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Five Countries on Three Continents in 48 Hours

Posted: 13/12/2011 00:00

Part 1

In the last 14 years we have traveled from Manila to Anaheim, from Santiago to Amsterdam, all the while seeing places both grand and humble along the way - in almost 40 countries, if you're counting. This year we were determined to revisit and grow that list as we supported our latest release Shout It Out. As the year comes to a close, with tours on three continents I'd say we've made strides on our travel agenda, earning a fair amount of miles along the way.

It feels like we haven't stopped moving since we earned our first world touring badge 14 years ago with our debut major label album Middle Of Nowhere in 1997. I guess it feels that way because it's true - we have never stopped. Since 2003 we've embarked on another kind of journey too - running our own label 3CG Records and releasing our own albums around the world, while navigating the close relationship with fans, business and art all meshed together.

Among our many quests, with five albums now under our belt (three of them on our own label), quite a few chart topping singles and albums and a somehow ever-engaged passion from fans around the world, I would say I'm happy to claim the bruises with the accolades. Mounting a world tour to return to many international markets for the first time in several years brings with it a bit of both.

The Shout It Out World Tour has taken us across Latin America, Europe and the UK over the last couple of months. In an attempt to share an inside look, I thought I would highlight one of the most epic days on the tour, taking us from the mountainous region of Santiago, Chile, to Stuttgart, Germany to start the European leg of the tour...

It's after 11pm, and we have just finished our second to last concert on the South American continent, with a show in the dusty valley of Santiago, Chile. Since we started the international shows on the Shout It Out World Tour we have made it through Brazil and Argentina which were both amazing, with a fantastic response from the fans following a six year touring hiatus in the region.

Following the Chilean concert we had to be ready to move quickly in order to catch a late flight overnight heading north to Mexico City, where we would conclude our Latin American tour. Without time to waste, we walked off stage and quickly packed our bags to make it to the airport for the first leg of the longest 48 hours of the tour. With everything collected, we made a short stop outside to say thanks to the gathering of fans waiting by the backstage gates. We squeezed in a blitz of autographs and pictures, and then hustled to get everyone in our crew loaded for departure.

For reasons too many to recount, it has been almost six years since our last concerts in most of Latin America, but in Chile it had been a decade since our last visit during the promotion of our second album, which made the amazing response from so many local fans that much more incredible. As we arrived at the airport we were greeted again by a now familiar gathering of dozens of traveling fans who's fervour and genuine excitement was very welcome, but at times highly complicated to navigate for our motley crew of travelers. With a wave to the crowd as we headed through the security check we were once again in the strange territory between one stop and the next.

It's 1:45am and we're all boarded on the redeye flight, our whole party instantly collapsing into their respective rows. Next stop, Panama. A quick six hours later, we greeted the breaking sun through low clouds and a soft blue bay checkered with countless freight ships across the horizon like toy boats in a large bathing pool. We arrived on Panama's runway, all of us having made good use of the nighttime hours (however insufficient any overnight plane sleep is). Our time in Panama was quick, just a connecting stop. In order to get to our final location of the night/day we had to catch another flight, to Mexico City. The sun was finally up but our day was just beginning, with a busy day of PR for the digital release of the new album Shout It Out, and a concert the same night.

For us the day before never really ended, but that was not going to stop the next day from getting started on another long day at the circus.

TH

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