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Sounds x On the Road: Greg Holden

The jet lag is brutal this time, mostly because I’d barely slept all week anyways. After a wonderful night and choir-like audience at The Basement in Nashville I found myself only a few hours later hurtling over the Atlantic Ocean, bound for Hamburg. By the time my head hit pillow at my friend’s place I’d been awake for two days.

Thankfully I had forty-eight hours to recover before show #1 and spent some much-needed time with my friends, eating nothing but Italian food ironically. I’m lucky that I fell into a great group of people there ten years ago and they have been close friends ever since. The first show of the tour would be opening for their band actually, Revolverheld—a German pop-rock band that have achieved near royal status in Germany since my meeting them. I love opening for them because not only do I get to proudly observe my friends progress each time, but I’m introduced to thousands of new music lovers, and it’s a great hang too.

After a huge outdoor amphitheater show in Bad Segeberg in forty-degree weather—I didn’t bring a coat to Europe because I am a Californian now and forget that most places in the world aren’t always warm—it was time for a reality check. I jumped in my rental van and drove five hours to Amsterdam to meet my bandmates and start my headlining run. I really enjoyed the time in the van as I haven’t been alone with my thoughts in months. It was the perfect moment to listen to ‘The Sante Fe Channel’ by Cordovas on repeat, a record I’ve recently become obsessed with.

You know, one of the best things about being a touring musician is all the friends you make around the world. After ten years on the road, nearly every city I arrive in now I have at least one group of people welcoming me back into their lives with open arms. It’s the most comforting feeling, especially when I’m so far from home and exhausted. 

Amsterdam was no exception; my long-time friend and freelance photo-journalist Roel hosted a house concert for us the first night we all arrived, so we performed for a bunch of his beautiful friends as a warm up for our show at Paradiso the following night. Everyone drank too much, naturally. Paradiso was a great night too, filled with new and familiar faces, all willing to sing their hearts out with me for 75 minutes and then come drink whisky with us at my favourite spot, L&B Whisky Café. As always I left Amsterdam with a full heart and a hangover.

That brings me to now. I’m sitting in the lobby of the Staytion Hotel in Mannheim, the morning after my first German headline show of the tour. Another wonderful night with amazing people and too much booze. I am already planning my detox back in Los Angeles. Tonight we play Frankfurt, then we’re off to Munich, Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg. Then we close out the European tour with nights in London and Manchester. Then time for me to fly home hit the West Coast on my lonesome. See you around, readers. Stay woke. 

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