TOUR DIARY: Power Outages and Baby Seals

I’ve fallen wayyyy behind in the Tour Diary, but these last several weeks have been particularly intense. I’ve been driving thousands of miles and playing shows every single night (on one occasion I drove 9+ hours to play two shows in two different cities in two different countries in one day), and the little free time I’ve had I’ve devoted to photography adventures, which has left me running on no sleep but feeling satisfied every night when I go to bed. I’m finally on a bit of a break, though, and I plan to share some of my favorite photos in installments over the coming days and weeks before I pick up with shows again Nov 29 in Dublin for the Light of Day charity tour.

I left off with the last entry in Recklinghausen, where I played my final headline show for a bit and prepared to head back to the Netherlands to join up with American Aquarium. I’d heard nothing but great things about the band from mutual friends, and they lived up to their reputation every night. The guys were kind, generous, and welcoming, and they absolutely kicked ass onstage. Our first show was in Drachten, NL, and I decided to stop off in the small town of Sneek on my way to see the Waterpoort. Built in 1613, the Waterpoort was part of the city walls and served essentially as a gate connecting the harbor and the town. It’s a stunning piece of architecture that looks straight out of a fairytale. Sneek was also home to the Dutch National Model Railway Museum, which was pretty amazing if you’re into that sort of thing. It was housed at the actual railway station in town, which led to a quaint little bridge that looked like it could have been easily been a model itself.

The next day I headed north to Groningen, where I played a one-off show supporting Luke Winslow King. The crowd was amazing that night, and when my guitar temporarily lost power during “The Oyster and The Pearl” and I stepped to the front of the stage to sing and play unamplified, they responded by singing along even louder (“Are you gonna give up? Give up / Are you gonna lay down? / Lay down”). Someone at the merch table asked if I’d planned the outage to land at such a perfect moment during the set, but I assured them no one ever plans to lose power onstage. There are few worse feelings than being in front of a room full of people and realizing something’s gone terribly wrong. Groningen is another beautiful town, and it draws a lot of its vibrancy from its prestigious university and the young people who travel from all over Europe to attend it. On a quick stroll through the old part of the city, I spotted three record stores and one turntable shop all in the span of a few blocks. My kind of town.

Before I joined back up with American Aquarium for our next gig together in Arnhem, I paid a visit to the Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen. The Zeehondencentrum is a rehabilitation center for seals from the North Sea, and I could have happily spent the entire day there. The center allowed you to follow the process of an injured seal’s rehab step-by-step from the ICU to its eventual re-release. It was a bit out of the way, but when I put my hand up to the glass and a curious seal came over and stuck his flipper out to meet me, it was worth the extra effort

Up next, Scandinavia with American Aquarium!