TUESDAY, JULY 10TH – KRISTIANSAND TO ARENDAL, NORWAY:
Stayed up much too late working last night and didn’t have time to go jogging this morning before showering and leaving for the airport. My ride to the airport was late getting there, so I took a taxi instead. The bus for Vince arrived at 11 am and at around 11:20 am, Vince and his group started coming out. They only had personal luggage as all their instruments were transported ahead of time by a company in the U.S. That company will take care of transporting them between the gigs, too.
I was sitting in the waiting area before the flight arrived and a lady with two little girls sat down beside me. One was about 5 years old and the toddler was around 18 months old. Really cute kids. The toddler started climbing on her mom’s legs and over the arm of the chair. It was then that I noticed that she did not have on any pants – I mean as in nothing – no pants, underwear or a diaper! I decided move out of what would surely become the “line of fire” very soon. J
Vince and his guys are super nice and easy to work with. Bus ride took less than one hour and the hotel had all the keys ready for us. They even had the fans in our rooms as requested. Gunnar (our promoter) met us at the hotel and then I went to lunch with him. The venue is in front of the hotel (which is nice, by the way) and the stage was being erected. It is supposed to have a capacity of 4,000 but I don’t see it. I think it’s more like 1,500 max! Weather is supposed to be pretty tomorrow. If it’s too hot, the fans won’t come. If it’s raining, the fans won’t come. I don’t want to give them any excuses.
Lunch was actually great….now I’ve had two good meals in Norway. I shopped for a few minutes after lunch but didn’t buy anything. Gunnar’s son is filming a documentary on country music in Norway so I agreed to do an interview for them.
Dinner is provided at the hotel restaurant and they have a pretty extensive menu. Food was good there, too. I’ve been working all evening and it’s after 1 am here. Ready to get some sleep. Tomorrow is the first show for Vince in Norway!
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11TH AND THURSDAY, JULY 12TH – ARENDAL AND OSLO:
Got up early for a great jog around Arendal. Was able to follow the water for a long way but it involved running up quite a few hills and going through some pretty massive construction work and workers. Breakfast buffet was good – pretty standard food for European hotels. Lots of kids at this hotel and the front desk staff dresses up in costumes and plays games with them.
Walked over to the venue for sound check. The fences were all in place with “coverings” so people who didn’t purchase tickets couldn’t watch the performance. It’s right in the center of town in front of the Culture Center and they have lots of events here. Vince was supposed to arrive at 4 pm for sound check but he was there at 2:15 pm. He let Gunnar’s son interview him for the documentary after his performance.
Had time to answer a lot of emails and have dinner before walking over for the concert. My friend Lise Minge and her boyfriend are here for the concert and it will be great to see her again. I had the salmon for dinner and it was awesome. Can’t go wrong with salmon in Norway but after being in country for so long, I was getting tired of it!
As I walked over to the venue, I counted almost 200 people who were standing on ledges, containers, and a church balcony watching the show – for free! Very frustrating but no way to stop it. We don’t know the final count yet but the venue was full and we’re guessing around 1,000. It’s a small intimate venue and a listening audience – which is not “normal” for Norway! The audience loved the show and sang along with all his hits. Vince performed for about an hour and 40 minutes with multiple encores.
Since I had to get up at 4 am, knew I wouldn’t get but an hour or so of sleep. I finally got in bed at 2 am only to be woken up 10 minutes later by drunken teenagers outside my window. They partied until I had to get up at 4 am so I didn’t get any sleep. Gunnar picked me up at 5 am and we headed to the airport. It was pouring down rain and continued all the way to Oslo. I had planned to take the Express Train into downtown Oslo and shop today. But the torrential rain killed those plans. I ended up working in my “suite” all day only stopping long enough to walk over to the airport and get take away food.
Have been dealing with a flaky promoter from the festival this past weekend. Have had to speak with the newspaper, radio station and even the police department today. It’s been “interesting” to say the least!
Almost 1 am and I have to be up early to meet Vince’s group at the airport for the flight from Oslo to Bergen.