Thursday, January 16, 2014

Tour Diaries: Show in Chengdu

Although the different cities we've been to so far have a lot of similarities, each city has its own distinct flavor, its own vibe. (Duh! I know. It's really interesting to experience them all side by side.) I prefer the clean streets and famous Dan Dan Noodles of Chengdu over the chilly weather and too-spicy hot soups of Beijing. 

The hospitality in our hotel in Chengdu is the best I've experienced anywhere in the world. We eat lunch at one of the hotel's restaurants. We have a choice between American and Chinese. We choose Chinese of course! Can't get enough of the dumplings and the noodles. This restaurant has an all-you-can-eat dumpling menu. We have a difficult time ticking off the little boxes next to the different choices of dim sum, since all of the flavors sound equally delicious.

I've never seen Carlo eat so much or be so excited about a meal. The food in China is definitely right up Carlo's alley. Even when we toured years ago in the U.S., our band would stop at an Olive Garden or a Chipotle, and Carlo would run off and return with some crazy Asian dish he picked up at a strip mall down the street. 

We order truffle oil and mushroom dim sums. They melt in our mouths. As we taste them, we can't talk or listen to each other. All we can do is focus on these heavenly dumplings, and let them take us, for a few moments, to a magical land far, far away. I'll have dreams about them for years to come. (I'm not even joking.)

After lunch, we head to the venue. The intersections are at least five times larger than any intersection I've seen in the U.S. Lanes go every which way, diagonal, left, right, and curly-cue.  Whenever the light turns green, I close my eyes and hope for the best. Carlo physically holds his hands out in a "please don't smash into us" position. Like that's going to do anything silly Carlo. There are just as many bicycles, scooters, and motorcycles as there are cars filling the streets. The honking is worse than New York. One of our cab drivers uses his brights to annoy other drivers as liberally as I use salt to annoy other diners. This causes me almost to break out in hives. Too bad the cabs don't come equipped with "oh-shit" bars in China. 

I really can't explain why some performances are spot and others feel like gut-wrenching piano recitals straight out of my childhood, in which my parents force me to participate or no sleepovers for me. 

The Chengdu show is magic. We all tap into the same mysterious energy that only shows up on its own accord. The show happens without the slightest hitch and with plenty of sparkle. Dia dances about the stage, smiling the entire time. Carlo bobs his head and taps his feet. I know they are loving every minute of being on stage, and I'm loving that they're loving it.  I'm enjoying myself, and finally I don't feel afraid. My voice isn't shaky or airy. I'm able to relax and sing out deep, rounded notes. Dia and my voices dance with each other like two sequined, skate partners gliding across ice.

There isn't a greater feeling in the world than playing in front of a crowd when you find that rare pocket of comfort. I wish I knew how to discover it during every show we play. Of course, I know this feeling can't last forever. In fact I don't think I would want it to, because it is much more magical when it's rare.  Also, we won't have a show like this every show we play, but I'm still going to revel in this feeling and this moment as long as I can.

When we have the rare gift of experiencing a show like this, I feel… limitless.



  1. Love reading these tour diaries! Thank you for posting!

  2. been away for a little while, catching up with a big smile :)

  3. i just caught up too. you really should be a writer, i love how detailed your entries are! it's like i've been there. I've been there honestly XD Best day of my life! My poor boyfriend was slightly embarrassed because I was the only one screaming in our block. It was truly magical :) I had tears in my eyes.