John B's News From The Road

If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going!

Last I left you we were headed for “Jolly Ole England”, but first we had a hit and run in Solveborg Sweden at the Sweden Rock Festival.  Festivals are great but give me an intimate Arena show any day. Festivals are good for catching up with old friends that are also on the bill. At this show Ian Hunter was on the bill and the band enjoyed spending time with Ian. Ian as you know was in Mott the Hoople and they toured with Aerosmith in 1976. They got a chance to catch up and trade memories of that tour. I’m sure they were pretty cloudy on both sides but hey it was the 70’s.  Alter Bridge was on the bill as well. They opened a bunch of shows on this tour and they deliver the goods. Myles has the pipes for certain. It was great getting to know them a bit. Joe had Mark in his dressing room at one of the shows talking guitars and pedals and you could tell Mr. Tremonti had a pinch me moment for sure. 

Steven & Joe with Ian Hunter
Photo by: Ross Halfin


We based in London and got to see the city and all it has to offer. Ross Halfin took Joe on a little tour of “Old Blimey” and we got to visit some of the great War Museum’s the city has to offer. 

Guns and Roses were at the same Hotel and Slash dropped in on Joe one afternoon. It was great seeing him again and I can’t wait to see them later in their tour. 

It was back to Donnington for the fifth time. This is like playing Boston Garden, Madison Square or the Forum. It’s home for the guys and they are very familiar with the stage and surroundings. It was one of the best shows of the tour.

Photo by: Aaron Perry

Dublin was great too. The Irish fans are as passionate about their music as they are their pubs and on this night it was at a fever pitch.

Photo by: Ross Halfin

Joe spent one of the days off in London out in the country with Jeff Beck. The more you listen to Jeff the more you can see where Joe get’s his inspiration.  

Joe with Jeff Beck
Photo by: Ross Halfin

We did a hit and run in Cologne and it was off to Florence. It marked the first time the guys played Florence since 1989. I would have to say the visit to Florence was the highlight of the tour for me. The city has a lot to offer. The guys all seemed to dig all the different restaurants around the city and Steven took to the streets to see all the old churches and Museums. One of his favorite things to do in Europe is to bike ride with his crew on days off. Florence was no exception. It was a Holiday in Italy when the band was there and the streets were packed with crazy Italians and tourists and made it easy for all of the guys to blend in and sight see.

Lisbon is another one of those cities where you see on the list that you look forward too.  They haven’t been since 1999 and the crowd let them know they were missed. Although the band did a hit and run there, the Meo Arena was rocking and the Krame Dog was especially on point this night.  Steven had some problems with his in ear monitors mid set and Joe broke into the instrumental “Boogie Man” while “Monitor Man Extraordinaire” Travis White tended to the Demon of Screamin’ and got him back center stage poste haste. 

Photo by: Zack Whitford

Next Week I’ll recap the final shows of the tour for you. I would do it now but we are in Tenerife and I have the urge to jump in the Ocean.

Employee of the Week!

Photo by: Aaron Perry

Sandra Martinez Vazquez hailing from the Mexican City of Monterey. Sandra’s title is “Dressing Rooms” but this kid does it all.  This “Mexicano Saltar Frijol” is on eleven from Load in to Load out.  She is one of the first one there and last to leave. She is a dog lover and works with them when not on the road. She always has a smile on her face and in this business, that only alone is reason for her to be Employee of the Week!

See you on the Road!

-John Bionelli