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Chapter 6 - THE TOUR BEGINS

The first show was in Virginia, at the Wolftrap Filene center to be exact. I had played there so many times with various artists that to me, it was just plain Wolftrap. It's a beautiful old amphitheater that provides a wonderful natural environment for a summer concert. I knew all the Dan fans would be out in force and they'd be ready to listen. Plus, the venue was just a short drive down the highway from our hotel in D.C. What better place to start the tour than right here! Of course, that short drive stuff would change rather quickly, as you'll see in later episodes.

We rolled up in the late afternoon, piled out of the bus and, once again, took the stage in a repeat of yesterday's rehearsal ritual except the only familiar things from the previous day were the crew, the sound system and the instruments. The look and layout of the stage was different, the acoustics of the building, both on stage and off, were entirely different and we had a limited amount of time to get it all together. But as I mentioned earlier, I was with some of the best in the business and it's not like we haven't been down this road before. So I was totally confident that, by the time the doors were opened and the audience began to pour in, we would be ready to rock! That's not to say we didn't feel the pressure, but by the time we broke for dinner, everything was pretty well dialed in and about as good as it could be.

As the concert start time approached we all were backstage going through our separate pre-show routines. Dan was busy doing vocal warm ups, as was McEntee and Photoglo. Zoot was doing a double check on his keyboard rig to make sure it was all working perfectly and I was trying to avoid eating the wonderful desserts provided by the caterers. Obviously, you can imagine who had the most difficulty during these pre-show warm up periods. Come on! It's hard enough to keep a sensible diet on the road and adding some of those decadent desserts to my daily menu would have turned me into the Pillsbury Dough Boy! Not a pretty sight!

It was approaching eight o'clock and it was time for us to head for the stage. I could feel an old familiar tension as I walked through the stage door. It was time to raise the bar one more time. And as I stood off stage in the darkness, I heard a new sound. It was the low din of a large group of people talking. It was..........THE AUDIENCE!!



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