It’s kind of rare to have more than one day off in a row out here.
Technically we travelled on our first day off, but we still arrived in Zagreb in time to do some running around.
Then, we had a full day off, so combinations of band and crew guys went golfing, rented motorcycles and rode to the coast, or just did some general sightseeing.
These are the days when touring really starts to take on an international feel.
You’re immersed in a culture that’s different from yours, where a different language is spoken, and most importantly, a delicious American style meat sandwich like Jersey Mike’s is impossible to find.
In my life’s experience, I’ve found that most European countries really don’t revere the basic meat sandwich quite like I do, but then again, I have an irrational love for a good sandwich.
And shaved lettuce.
And now I’ve gotten completely off track.
We also lucked out in that our day off coincided with Croatia playing Iceland in the World Cup, so a bunch of us went to an outdoor restaurant by the town square and watched the match there.
Croatia won, so were able to scream and yell like we were locals, which was fun.
Our time off in Croatia was much needed after three shows in a row, and everyone had a good time.
But then it was back to work.
The Inmusic Festival is a three day open air event in Zagreb that takes place on an island in a park.
Alice In Chains played here in 2010 on a rainy and chilly night, and my recollection was that it was a great night.
Fast forward to 2018.
There were about 30 minutes before the guys were due to hit the stage, and I went from the dressing room to the stage for some reason, and I looked out over the grounds in front of the stage.
And there was hardly anyone there.
Like, literally a few hundred people.
I know that there were other stages and other acts playing, but even so, it looked grim.
Sean’s tech was nervous, but I figured that people would start showing up soon.
15 minutes later and it still looked pretty weak.
I left and went back to the dressing room, but didn’t say anything to the band.
Then we all went out with about 5 minutes before showtime, and the place was packed.
It helps to look out and see a buttload of people in the audience.
It helps even more when those people are going nuts and singing along.
This is what I remembered from last time, and what I was hoping for tonight.
And we got it.
The guys opened with Bleed The Freak, and when they got to the chorus, the crowd sang it right back at them so loudly that it nearly drowned out William & Jerry.
And they kept it up all night.
These are the moments that really are my favorite.
It’s cool to work for a rock band, and it’s cool to go on tour, but the best part of all of it for me is watching people react to the music.
Especially when the REALLY react.
It always makes for a special night and it always gets noticed by the band.
So thank you Croatia.
Eight years was too long to wait to come back here.
(If Zagreb opens a Jersey Mike’s or Schlotzky’s, I’ll be back next year, even if there’s no concert).