It's A Wrap!
Dominic mentioned to me one afternoon in the dressing room during the last week of the tour that we were all going through feelings of separation, and how no one talks about it. I replied, "Well I'm glad someone brought it up!" We talked about the self-preservation aspect of keeping these things internalized. I suppose it keeps one from getting too visibly emotional, especially when there is still work to be done. You find yourself teetering on an emotional precipice - and then you talk yourself down, so to speak.
The musician's existence, as for people in many walks of life, is predicated on uncertainty. We often find that others are experiencing the same feelings as oneself and, like in adolescence, where one can feel so alone and freakish, an opportunity may arise where you discover,"You too? I thought it was just me!" Being adolescent and being in a band bear many similarities.
It has been documented that when The Beatles were falling apart around 1968, each one of them thought that the other three were closest to each other, as each one considered quitting the band. They all experienced the same kind of alienation and insecurity while imagining their bandmates to be the ones who were happy and healthy. And this is The Beatles! On the outside, all that you perceive is confidence and stability. Each one feeling like a "castaway, an island lost at sea". So as each day brings you closer to the inevitable final separation, each person is dealing with their preparations for assimilating back into a life where there is no "Catering" or "Showtime". The routine of your rarefied existence is about to take a radical turn!
Our run through New England produced some of the best shows of the tour. Boston and Manchester stand out in my mind as shows where everything fell into place. Then there was quite a counterpoint between the two final shows in New York. Jones Beach was huge and freezing, while Irving Plaza was intimate and steamy. I experienced my first helicopter ride when we flew from Manhattan to Long Island and loved it.
From the feedback we have received, it seems that the fans have truly enjoyed this tour and after reading Jon Pareles' review of the Jones Beach show in the New York Times, it is satisfying to have the bookends of reviews from San Jose to New York and most places in between, where the external verification in the press has been so positive.
As with any period of intensive activity, the body lets go when it knows it can, and my energy is now coming back after a few days of feeling exhausted. While the tour itself lasted only six weeks, the preparation for me began last fall, and from that point on, my daily focus was on the work at hand. I don't know that I have ever worked so hard. Some days you succeed and some days you fail. Ain't life grand!
There will be further thoughts and images to post in the coming weeks, and I will do so here and via my website www.shanefontayne.com where I invite you to stay in touch with me. I am moved at how I have been embraced within Sting's fan community. Thank you for listening.