We continue with part 3 of our Guest Tour Blog from Echo Bloom’s founder, Kyle Evans, who shares his highlights and challenges from their recent tour of Germany where Kyle originally found his muse… in this latest entry Jason arrives and rocks! An impromptu midnight swim in the Baltic Sea. More rock. More roll… Read all the entries here.
Tour Blog Part 3
I am positive that the Seven Seas include the Baltic Sea. In my (admittedly hazy) memory from elementary school the Seven Seas were a collection of European bodies of water that included the Baltic, the Black, the Caspian, the Ural, and at least three other somewhat enclosed bodies of water. I am fucking positive the Baltic is, at the very least, in some type of old-school nautical list – the eight lakes of Eurasia perhaps. Jason, who has recently arrived in Germany, and is a cartographer, tells me I’m completely full of shit (note that I have looked this up after the fact and found that the Ural is actually a mountain range in western Russia. So I actually *am* full of shit, but at this point I am pretty damn sure I’m right. I am now grateful that we had GPS in the van.).
The reason this whole “Baltic sea debate” thing is coming up is because tonight we’re playing in Kühlungsborn, which is this cute little resort town right on the coast. The entire ride over there I am getting progressively more and more pumped imagining the different scenarios that will bring the band to rock each of the remaining Seven Seas.
* We will setup all of our gear on the shore of the Black Sea and, lit by the flames of a semi-circle of bonfires that will flicker light off the cymbals into a crowd of awestruck listeners, rock.
* We will play a six hour long jazz odyssey on a boat navigating the coast of the Caspian Sea, our amps pointing towards the coastline, while hundreds of beautiful Eastern European women (crawling over each other), swim after the ship to find the source of the sweet sweet wonder music.
At the very least, I’m going to dip my toe in. And we’re going to rock the fuck out of Kühlungsborn, however you pronounce it (Wikipedia notes that it’s [ˈkyːlʊŋsbɔʁn] which clears that right up).
After our previous installment concluded, a truly wonderous thing happened and that thing is that JASON HAS JOINED THE TOUR. In addition to being a really solid musician, Jason is easygoing, funny, and has this amazing ability to care about the things that matter and let all of the rest of it go. I’ve known him at this point for longer than anybody else I’ve made music with (longer than my wife even, which is kind of weird to realize). Anyways – I’m really stoked he’s here.
As mentioned previously, our Blue release tour (see video below) was setup by our record label Songs and Whispers, who has put us on this somewhat punishing schedule of shows. We’re playing every day (sometimes twice a day) and to fill that many dates and hit all of the geographic areas we want to hit in a limited amount of time some of the bookings are a little non-standard. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest, because my general theory is: the weirder the gig, the nicer the people (some people have told me that sentiment is sappy, but I know I’m right).
Tonight we’re playing a restaurant called Villa Astoria run by the Michelin-starred chef Tillman Hahn. His picture on the restaurant’s website shows him in a toned down chef’s uniform with circular, German-style glasses, holding a (no shit – very beautiful) duck. Because the site is in German, this picture is pretty much all we have to go on (and based on the way he’s holding the duck – tenderly? – I’m cautiously optimistic).
(Band high-five before walking in). Go team go!
— 4 Hours Later —
Yeah! Two encores! (Aside – I feel like there are always lots! of! exclamation! points! when I read what I’ve written right after coming offstage. But it’s honest. For me it’s like riding a big wave where the ocean is the audience and the surfboard is the band, gelled into one. If you’ve experienced the feeling, you know it’s worthy of exclamation points).
We have been doing this thing for our last encore where Aviva and I wade out into the audience and sing Seeds completely acoustic – no mics, nothing. It always is really meaningful for us, because it breaks down the boundary between the audience and the performers and you can get a much more direct emotional connection. That went *well* tonight – we walked back after the encore and this woman had tears running down her face. So if our goal is to emotionally connect with people, we definitely did that. Yeah! And Chef Hahn gave us a cookbook! It’s in German! Yeah!
The whole show I talked between songs about how afterwards we’re all going to go down to the Baltic Sea and drink gluhwein and party. The audience’s body language said to us “That is stupid. It is almost below freezing – you should stay here and drink wine with us”. But there is no turning back. THE SEVEN SEAS WILL NOT WAIT. We load the car up, put on parkas, and trudge through the sand to the water’s edge.
The audience is right. It’s *fucking* cold outside. Cody and I stand by the edge of the sea, dip our toes, look down the coastline at the lights fading into the darkness, and shiver. We realize we’ve lost track of Jason about the same moment as we see a blurred figure hurtling past us, hear the gleeful exclamation of “later bitches” and feel the frigid blast of seafoam as Jason (who has stripped down to his underwear) dives headfirst into the Baltic Sea. He is maniacally laughing and swimming around like a damn dolphin. It is amazing.
All in all, standard show.
Next time – our car gets broken into, we play a beautiful old philharmonic hall, and say goodbye to Germany.
Photo Credit: Main post image by Ulla Heynes