November 5, 2021
The Genessee Theatre
Check out the TOUR page for all venue and ticket information for upcoming dates.
Tonight’s show is at the gloriously beautiful Genessee Theatre in Waukegan, Illinois. As I have mentioned previously, this is the first fall tour we have done in several years, so it is odd but refreshing to be experiencing the towns in which we have previously played in their beautiful fall colors. The last time we were here, it was freezing, and there was an ample amount of snow on the ground. I assumed it would be a tad warmer, so I did not bring an arsenal of winter clothes, which means it has been too cold for me to walk outside for more than a few minutes. I am still waiting on a perfect day.
I love this theater. It is beautiful, impeccably well-kept, and run and has hosted an endless number of shows. To further entice the autograph fanatic in me, the first thing you see when you walk into the downstairs of the building in the back, which leads to the dressing room area, is a long white hallway. Both sides are covered from the bottom to the top with autographs of entertainers who have performed here. Of course, the first time I was here with ABBA MANIA, I spent way too much time going through all the autographs and taking photos of the ones that impressed me. Like my old pictures of The Arcada Theater in St. Charles, Illinois, I need to go back and find those old pictures and repost them when and if I find the time.
It is always a welcomed treat to walk off the bus into a venue and discover an excellent array of food waiting for you. This isn’t always the case, but the Genessee Theater always delivers. They have a large dining area on the basement level that is well stocked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, at every venue, there are always good and bad nutritional choices, and it is up to you to decide which road to take that will inevitably determine how tight your satin pants will fit in the coming days. For those of you who know me or at least follow me on social media, you are aware that I try and do my best to eat healthily, stay fit, exercise, walk at least 15,000 steps a day, and make the right choices when it comes to controllable health decisions. It is difficult at home, but it is even more so out here on the road, believe me. I do a good job, but I have my weaknesses, and sometimes the cookies and the chocolate do win. You would be surprised at the number of people who do not realize how physically demanding it is to do what we do for a living. If you aren’t in your best shape, then not only does your mind, emotional health, and body suffer, but your creativity and stage performance also does. What you eat and how much you exercise matters a lot, and there is not much time out here when your schedule is packed with shows, so you have to stay diligent and consistent as much as possible.
There was a beautiful park and river to walk directly behind the theater, but it was still a bit too cold for me, so I decided to spend the afternoon in my dressing room catching up on business and getting a little rest before sound-check. Soundcheck took a wee bit longer, for we found some of the gremlins coming back to haunt our in-ear monitor mixes again, but we managed to get them manageable for the most part and were able to finish up with ample time to rest up before dinner.
By this time of the tour, our performances are relatively locked in, and things are rolling smoothly with rare an incident onstage. Such was tonight's performance. We had a packed house, and we gave a terrific show. Alison and Hana are simply amazing, and the band is always knocking it out of the park. Believe it or not, the performances can be so consistently outstanding that occasionally I forget just what incredible talent I am surrounded by in both ABBA MANIA and A1A. In battling that demon, I do my best to have a strong attitude of gratitude, both on and off the stage. After the show, I continued my usual routine. I cleaned up, changed clothes, and strolled briskly through the cold out to the bus. Once there, I headed straight for my bottom bunk, bypassing the chocolates, pizza, and cookies, and turned out the lights in hopes that positive and happy rock and roll dreams would find me.