Horsen State Prison Motorcycle Festival, 20-June, 2015

Digging deep, babies.

Your faithful road crew worked the show in Norway with just four hours of sleep. Instead of returning back to our hotel for glorious post-show slumber, we headed directly to the airport and within a few very short hours, found ourselves arriving in Horsens, Denmark at the State Prison site. (which they informed us was also haunted, seems to be a trend lately!)

Yes, it was an actual former prison–they gave us an entire cell block as a dressing room which was as fascinating as it was creepy.  The walls painted a light blue with waves to simulate the sea, we were struck by the graffitti found inside some of the cells, imagining the prisoners pining away for loved ones as they counted the days.

On this particular day, there was a certain melancholy among band and crew, being “Father’s Day” in the States.  There wasn’t a dad amongst us who hadn’t longed to be with their kids, and our hearts ached for our lost brother A.J., as we knew his kids would have a fathers day without their dad.  In a quiet moment, I sat reflecting on how appreciative I was that the band members and crew were willing to sacrifice time with their loved ones, in order to play these festival dates.  I can only imagine how many times over the past 40 years they have missed birthdays, holidays and other special events.

And then, a beautiful, touching moment. As Dee prepared himself in solitude in the quiet of his dressing room, I heard him play his son’s brilliantly penned song, “Go With Me,” written by Jesse Blaze Snider for his daughter, promising to never leave her if he went on the road. That song has always moved me, but today–it brought me to silent tears. There is no one who loves his family more than Dee– on behalf of fans across the world, we thank him.

The show itself was a bit bizarre, I must confess. Playing a castle has a certain vibe– playing a prison?  I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty damn metal, but it does feel a little odd to be surrounded by stone walls and barbed wire on stage. The very loud audience comprised almost entirely of bikers more than made up for the peculiar ambiance.  There was one unhappy biker. We don’t know if she just didn’t like TS…or she ate something that didn’t agree with her….or she was just a miserable sot. One thing for sure…Dee called her out in a way I haven’t seen him do in a long, long time. After he humiliated her for essentially being in the front row with her chin on the railing all night, he invited her to find the exit! DAYUM!

The set list was identical to the night before– Shoot ‘Em Down and Under The Blade were particularly good, and Tear It Loose may just be the best closer ever.  Even though S.M.F. is the last thing ringing in everyone’s ears, Tear It Loose just blows you away every time. It is definitely a song that doesn’t translate on vinyl–you have GOT to hear it at concert speed, concert volume, concert energy,

The road crew and band alike had to really dig deep on this one. This was now early Sunday morning, and most of us had had little to no sleep since THURSDAY night. Incredibly, the band delivered with the energy we’ve come to expect. The crew pulled something extra out of the bag of tricks and made it happen. Hard to believe, that a band twice the age of everyone else playing, with no sleep, no special effects, minimal gear and crew manage to consistently blow everyone else away.

If I have said it once, I have said it a million times– YOU HAVE GOT to see this band live. Not only will it change how you view TS, but it will set the bar high for every other live band.  And remember, after 2016, you won’t get the chance again.

With that babies, I am off to sleep because soon we leave for Slovakia to rock in the land of rubles.


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