On Tour

A train ride. A gig in Linz. A tour bus ride. A gig in Vienna. A day in Vienna. Another gig in Vienna. A night of dancing. A car ride back to Munich again.

When put like this, it seems pretty ordinary, the life on tour is pretty minimalist : travel, look for something to eat, perform / set up / do whatever your job is, drink a lot along the way. But life on tour is also about discovering or rediscovering cities and venues, meeting old friends scattered all over the world and making new ones, and enjoying this lovely feeling of being right here right now, somewhere else with other faces, for the sole purpose of sharing your art.

Two years ago, I was diving into Das Weiße Pferd‘s music with passion, and would have never thought that one day, not only I would see them live but I would get to spend so much time witnessing the inner workings of their sound. Rehearsals, sound checks, concerts, debriefings, interactions between band members on and off stage, all of it make me dig deeper into the Das Weiße Pferd sound and make me fall in love with it even more every time.

Stadtwerk/Strom, Linz. Fluc and Dezentral, Vienna. Three wonderful venues with strong personalities, special, warm and welcoming.

Linz welcomed us with a sight of the Donau next to Ars Electronica and a forest of plants on the ceiling of Strom. Right away, the locals made us feel at home. The Tam Tam crew gave a Munich touch to the stage with Robbl’s light installations and Tam Tam Matthias’ videography while Das Weiße Pferd and LeRoy set up the stage. The crowd was sparse but sold, witnessing a lovely sandwiched set of LeRoy/Pferde/LeRoy, where energies were high on stage, with some of the best versions of these songs I know by heart and some of the greatest full or half smiles on the band members’ faces.

Maybe it was from starting drinking on the train at noon, with schnapps and beers bought in distributing machines in the Salzburg train station and the other ones that followed at the venue, but I will remember the Linz Night as a warm, fuzzy, totally relaxed yet intense one.

And Vienna. I have to say, I had high expectations for both the concerts and the city itself, and both were graciously exceeded. The Fluc party was oh, so fantastic. Watching the Munich people embrace their old friends, the open smile and then the sour, playful grimace on people’s faces as I served them the Tam Tam Welcoming Birnenschnapps, the crescendo of intensity in the audience as people fell in love with Das Weiße Pferd… Watching LeRoy work his magic afterwards as I stood behind the merch table, watching people dance to his music and to the Conny Dope and Diskopeter DJ sets. Flashing lights. Art on every surface of the bar, even the ceiling (there’s an upside down pool on the ceiling, semi-hidden, aqua-blue and even has a pool ladder MAN).

The cool thing about touring in relaxed venues is that you get to strike the morning (well, early afternoon) after, slowly, with a splitting headache and stories to tell about the night before. You find the rest of the crew in the venue, some of their faces are pale as a sheet, other have still wet hair from a well-deserved shower, and you welcome each other as if you’ve not seen one another in days. You then go for a salutary breakfast/lunch, and you hit the road again or you prepare for the next gig.

That leisure day in Vienna, before the Camión gig in Dezentral, made me yearn for more of this huge, charming city. Great exhibitions in stunning museums, hidden beauty in coffee shops and in the patchwork of sumptuous versus unkempt, modern versus romantic architecture in secondary streets.

We arrive to Dezentral, this tiny, smoky bar filled with the glow of a fire oven and friendly faces, and the journey begins again, not in a tour bus this time but in Murena’s hypnotic bass lines and Pico Be’s rippling voice intonations. The proximity made us able to follow Pico’s eyes on the lyrics, visible through the translucent tower of paper cutting the stage in two.

An hour of immersive spoken words told by one of my favourite voices in the world. The fire burns in the bar’s oven but the warmth comes from enjoying yet another exclusive, intimate concert and from my very special connection with these performances. Two surprise Murena songs after the sound voyage of Camión delay the landing back to reality.

And it’s time to move on, again. Dancing past sunrise. A ride back to Munich in dense fog that dissipates only when we reach Salzburg, just in time to watch the striking, colourful sunset that turn gigantic, snow-speckled Alps to an elusive shade of violet and set the Föhn-blown clouds ablaze.

Thanks again for letting me tag along this couple of days. Your music and laughter still ring in my ears.