MARCH 2011

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     March 5, flying to Buenos Aires

Touring South America is always an exciting experience - this time maybe more so, because we're doing the first shows since having added Markus Reuter to the group, and we'll be playing a lot of brand new material.

We booked three days in a studio in B.A, to rehearse and tweak the material, before doing any shows. It's not accidental that it is mirroring the tradition King Crimson established back in the 1990's. Then, we went to Buenos Aires and sort of set up in residence for a month, rehearsing and doing shows in progressively larger venues. It was great, and I vividly remember how the vibrant music scene there helped us set up the sense of the new material.

It seems fitting that Stick Men add the Crimson piece Vrooom Vrooom to our set -- that's a piece that was first performed in Buenos Aires.
We're also working up a number of Crimson pieces, to choose from, that we hadn't done before.

     March 6,7,8 Buenos Aires

Usually after a long overnight flight I try to have the first day free, to recover and get adjusted. No such luck this time - having left New York at night, Robert Frazza (our sound engineer) and I arrived in Buenos Aires mid-morning, then met up with Markus and Pat at the airport. We fondly remember Max, who was our tour manager last year through S. America, and is here to meet us.
Brutal traffic meant we arrived at our hotel at about 1pm -- then dropped off our bags and over to the studio to see what equipment has been provided, set up, and start trying to master Vrooom Vrooom and our new material.

Too busy with the music, I forgot to take pictures of the guys at rehearsal.

Except when the studio made us some great pizza!

And the night Gustavo, our promoter for all South America shows, took us out for a very nice dinner

This blurry shot shows Markus, Robert, Max, and Pat.
And in spite of the story my photos present, we did't just eat over those three days, we worked hard!

     March 9, Tucuman

An easy flight - nothing like the long interneational one we had a few days ago - and we were in Tucuman, Argentina - a city none of us has ever been to.

A beautiful theater awaited us -- you don't always get to play in theaters at all with rock groups, and this one is ornate, tall, and quite a treat.

Of course, with all that height, the room presents some sound issues, so Robert will be perhaps admiring it a bit less than the band, because he has to deal with lots of reverb and low end flying around.

Here we are, about to head on stage for the first show of our 2011 tour, and the first show with Markus in the band.

These first few shows I won't have time in the show to take pictures of the guys onstage -- come to think of it, I'll hardly ever have time for that in Stick Men, with all the musical events keeping me busy.

But I always try to get some audience photos, at least going on and during bows.

Grabbed a quick shot of the guys as we were about to bow...

and soon afterward, backstage, a toast to the first show.
(Markus having his first Fernet Branca ... quite a moment!)

I should mention that Fernet Branca is an Italian drink I like a lot - it's pretty unusual outside of Italy, except here in Argentina, where it's even more popular than in Italy. So, I was surprised and very happy to find a bottle backstage. (We'll wait to see what Markus thinks of it!)

The Tucuman audience was great. We got a wonderful reception which really surprised me because I hadn't been there with Crimson or Peter Gabriel, and I hadn't realized they'd know of us, let alone be so appreciative.
We'll try hard to return here when we next tour in Argentina.

     March 10, Cordoba

It didn't take long for the road factor to kick in on the tour. Though we flew into Tucuman, we'll be doing the rest of the Argentina tour by van, and the large one that was sent for us broke down. So what we faced at 8 this morning, was an 8 hour drive in a van too small to hold us and our gear.

A couple of guys ended up getting a flight to Cordoba, which made it more manageable.

Still, with last night's signing and meeting the audience after the show, it had been 3am before any of us got to sleep, and up at 7 for what turned out to be 8 1/2 hours drive, then right to the venue for soundcheck... no question, we're on the road for sure!!

But another beautiful theater, and warm welcoming audience, makes it worth the effort.

     March 11, Rosario

Now we're in gear for touring! Got a bigger van, hit the highway to Rosario, and found another beautiful theater awaiting us!

Wow, what a nice place and very nice audience. We'll hope to come back next year.

But we're on the run again, tomorrow we drive to Buenos Aires for our first of two shows there.

     March 12, Buenos Aires

Great to be back here again. Here is the view from my hotel room... you'll start to get a sense of how special this city is.

Wait a second, what's that poster on the left about....

...hmmm... could this be a hint to me from Gustavo, our promoter?!

This may be a good place to start page two of the tour diary.


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