and went back for the second half of the show. I was way ahead of schedule but somehow managed to nail what I needed to nail. Song after song flew by and I was having a blast. I was a little worried that I would make through the Russian Idols guys song because I had to read some serious notes but I was on fire!

When the show was over, I invited Vadik and his vodka to the band’s dressing for more drinking. We were joined by the twins and all of us began to consume vodka like it was candy. We were reminiscing about the last 6 years of touring the Ukraine, joking and laughing about pas shows, I even borrowed Kayta’s guitar and gave an impromptu performance of my song “Baby” that’s on my latest record “Dive Bar Rock Star!” available on Itunes ;-) , all the while forgetting that we had to catch a train to the next city. I feel bad now for our stressed out, overworked Ukrainian tour manager, Olga, who now had to heard a bunch of drunk musicians to the train (including Keiko, I might add). at this point my memory gets a little foggy but somehow we all managed to make it on the train. We all reconvened in someones sleeper car for a few more drinks, I love you man’s and road stories. I was rooming with Kayta and we finally made it back to my sleeper car after getting lost on the way not realizing we were in the wrong train car and then I crashed hard.

Overall, it was the most fun we’ve had on this trip so far. It’s nice to be able to let lose and let off some steam once in a while and I think we were all due. I woke up the next day feeling quite refreshed behind a little bit of a hangover. Good times!!

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