Laid out as below, with all the laminates and the dates, it’s clear just how much road-work the band put in on Rush Of Blood. It wouldn’t be their last long tour, by any means, but it was the one where they dug the foundations of their live reputation.
Not shown here, of course, are the hours of interviews, the endless TV and radio engagements and the miles of print. Nothing came without a lot of hard graft and they kept turning up and putting the hours in – as they still do. There’s a quote about “the harder I work, the luckier I get” and they’ve certainly got the first half covered.
It was, though, a very special time and a very enjoyable tour. They were taking on the world and winning. The final shows in Mexico City were astounding. The crowd were like the true natural wonder of the world. It was like the entire tour’s cheers had been compressed into one spring-loaded container and released in the final two shows. The perfect ending in so many ways.
As the trucks were loaded and dispatched, everyone descended on the dressing room where band and crew all shared drinks, tales and tried to make the experience last just a little longer.
Ending a long tour and going home is a strange one. It’s been likened to many things, including being fired from a canon at a brick wall. The mind adjusts to fifteen months of adventure and nightly adrenaline jolts by making it normal. When you get back to normal – well, that can seem a little strange. The standard question upon attempting to re-adjust is of course: “where’s catering?” followed by “what do you mean we need to go to the supermarket? We did that *last* week”.
Getting home is of course wonderful. There’s the joy of spending time with loved ones, having some time and space to yourself and all of those luxuries that “the gig is all” strips away from you. Being able to experience the best of both is a privilege (and one for which Chris must have uttered the words “thank you for our amazing job” literally hundreds of times).
The joy of looking back on it too, is that the best memories stay and the minor irritations get discarded. I’m sure everyone involved can look forward to looking back when it’s all finally over. There’s often been talk of a retirement home for touring folks, where they sit around with gaffa tape stuck to the soles of their slippers and the floor is all marked out with white tape. No-one’s quite there yet, but this will be a wonderful period for the rose tinted specs.