Wizard of Oz, Pt.1

Posted on Feb 14th, 2008 in Live by Mr. Goldbar

Good on ya, mates!

(That’s a little deeper in Aussie slang than the obvious “g’day”)

I’m reporting live via my hotel room in Sydney. I’m out here doing the Good Vibrations festival. In Australia they have these festivals that hit multiple cities. It’s like being part of a traveling circus for 10 days. A traveling techno circus. At every one of these shows I’m doing an A-Trak & Kid Sister set in one tent and then I run over to the main tent and do the Kanye show. When we were planning this trip, ever since the Grammys were announced there was a big scary question mark looming over February 10th since the first Australian date was on the 9th. Until literally the night before I left home, the plan was to fly to Australia, get there on the 9th, perform that same day, then fly right back to LA on the 10th (and miss the Brisbane show), do the Grammys, and finally fly back to Australia for the last 2 dates, aka the nail in the coffin. Then, as I was getting ready to embark on the journey of death, I got an anonymous late-night call that said I didn’t need to go to LA anymore and could stay in Australia for the week like every other act on the festival. Maybe the powers of fate were happy that I wrote that little blurb on Brisbane last week and I was just destined to go perform there on the 10th. Who knows. All I know is I’m alive and well in the great Outback. Sweet as! (That’s some more local flavor.)

The first show in Melbourne was a bit hectic. We hadn’t done a Kanye show in 2 months and if you read my blog from the European tour, you know that set is ridiculously elaborate. But because we got there on the day of the show, we didn’t get a rehearsal. We landed and went straight to the venue for a quick sound check before the first band hit the stage, or rather as that was happening. Mind you, it’s summer in Australia and we’re all standing there with our jackets, fresh off the 20 hour flight. I headed back to the hotel where I met up with Miss Sister, who got into Australia a day before me. I got a new Tumi suitcase the day before I left New York, and I remember settling into my hotel room and thinking “these people really know how to make a good suitcase!” When you travel every week, having a good suitcase is as important as having a passport. I bought a Zero Halliburton suitcase last summer — they’re these fancy, hermetically sealed metal cases that you see in James Bond movies. They could survive the 10 plagues of Passover, but American Airlines managed to crack one of the wheel supports. I think this new joint will have a better lifetime though. So anyway we headed back to the festival grounds, grabbed some catering and went to do our first set. The Melbourne performance was kinda riddled with technical problems and sound restrictions so I wasn’t super happy with the way this thing was kicking off. Moving right along, I went to put on my space suit and got ready for the Kanye set, which went surprisingly well. And by 11pm I was fast asleep. Thank you, jetlag.

As Kanye made his way back to LA for the Grammys, we continued our Aussie journey to Brisbane. We took these coach buses with everyone from the festival, and Pharoahe Monch’s large entourage debated the virtues of Soulja Boy on the road to the airport (he was quiet). This 2nd day went a lot smoother. In my case I didn’t have to do 2 sets so it was easier to manage. In fact the festival gave us the headlining slot on our stage since I didn’t have to go back to the main stage to perform with Kanye that day. I also had time to explore more and see some of the homies perform. I saw Surkin and Tittsworth rock it. We kicked it with Sinden and Ajax and of course our local Fool’s Gold homies the Bag Raiders. Then came time to do our set, and it was super fun for both myself and Kid Sister. We had a ball in Brisbane. And again I was asleep before midnight with the jetlag. It’s been like this all week. I also wake up at 7am every day. I don’t mind that.

The next festival gig is coming this weekend so I’ve had the whole week off in Sydney! It’s been great, I’m almost done with this remix I’m working on. There’s also a bunch of activities organized by the festival, which maintain this sensation of being away at camp, and a ton of local press too. So we flew to Sydney on Monday and that evening there was a welcome dinner for everyone. On Tuesday morning, Melisa and I were guests on the “breakfast show” on this national radio station called Triple J. It was super early and it was super fun! It went so well that they asked me to read the weather for the whole country. I was all like “In Alice Springs, thunderstruck.” They tried to put me and Melisa on the spot and asked if she has any pet names for me and I said she calls me Captain Insane-O. (“Waterboy”, anyone?) When they asked me where and how Kanye discovered me, I said it was in a cave in Afghanistan and I had a beard down to my belly button. You get the picture…

That night there was another reception for the whole tour posse, at another swanky lounge owned by the guy who owns this festival (and apparently half of Sydney). I ate some oysters. My man Boogie Blind was on the wheels while Pharoahe got loose on the mic.

The rest of the week has been spent doing more interviews, hanging out with local homies (shout out to Levins), observing these strange ibis birds in Hyde Park and making sweet sweet music. I went to Cut Copy’s album release concert. I also got a haircut out here! It’s been action-packed, folks. The last 2 dates are coming up this weekend so I’ll be back with a wrap-up post before you can say “wombat”. Enjoy those snow storms!