It had been a interesting journey to this point. It'd had it's ups and downs, it's frustrating moments, it's awesome stage antics. Everyone was looking at the end of the road with mixed feelings. Whilst everyone was knackered no one wanted it to end.Yet end it would. The date and venue were always set for Van Rockman's finale. Sunday 12th November: O2 Academy Birmingham.
I got there just before soundcheck. This was not my gig to play but I wasn't going to miss it for anything. The stage was set up perfectly. The sound guy was there and seemed to know what he was doing. Already it was looking far superior to the Leeds fiasco a couple of nights prior. Then again you'd expect nothing less from an O2 venue.
After a nearly perfect soundcheck (the keys almost didn't make it into the mix) it was time for food to fuel the most important gig of the tour. Food on tour is always going to be more salty, fast and hypothetical than nutritious. The tour diet can often be defined as something meaty, possibly breaded, in bread, with questionable cheese slices and cheap sauce accompanied by "fries" and a watered down sugary drink. After a week your body hates you. After a month you actually begin to weep for broccoli. Never have I craved vegetables more than in that first hour back home.
After the last burger I would have for a while it was back to the venue to get this thing going. All the support acts were phenomenal. Ranging from acoustic to pop to rock, it was magnificent. It set up Van Rockman nicely. This crowd were well and truly ready.
Just before the boys went on I decided to get a beer and then take my station behind the merch desk. Oh yes, I may not have been playing but I wasn't going to be caught slacking. I was at the ready to sell the brand of Van Rockman. I wouldn't have to sell hard.
As soon as that first song kicked in everyone was into it. Right the way through the set it was everything I have come to expect from a Van Rockman gig. Thunderous drums, solid bass lines, lifting keys and mind bending guitar solos. Every song that was belted out was a masterclass in performance and songwriting. Whether you were a veteran of Van Rockman shows or this was your first one, you felt the same awe as everyone else. There would be no escaping the sweat on your brow or that tingling sensation when your hairs stand on end. From the opener to the encore it was perfect.
This had been an intense tour. Many things had gone wrong, many things had gone right. The experience will certainly be staying with the Van Rockman boys for years to come. You could reflect on many things when it came to it, but for me there was only one word that could describe the tour. Triumphant.
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