Continues from here.
Let me introduce the band, no not Magnhild, you already know that’s Dean, my brother, on drums, Benji on bass and Mark on guitars, I mean let me introduce Battlement to you since we were sitting in the band room discussing the later gig and which song they would sing on stage with us.
Battlement are a five piece band from Texas who play a mix of power metal, like us, and fantasy metal, that’s heavy metal with fantasy themes. Their drummers name is Nathan, their bass players name is Peter, their lead guitarists name is Travis, their rhythm guitarists name is Stacey and they are led by vocalist Kate. The metal sisterhood is alive and well!
We’d been getting along really well over the last four days, three of which were gig days, but despite that the guys from Battlement were still feeling their way around a little and they were a bit like the new kids at school who weren’t ready to speak out without being prompted.
“I’d think we should do Keeper,” Benji said referring to the thirteen minute epic song by the band Helloween.
I had to admit it would be a good show closer for the evening but thirteen minutes might be a bit long and I wasn’t sure I could remember all the lyrics without wondering if anyone could actually play the song.
“I’ve always been partial to Eagle Fly Free.” I said keeping the Helloween idea going with a song we used as a sound check song during our first three tours and released as a B side to our fourth single Sky Dragon.
“Hey maybe since you’ve got a liking for love songs lately we could do something by Celine Dion or Justine Timberlake,” Dean said directly at me with a huge smirk on his face.
“If you keep that up whatever we play wont have a drum beat because I’ll break both your arms!” I said before hearing Adam chuckle beside me. “Don’t you laugh either mister, you need your arms too!”
Everyone was laughing then Benji interrupted the laughter with a comment directed at the five guys from Battlement, “Seriously, you guys don’t know how lucky you not having to put him with these little family dramas every day. If it’s not Tit For Tat, it’s arguing like children!”
The room filled with laughter again, but we did eventually get down to the business at hand and it was eventually decided that we would play my suggestion of Eagle Fly Free as a dual encore at the end of the show. It would take a little bit of set up, we couldn’t have two drum kits on stage and we’d need the to organize Battlement’s guitars to be on stage with ours but it was all achievable given the time frame we were talking about.
Although Nathan’s kit was still in front of Dean’s, because their set was first obviously, it meant we didn’t have as much room on stage as we would have later on in the night but we gave the song a quick run through with two drummers and it sounded pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Kate knew the chorus of the song quite well and we decided that I’d sing the verses and she’d sing the chorus, until the end where we’d both sing the final chorus and say good night at the end of it. As we headed off for dinner I knew it was gong to be a good show.
During dinner I talked to Kate about their band and what sort of prospects they had before them. I was trying not to act like the know it all bigger band member who had a recording contract and was trying to tell a smaller band what to do and thankfully Kate didn’t take it that way.
We spent the whole time talking about record companies and concerts, Battlement had had some label interest but their manager hadn’t been able to secure anything definite. They were nearly ready to go into the studio and record an album but they had a small list of live dates around Texas to complete before that happened. Having spoken with Dean about inviting them on tour again I had no issues in telling Kate that and she was extremely thankful for the offer.
I needed to return to the motel to get my stage gear after dinner but I promised myself to make it back for Battlement’s set so when Adam offered to come with me I told him he needed to keep his hands to himself while I got dressed or he had to stay at the venue. We made it back with about fifteen minutes to spare.
Again I had to watch the majority of the set from back stage because the second I walked into the venue the fans wanted to talk to me and I didn’t see that as fair to Battlement, or me who just wanted to hear some music. I promised the crowd the band would do a meet and greet after our show and disappeared back stage.
Let me tell you the gig went off like a frog in a sock. Battlement really did a great job of warming the audience for us and from the second we hit the stage the crowd were screaming along and a pit formed in front of the stage. At one point we had crew in black shirts and jeans running around the stage trying to act like shadows as they struggled to replace a dodgy amp and lead, then two songs from the end of our main set one of my peddles decided to spit the dummy and it had to be replaced but all in all the gig was brilliant. It was lucky Adam and I didn’t have any bets about the number of encores because I think we could have played until the following week and the crowd would have kept cheering us back on.
When it came to the final encore with Battlement joining on stage we couldn’t have asked for more. The crowd went wild, the song despite a few iffy notes went off and by the end of it the crowd were screaming louder than they had screamed all night. I honestly wished we could keep playing given how the crowd were going but it wasn’t possible.
After the show we hit the band room for our usual cool down and a few drinks, it’s an essential thing for us to do, not just to wind down but because facing a hoard of fans while sweaty and worn out is not the best for any of us. Thirty minutes later we did the meet and greet with the Dallas crowd, because it was a bit impromptu it wasn’t the standard sit down at a table, sign autographs and quickly usher people off it was more a stand around near the bar and chat. A few autographs did get signed but mostly it was just talking and a few drinks and because we had our rest time in between it also gave the crowd a chance to thin out a bit.
All in all the night was a raging success and by the timer the majority of the gear was loaded back on the trucks and Adam and I were back at the motel we were so exhausted we could hardly stand up and the two of us hit the bed and didn’t move for nearly seven hours.