Procol Harum

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A fan's Procol tour diary: Japan (2)

31 October 2003 : Al 'One-Eye' Edelist


I met Chris [Cooke] during breakfast and saw Geoff.

Then Maf and I had a long conversation as he completed breakfast and Matt joined us.

Matt and I left the hotel and took a stroll for about an hour and a half.

Upon our return, we got ready to go to the venue for the soundcheck.

As we gathered outside the hotel, Gary and Mark and Amy, the local Tour Manager, and I greeted each other.

At 3:30 we vanned it to the venue, Tokyo Kosei Nenkin Hall. The hall seats about 2000.

Procol Harum concert arrangementsThe band sans Gary jams a little while the lights, sound, and monitors are set.

Gary has his familiar Roland RD-600 and Maf the Hammond B3 and the Roland VK-7.

Soundcheck:
The Emperor's New Clothes (ending)
Shine on Brightly
Holding On
The Idol
Shadow Boxed

Pandora's Box
A Salty Dog
(instrumental only with Bosun's whistle effect) one verse
She Wandered Through The Garden Fence (timing and pacing) (partial)
Nothing But The Truth
Simple Sister (rhythm and pacing of instrumental mid-section)

The lighting setup is amazing with The Well's On Fire cover swirling on a screen behind the band. The best lighting technology I have seen this year.

The sound is concert level.

The crowd will enter at 6 pm.

Konin-bayashi, a very popular Japanese band, will open at 7 pm for a 50-minute set.

Procol Harum will come on at 8 pm for a 90-minute set.

Of course, the marquee sign has the name spelled wrong.

 


The set begins at 8:15 pm Friday evening 10/31/03. For perspective, it is now 3:15 am in Los Angeles, the morning of the same day.

It is very hot in here and some guy yells, a few songs into the set, "Welcome Back."

The setlist:

Underture (The Emperor's New Clothes just blues opening only as a concert intro)
Shine On Brightly
Pandora's Box
Holding On
Grand Hotel
(with tango)
She Wandered Through The Garden Fence
Simple Sister
(crowd clapping along throughout the instrumental passage)
Shadow Boxed (with a new ending as the band sings like an echo Boxed, Boxed, Boxed)
Whaling Stories (We'd like to play what we call "The Procol Harum Blues" and the line sounded like 'Rum was served to all the ladies'.)(At "Fury" and the first "scene" echoes sound. An amazing track tonight with yellow lights fluttering and pointing to the audience)

Gary to the crowd, "And over on the Hammond organ, my longtime friend, Matthew Fisher."

VIP Room (with second verse words repeated)
Quite Rightly So

Gary states, "Can we do The Signature?" Matthew states, "Oh, are we doing that now?" Gary states, "I've been singing all night."

Matthew states, "OK, I'm ready."

Major response to Weisselklenzenacht, even though the crowd has been subdued, with another astonishing lead.

This happens because the order of songs is switched with As Strong As Samson
A Salty Dog
(Mark on Bosun's whistle)
Conquistador

Joint clapping and cheers as the band leaves the stage.

Gary introduces each member individually as they re-enter the stage. Pegg, Brzezicki, and 'the only royalty we have in the band' as Geoff is introduced as "The Duke of Gravesend". Maf was missing when his name was called. Gary said, "He's had to go three blocks down the road to find a Western toilet."

AWSoP (two verses)
Repent Walpurgis

Gary is standing at the beginning of Repent and says, "This is Procol Harum" and then says something to Geoff which I can't make out.

Standing ovation as Gary yells, "Arigato."

Set is over at 9:45 pm

I notice brisk sales of Japanese CDs of all albums except The Prodigal Stranger and The Symphonic Works of Procol Harum, which are not present.

There are three versions of Tour shirts, all of which are being sold by professionals.

Afterwards, the band, crew and a few others went to a Japanese restaurant recommended by Amy, and we had another late evening.

Well, tomorrow morning it's off to Kawasaki.

Sayonara!

Oe, the monocular one

 


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