Competition Planet Rock The Dead Daisies Leads To Boston
Friday, 12th August started like any other day – took my Labradoodle, Othello for a walk then some doodling on my blog. Into the mix add some chores including changing the bed. What has that got to do with The Dead Daisies, Boston and entering a Planet Rock Radio Competition? Today it has everything to do with the events over the next few weeks!
Have you ever battled with a king sized duvet cover and the duvet, they just do not want to co-operate; on the third failed attempt I was angry! When Wyatt on Planet Rock said what have you got to lose, enter and you could be off to Boston to see The Dead Daisies, what have you got to lose. I shouted at the radio ‘Why should I win? Can’t even do simple chores’. The cover and duvet were united and I carried on once again forgetting to send the text.
The as it turned out luckily, I remembered so punched in the numbers typed ROCK and send. Friday night supper with Grandson, his girlfriend and my husband, Kevin I was telling them I had entered and that is why the mobile was on the table. Despite the no mobile on the table rule that once someone else had one it would be put away. Ian Danter was saying he was going to make someone’s Friday! With that my ‘phone rang, an unknown number. I answered and guess what it was not a random unwanted sales call. Yes! It was Ian Danter, we had a quick chat and then after a short while I was excitedly on air my heart was racing the excitement was bubbling up this was epic! The question floating was who was I going to take on a weekend full of music and excitement. Not my husband Kevin as unfortunately his passport had expired and for various reasons that made sense at the time. In fact there was no thinking we both said at the same time it has to be Morag, a friend who is a massive The Dead Daisies fan. With a quick text, and a quicker response Morag and I were off to Boston. With travel, gig in Worcester on 3rd September as guest of The Dead Daisies to see them support KISS!
Day 1 – The Trip: Travelling to Boston 1st – 2nd September
First step on the adventure travelling up the night before. Morag, drove us from South Wales to a Heathrow Hotel. We were so excited with an early start the next day getting through security and then the wait made shorter with the array of shops at Heathrow for the 9.40 Delta Airlines flight. We arrived lunchtime, the sun was shining our smiles were a mile wide. Daisy Hat had done a photo documentary of the trip, at the airport on the plan which we posted on social media.
Morag and myself were so excited it was so surreal, we just couldn’t quite believe it was happening. Winning competitions always happens to someone else. First we conquered security and the boring bits of air travel. Quick look at the shops, breakfast and then it was boarding time for our Delta flight to USA. We had passed the time by tagging Morag’s hat #DaisyHat and shared random photo’s on social media. We found a guitar, piano and other objects to keep the hat centre of attention.
The flight went smoothly and when we landed in Logan Airport our excitement was rising even higher. Our smiles were getting wider it was real as we stepped into Boston sunshine to step into a Black Chevrolet and driven from Logan Airport to Copley Square Hotel our base for the next few days. We found the experience already mind-blowing we kept using phrases this is amazing, surreal. The room was lovely the hotel swish. With a quick freshen up we went for a stroll in the Boston sunshine around Boston Common and Public Garden. We were enjoying every second we were going to have so much fun a weekend in Boston with the main attraction The Dead Daisies. We met some of the band that evening as they were staying at the hotel as well.
Strolling back to the hotel we realized that this was real we just turned and hugged and laughed. We met Marco Mendoza in the bar he was so friendly and excited for us, he had met Morag before when they followed the band for a week in the U.K. during the summer. We chatted to Doug Aldrich as David the tour manager introduced us. Once again it was surreal this was so much more than the stated prize the band were staying at the same hotel and tomorrow we were going to the gig on the tour bus.
Tired from the long day we stayed in the bar and were definitely extravagant with a Rock n’ Roll lifestyle decision to have champagne with our supper. It was delicious, a perfect end to the day accompanied by Lobster rolls for me and Steak Taco’s for Morag. Then to bed we had been up for 24 hours and tomorrow was the main event and the excitement bubbled like a fountain where the splashes glistened like jewels in the sunshine.
Day 2 – The Trip: GIG DAY!!!! Saturday 3rd September
Before setting off to Worcester at 3pm we went shopping. There are fantastic shops and the price tags are expensive. It was fun wandering through the Mall exploring Saks 5th Avenue. Needless, to say we left empty-handed, we strolled and window shopped as the excitement was mounting. I am positive people were intrigued by two smiling Brits.
We were in the lobby in plenty of time with cameras ready for a trip that definitely was 10 on the Richter scale of excitement and eyes wide open moments of sheer pleasure. The Band were gathering this was just another day for them, life on the road when touring another day another city, venue and stage. The black sleek tour bus pulled up outside the hotel and we stepped into a different world we were travelling with The Dead Daisies. This was never mentioned in the prize, or the many emails arranging the itinerary, it was beyond my wildest expectations. We sat in the seating area at the rear of the bus with Doug to our left playing his guitar and Marco and his daughter. We chatted about real life, school, children, houses, gardening. It was so totally surreal, the most over used word of the trip! The trip from Boston to Worcester took a magical fifty minutes as we sped along to highway to backstage at the DCU Centre in Worcester.
We were given our access all areas passes and started the walk to the Dead Daisies changing area, this was real it was our insight into the backstage world in the hours before a gig. With Oliver the Daisies photographer we explored the empty front of house it was huge and the Ice Hockey stadium had been transformed. The Dead Daisies Drum Kit was being prepared as the technicians built the stage area for the opening set. Tichy’s cymbals were polished to a glistening shine. The guitar tech Hayden was re-stringing the guitars. Everywhere there were people you never normally see under pressure to get tasks completed as lighting was checked it was a hive of activity. This is the magic that turns a stage into an entertainment zone. Lights, Sound now we needed the music and with that The Dead Daisies stepped on stage for the sound check. As they moved around the stage playing snippets of tunes the sound was tweaked, ear monitors at the correct level. Then the stage was empty again and we re-joined the band backstage. We had photos taken and we went outside the DCU centre for more photos we were for a few hours experiencing life on the road with a band.
It was an amazing once in a lifetime experience, and we were enjoying every second. We ate in the cafeteria, and joined the band as they prepared for tonight’s show. They gave us their time, we chatted and felt part of team Daisies it was so much fun. They changed into stage clothes and they were now performers.
Having seen Dead Daisies perform in the U.K. and loving the new album Make Some Noise, my expectations were high in addition to the over-excitement from spending time with Doug Aldrich, John Corabi, David Lowy, Marco Mendoza and Brian Tichy. They did have a steep hill to climb to reach my expectation let alone exceed it. The Daisies exceeded the performance was full of energy and I was delighted as they won over the dedicated KISS fans through the power of guitars, manic yet controlled drumming of Brian and the exuberant bass lines for plectrum tossing Marco.
For the first part of the show I photographed from the pit, then I could have wandered around taking pictures from various locations. For once though despite the photographic freedom I wanted to sit and concentrate on the music. So I joined Morag in our seats behind the sound desk and watched in awe at the performance. The Dead Daisies just keep getting better and better.
This was a rock performance as they covered every inch of the stage Doug was left, right and centre with John like a whirling dervish in the centre with the microphone and stand held aloft. Marco plays the crowd as he holds his dark green bass aloft and the beating of the drums by Brian as sticks are twirled, sent high in the air and he stands-up to add to the power base of his pulsating drumming.
The set was ten tracks, over fifty glorious daisy drenched minutes of a musical experience. Into the mix are four covers, though as ever thus is no slavish replication. The Dead Daisies make the songs their own with distinctive riffs, licks and musical interpretation whilst keeping the songs authentic. The Who’s Join Together is an example of how to make a cover yours, and certainly delighted the crowds. There was not a weak song performed, Mexico always gets the blood rushing and the iconic Make Some Noise from the current album certainly got the KISS devotees attention. The Dead Daisies warmed the crowd gaining their support by playing high quality Rock music. It was fresh, lively, and full of interesting twists and turns holding everyone’s attention. I know that Morag and I sat spellbound as we made some noise and screamed our support. There is no doubt having travelled from the UK for the weekend Long Way To Go seemed particularly apt. It was one of the many highlights of the day and yes, it was a long road we travelled to see them in Worcester. It was worth every second and mile of travel time.
The show ended another link in the Daisy chain linking fans together as we delight in the Dead Daisies music across the world. They are back in the UK in November – check them out and Make Some Noise with The Dead Daisies.
We joined the scrum around the signing/meet and greet as people clambered to meet the band. It was organised chaos in the true sense of the word. All five of them calmly signed, chatted and had hundreds of selfies taken. They literally went straight from stage to signing, for the whole interval they signed and smiled. As KISS were about to perform the crowds diminished and we walked downstairs under the stage and back to the dressing room.
We took the once in a lifetime opportunity to see KISS perform. They were awesome, loud, full of stage presence, make-up pyrotechnics and flying. They were the stars of the show for many who flocked to the packed stadium. The reality was the prize on this glittering Saturday for us was The Dead Daisies. We were amazed how often we were stopped by people who assumed we were ‘with the band’ to say how awesome they were all we could do was agree.
The Set List
With that we travelled back to our hotel the excitement undiminished we were living a dream.
The Rest Of The Weekend
Sunday morning saw the band leave for Portland, Maine for another show. We had the day to explore Boston in the sunshine. It is a lovely city full of history, universities, and architecture. We though were still on a high from the night before. What a wow of a weekend as we returned to the UK on the overnight flight back to the UK.
Thank you The Dead Daisies for a wonderful jaw-dropingly great weekend. Thank you Planet Rock for the Competition prize that opened the door into the world of The Dead Daisies. Thank you to Morag from Gigpigwales for being such great company we loved every second of being a groupie and following the band from Boston to Worcester and back again.