This morning, I had one thing on my mind: PRACTICE! Over the past 2 days of rehearsal, Stevie has randomly called upon the band to rehearse songs that we either had never played before or had rarely played. I spent the entire morning, reviewing as much music as I could in a few hours. I ate a pear and drank some water, but otherwise had nothing to eat. At 3pm, we all loaded into the shuttle busses to head to the venue, this time without hassle, as the crowd had yet to appear and the Royal Family wouldn’t be arriving for several hours. Unfortunately, the weather was taking a turn towards cold, which is not good for an outdoor concert…especially for someone like me, who gets cold easily!
Driving to the venue:
From the stage:
Me & Phil, keyboard tech
Kyle on guitar
After running about half of the show, we all took a break, and I, starving as I was, was first in line for dinner. Dinner included some fantastically delicious examples of Moroccan cuisine, including vegetables cooked in a Tagine (my favorite Moroccan dish), broiled lobster and yummy chicken Pastilla. Shortly after I made my plate, I was told by our stage manager, Tony, that Stevie had arrived and wanted everyone on stage ASAP. Not one to leave a plate of delicious food behind, I grabbed a napkin, a fork and toted my plate along with me onto the stage! While Stevie tweaked the settings on his keyboard, I surreptitiously took little bites of food, swiftly consuming the entire plate of food before the end of sound check. We spent about another hour in sound check, and, well, by then, I was hungry again! So, I put together another plate of food. Hey! A girl’s gotta eat, right? Lol
After my second plate of dinner, I returned to my dressing room. For the first time, I had my own dressing room, which was slightly isolating, but good for intense music study. I listened to more Stevie tunes on my iPod as I donned my stage outfit. 30 minutes later, we hit the stage (on time!!) with great energy. For the most part, everything fell into place, and the audience loved every moment. I was told later that the Queen watched the show from a vantage point directly in front of me in the audience.
After the show, Stevie called the band into his dressing room, fed us more delicious Moroccan cuisine, and praised our efforts in his loving, familial way. Duly stuffed, we then headed to the castle for another after party. This time, as we arrived much later (nearly 2am), there weren’t as many people, the music was far more subdued and there wasn’t much food left … not that any of us needed any more food. A few of us walked around and engaged the Morocco people present in lively conversation. I met a few rather interesting people, including a Moroccan artist named Elam Jay. Stevie had an early flight, so we left the party around 3am, and headed back to the hotel. I was able to get to bed just around 4:30am.
After party photos: