Wonderful to be back in Italy, for a show last night in Perugia and tonight in the amazing Arena in Verona–we have 3 more here after tonight, then Nyon for PALEO Festival and the first bit of Europe is over for a 2 week break. The Friday night show in Locarno was as good as we remembered that place from the time we did it before (2003)–a tight town center on Lake Maggiore and one of those great Swiss/Italian crowds that spurred the band on to a tremendous show. Last night was the close of the Perugia Jazz Festival, and it was great to be in the capital of Umbria, a region of Italy that sometimes gets overshadowed by its neighbor Tuscany but doesn’t deserve to. And tonight, we get the privilege of playing this c. 00 AD structure because the Opera (TOSCA and AIDA I believe) only does 6 nights a week so if you are willing to play a Monday, and with opera props in all the hallways around the place. . . you can.. So we are. The place holds 13,000 but feels a lot smaller and more intimate, and I expect a loud and raucous show tonight with the members of the Italian fan club right up front. And we seem to be running into people here from all over as Verona is a good summer destination to catch a show and enjoy the town. From here all the way down to Naples for only the second time ever, then way east to Udine beyond Venice and Saturday night in Milan where the Arena Civica is already sold out and should be pretty electric. We only get to do this once in a while– Italy is ALWAYS a highlight.
p.s. We came across this excellent blog written by JoJo of the Modern Skirts, who chronicled his band’s big trip to Europe in early July. The Skirts opened for R.E.M. at Westerpark in Amsterdam, and the guys truly enjoyed having them on board.