Hej från Sverige, Rihanna Navy!
At present, I'm in Stockholm, waiting for the next show. We're on three of seven, and morale is … Well, let's just say you rarely see these kinds of emotional highs and lows outside of a Russian novel or one of those reality programs where they make obese people exercise until they cry.
We were in the SERIOUS nosebleeds for the Toronto show, but that's fine; Rihanna has a way of making everybody feel like she's singing directly to them, like the aural equivalent of one of those haunted house paintings that follow you with their creepy eyes.
As has been our custom, we went directly from the Danforth Music Hall to the plane, where we blearily boarded for Europe. Most of us were more than ready to sleep. However some of us were Australian radio DJs who decided it would be a great idea to drink tequila until the game where you try to fart on somebody else's phone sounded like a great idea. This went on until well past five AM. Free alcohol: it's not for everyone.
The plane is looking a little worse for wear. We have a fantastic flight crew, but they can't necessarily keep up with the amount of garbage the journalists are generating. When we left the plane, the aisles looked like a polluted river, all but obscured by water bottles, snack wrappers, and discarded Rihanna-branded-socks (we got those in our swag bags). Various red wine stains and passed out young women from the "fan" section of the plane lend the whole thing kind of a CSI-y effect.
Rihanna was out of sight after the show, although various members of her band came back to have drinks with us in "general seating." A note on the band: Rihanna's not doing a whole lot of actual singing—most of the music seems to be coming from a backing track, which Rihanna kind of adds to like she's doing combination commentary/karaoke. So the band traveling with her is doing a lot of commendable pantomiming. It may be relevant to note that the guitar player is the guy from Extreme. Also, it may not be relevant to note that the guitar player is the guy from Extreme.
That's not to say that Rihanna isn't working her famous buns off up there. Someone pointed out that she's doing the equivalent of a four-hour Zumba class every night, in addition to all of the traveling, so I can't imagine how she feels. Go rest up, NaNa.
As for me, I'm feeling lucky to be here, but I admit that I do have a splitting airplane headache, and that I may or may not have snapped at an Irish dude who decided to wake up everybody by repeatedly dong the "party time" riff from Wayne's World. But overall, we're having a great time; she's already got a navy, but I like to think of us as her Air Force. It's my first time in Sweden; I'm excited to try the dried meat.
Next stop, Paris. See you then, chers amis.
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