Dalian is a coastal town, and voted one of the three best tourist towns in China in 2010. This, in combination with the fact that I love coastal towns, as previously mentioned, was a good combination for a great stay. We were in this town two nights, which was good because there was plenty to see and do.
The gig the first night was interesting. Allison, the female vocalist, was sick with the stomach bug that was going around, and Michael, the male singer, was just recovering from it. So the call was made to do the vocal tunes sans vocals. Luckily, the arrangements were good enough to where we could pull it off, but it was definitely lacking. I had to play on those timpani with the weird hydraulic pedals again, and it was no better. The drums were really hard to get in tune with themselves despite my trying to work on them for awhile, so they were fighting me the whole gig.
At dinner, we were given these nice pendants that coincided with our Chinese birth date animal. A very nice surprise! Afterwards, there was a whole area of bars and clubs across the street from the hotel, so most of the group went to hang out for awhile. In one bar, girls were doing acrobatic tricks with ropes tied to the ceiling, where they would wrap their feet inside of them and do advanced gymnastics moves while in the air. Our oboist Rachel apparently knows how to do this, so she got up there and gave it a shot. Quite impressive!
The next day we had free, so we slept in for awhile. I walked around town with my friend Katie, and we found a park that had statues with the Chinese and American zodiac signs. Very cool, but the tile surrounding it was quite slippery because it had recently snowed. We found a Chinese lunch chain and did some basic shopping and walking around, and then back to the hotel to get ready for the gig. On the way to the venue, Mr. Mao gave us all a set if chopsticks! Very exciting, now that I can use them worth a crap.
The theatre this night was very reminiscent of the Italian theatres that we toured with Georgia Southern in 2005. A welcoming feeling for sure. Very ornate with wooden sculpting lining the balcony. Unfortunately, same crappy drums. I tried to take video of my feet using the pedals, but there was unfortunately insufficient lighting. Sucks, would have been a great educational video for my kids.
The hotel had a western restaurant where I actually had one of the best burgers of my life, surprisingly enough. Then off to bed for another early call. I cannot believe there are only two shows left, it does NOT feel like I’ve been here for three weeks!