03/07/11 – Farewell to Oz

As I sit here in the hotel lobby in Perth, I’m recounting in my mind all that has happened over the past two weeks. We were fortunate to avoid a major issue and the keyboard arrived about 2 hours before our set time. Once that was settled, the rest of the trip was relatively stress free.

The first show in Brisbane would be the hottest and most humid of all the shows. It always takes a few shows to get your body into the swing of things when it comes to performing. And since we hadn’t performed since early December, we anticipated the sore necks and aching shoulders that were in store for us after this first show. I remember after we had finished the set in Brisbane, I knelt down to put my guitar in it’s case and looking down into the case, my chin just dropped to my chest. My neck was so weak that if felt like a wet noodle. We were all so dehydrated. I felt like i was dying.

Though the day prior to our first show in Brisbane, we walked around the city a bit (and blew through all our spending cash in the first day because everything is SO expensive), we didn’t really have too much time to take in the city. After our performance in Brisbane at 2pm, we were leaving the festival by 4:30PM to catch a flight to Sydney. After Soundwave in Sydney, we’d almost have too much time on our hands. We had almost 3 full days to explore Sydney. We of course did all the expected things: walk along the harbor bridge, visit the opera house and take the ferry to Manly Beach. We walked through the botanical gardens which had gigantic spiders in webs sprawled across tree branches. I also mistook what I thought were large fruits hanging in the trees until I saw them moving and stretching their wings. They were bats! They were bigger than any other bats I had seen in person before. I would liken them to the existence of crows where I live. They are so normal to the locals but so fascinating to me.

One of the highlights of this tour for me would be the “Sidewave” or side-show we played opening for Rob Zombie in Melbourne. At the festivals, the number of people watching us would vary from very few to a nice handful of people. We’re virtually unknown in Australia right now so it was surprising to have anyone there at all at tucked away ‘Stage 5’. But we were humbled by those people who would stand in the blazing sun to see what we were all about. However, the sideshow was a different story. There were probably about 3500 people at the show. Again, as we opened the show, you could feel the discerning eyes of the concert goers. Very few people knew who we were and most were trying to figure out just who the hell Dommin are and are they worthy of paying any attention to? I think our music was a little unexpected. All in all I thought it was a great show and since that night, a steady stream of praise has been pouring in. Rob Zombie’s show was one of the great rock shows I’ve ever attended. There were large screens synched up to the music playing various vintage style movie clips.

After the sideshow, we played the final 3 Soundwave shows in Melbourne, Adelaide and finally in Perth. All of us in the band were constantly having to pinch ourselves because of the sheer amusement we felt at being a part of this festival. Other festivals can keep you isolated in some ways. This festival, however, had everyone traveling and staying together. Just to give you an example, as I type this, Les Claypool from Primus is about 10 feet away enjoying a glass of wine with friends in the hotel lobby; next to him is another group of guys from Pennywise; next to them are the guys from Bullet For My Valentine and next to them are some members of Slayer. They’re all just hanging out here in the lobby bar. As I look across the lobby floor near the front desk, a few guys from Rob Zombie’s band are chatting it up with some people. I’ve never been one to be too star-struck, but it is pretty surreal to be among all these guys that have been doing this for so many years. To be honest, I still feel like a bit of an outsider and I have a feeling I always will.

Another thing that blows me away is when I think about how many bands I got to watch on this tour. Sometimes we watched from the crowd and sometimes from the side of the stage. Today I watched Foxy Shazam, Social Distortion, Rob Zombie, 30 Seconds To Mars, Queens Of The Stone Age, One Day As A Lion and Iron Maiden. I’ve gotten so much new inspiration from watching these performances and listening to the music. At the moment I’m feeling pretty exhausted. It’s been a long day. I’ve grown a little weary of planes rides and shuttle buses. The guys have gone out to the after-party at some bar set up especially for Soundwave performers (where they apparently met Ke$ha). I prefer the relaxed environment of the hotel bar lounge. My eye lids feel like one hundred pounds each. I could use a massage. It’s time for me to close up my lap top and leave the presence of these rock icons for the company of a soft pillow. We have an early morning flight out of Perth tomorrow. What an experience!

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