I’m back in New York after I performed at two fun European summer festivals. Defqon.1 in a giant event (40,000 people) on the beach about an hour outside of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. It was a daytime festival and it was hot & humid as expected. Since the early 90’s I’ve played in Holland often so each one of these large events it’s a bit of a reunion. I had time to speak to french DJ Manu le Malin, UK producer Surgeon (Anthony Child) and Dutch hardcore producer Gizmo. Even without a soundcheck the show went off without a glitch. My equipment, especially my cases and bags did get throuoully sandy though. The show went from 3-4 in the afternoon so by the time I got back to the hotel it was time for a quick bite and then off to Spain.
The Spanish gig at the Montagood Festival was also quite large. The stage was built high above the audience which I don’t actually like. I really need to get close to people and make some eye contact. My set time was 5-6 in the morning so keep in mind I basically played in Amsterdam and 12 hours later without a real pit stop I’m setting up near Barcelona. Everything would have been perfect with the exception that it started to rain a bit about 10 minutes before my set began. The issue was this was an outdoor event and the only thing above me was open sky! As you know from a few posts ago I just had my Macbook Pro repaired so the last thing I wanted to do was give it a shower. The promoter jumped on stage and put a few garbage bag type tarps over my equipment. The show ended up great and I did a fair amount of jumping down about 20 feet to the crowd and back up again. I know it was about 20 feet high by the 2 foot bruises all over my legs from banging into the speakers I was climbing. The black and blue’s were well worth it because Spain is a country you want to spend time in and a good show will get you invited back.
The only complaint I really have about the weekend was the trip back. In retrospect the situation is hilarious and it speaks volumes about Karma. Long story short, a Dutch group called Angerfist also performed in Spain and they were in my van to the airport. They decided to drink a bottle of vodka straight right before the trip started. Needless to say we had to make a few pit stops so they could puke. God has an ironic way of punishing me.
While I clean the sand and water damage off my stuff check out a few photos…
Last Friday morning at around 7:00AM before I left for work I was checking email on my Macbook Pro. I shut the lid but then realized I forgot to check the weather so I quickly lifted the screen open again. The screen didn’t come back on which does happen sometimes if you open and close the thing too quickly. This time however I realized how late it was getting so instead of closing the lid, waiting for the computer to properly go to sleep and open it again I just shut it again and ran out. About nine hours later I came home and opened the computer. The screen was still black and the computer was very hot. I held the power button down for a few seconds to force the machine off. I waited a bit and turned it back on. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it wake up. I tried a few different things as recommended at Apple.com/support but nothing worked. Since I own an iPhone I didn’t really freak out too much because I knew I could check email if I had to leave my computer for a few days for repair. I went to the local Apple store and met with someone at the Genius Bar. In fact, because this specific Apple store (Palisades, NY) was about to be renovated they would ship my computer to Apple and then have Apple ship it direct to me when it’s repaired. I have AppleCare so hey all in all not a big deal.
Well… Monday rolls around and I’m at work at my partner Charlie O’ Donnell asks me if I am still making music in my free time. I tell him of course and then something horrible dawned on me. I’m booked to playing two shows in Europe this coming weekend and I have no computer! I know Apple is pretty quick with repairs but I started to sweat. As soon as I got home I checked the online repair status and it didn’t even show up in their system. I called Apple and they told me they just received the computer and the system would update itself shortly.
I decided I needed a backup plan just in case my computer doesn’t arrive in time. Luckily I have a friend Leslie who doesn’t need her computer as much as a supergeek like yours truly. She lent me her white Macbook which has a Firewire port (phew!) ready for my M-Audio Firewire 410. I created a user account for myself and plugged in my Time Machine backup drive. I didn’t know what to expect because I never had to go to this drive before. I was very happily surprised to see that you can simply click and open folders on the drive just as if it were a clone of my machine. I grabbed my Ableton live show files (and videos), downloaded M-Audio drivers and Ableton Live 8. Everything loaded up without a glitch! Win one for Apple.
So without any disaster looming I decided to call Apple and just see if there was any chance my own computer would arrive on time. I didn’t have to wait at all when calling the support line and spoke to a very friendly employee. He told me the computer was still in the process of being repaired. I told him I had a flight to Europe and it would be great if I had my own computer with me. I blabbed a bit about how I’d be onstage in Amsterdam and Barcelona and I really didn’t want to scratch up Leslie’s nice new Macbook. He put me on hold for a minute and told me he expedited the process and asked me to look at the online repair status. To my happy shock it said the computer would arrive by FedEx before 10:30AM this morning. I know it would have been a better scenario if my computer didn’t break in the first place but Apple deserves a pat on the back for making it so easy to grab files from a Time Machine backup drive and for superb service.
Catch me live this weekend at Defqon 2009 in Amsterdam and the Montagood Festival, Spain.
photo credit: wZa HK