Libera has a blog you can read at http://www.blog.libera.org.uk/. They just posted the last of 3 installments describing their U.S. Tour. Many people have been wondering who the writer is. I think it's one of the older boys like Josh, since it's so well-written. Some think it is Liam. The blog also has really good photos to go with each section. Here are the 3 installments with my comments:
August 8, 2010
Thurday the 30th July was the day we, Libera, left for our tour of some of the Southern states of the USA. As America is behind us in time, we managed to arrive in Dallas that very evening, which was rather useful, as we could fall asleep instantly; and rather comfortably, may I add, as the suites in this hotel were fantastic – fit for a king (although not an English one – George III take note). (Sweet!)
In our first state, Texas, we went into the centre of Fort Worth to see a cattle drive. It was just like in the movies. (We went when I was little. How about those Texas Longhorn steers?! Reeeaaally long horns! My biggest memory was getting a real, red cowgirl hat. I thought I was Jessie from ToyStory.) Dust, cowboys and wagons – I even said to one cowboy “howdy!” and he replied “howdy, partner!” How cool is that?! (Very!) We later went to the nearest science museum, where there was a 4-D film showing the beginning of time right up to present day. It was really nasty when the dinosaur in the film roared, as spittle produced from the back of the seats in front of us was flung in our faces. (lol) Obviously, as dinosaurs no longer exist, it wasn’t real spittle, only water, but it was a real surprise. 4-D is really clever and very realistic! That same day, we went to the ranch of these very nice Texan people, who made us lovely Tex-Mex food, (yum!) and we took a hayride around their estate to see their animals. The had llamas, moose – I think antelopes as well. They basically had a whole zoo on their land! It was awesome. They also let us use their pool, which was very nice of them. (Super cool!)
The Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church was really nice. It was really big, and completely white inside, so that if we stood against a wall in our robes, all that would have been visible would have been a head or hands! The service that we attended was different to the ones we normally sing at, but good different. Everyone was very welcoming, and there was a really pleasant atmosphere. (That's great!) We later did a concert in the same church, and that went rather well. I was surprised at how many fans there were from that part of the US! (Really? I'm not surprised.) For lunch we went to another kind person’s house, where we had traditional American dishes, like burgers and hotdogs. (Yup, we do eat those quite a bit. We say we're "grilling out" or "having a cookout") It was really cool. A few of us started to play this game called Taboo, where you have to make the people on your team guess the thing you have been assigned to describe, without using certain words. It was really fun. (We LOVE Taboo! Don't you have that in England? Try Catch Phrase, too. Very fun!)
The next evening, we performed a concert in the Arborlawn United Methodist Church. That church was even bigger than the previous one, and this one was shaped a bit like the Church in The Simpsons! The start of this performance was really atmospheric, as we walked up in lines from the back of the church with our hoods up, so we looked like monks. There were also these air-con fans on the floor, and if we stood on top of them in our robes, it inflated them and made us look really fat. It was quite funny. We had a good load of people coming to this concert too, and they all seemed to really enjoy it. We were glad about that. (Heard it was a really good concert. Sorry I wasn't there.)
August 10, 2010
We woke up on the hangover of the concert and left Fort Worth at 10:00 to go to St. Louis. I won’t go into much detail here, as it was mainly 14 hours of eating, endless rounds of Mario vs. Luigi, and some music and reading. (lol) We arrived in St. Louis at roughly midnight and went to bed instantly, for we were all really tired.
The next day, however, was a little bit more interesting! We got up fairly late, and then we spent the morning at the zoo. That was really fun. We went to the insect bit, where we saw this colony of ants trying to cut up leaves and bring them back to their homes. It’s amazing how clever and intuitive some creatures can be. Then we went to the butterfly sanctuary, where there were butterflies everywhere. It was especially cool in there because some of the butterflies were adventurous enough to land on unmapped soil, namely our hands. (Isn't that so fun?!) We also got to see a sea lion show, which was really cool. The sea lions had been trained to high-five, and jump through hoops, and the classic trick of balancing the ball on the tip of the nose. And we all thought that sea lions would feel smooth and slippery, but in fact they have short hairs, and so the feel like a straw-haired dog. That was really fun!
We spent the rest of the day at the arch that towers over the dock by the Mississippi (I spelt it right!). (We grow up spelling it reeeaally fast or saying, "M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-hump back-hump back-I." Is that weird? lol) It was amazing at first glance – we were all surprised by how 2-D it looked from the front, and we all wondered how on earth we would get to the viewing compartment at the top. Of course, we all expected there to be a lift. But, much to our surprise, there was no lift. Not even a long flight of stairs. Not even an escalator. Instead, there were eight tiny and terrifyingly flimsy pods that were supposed to contain five people at a time. Getting to the top was so scary, as the pods kept on shaking about, and it felt like we were going to drop to our deaths any minute! It was really fun. (Like a carnival ride!) The view from the top was spectacular, as there was the shadow of the arch looming across the landscape on either side, and we felt as if we were the eyes of a God. Getting to the ground again wasn’t as scary as getting up to the top. It was a lot faster, and therefore lots quicker. When we got to the bottom, we went to the museum that was under the arch. That was quite interesting, because it had tepees, and a lot of things about native American culture, as well as the industrial revolution. (That part IS very interesting.) It also had some information as to how the arch was built. It’s quite scary to think that builders were just situated on top of it while it was being made!
The day after our excursion to the arch, we performed at the basilica of St. Louis. Wow. What a venue! The basilica was huge, and as most of you know it’s famous for its 8-second echo. (Actually, I didn't know that. Now I do.) For us, this echo had a lot of advantages; we could play with the sound and the blend of the different vocal parts. To give an even more detailed example, the older boys, who have really powerful low voices, could end phrases earlier than the floaty trebles, because the sound of the lower people carries on with the echo, but blends much better as a result, rather than belting it out for as long as the more subtle parts. We also used the higher balconies for Stefan and Ralph’s “aah” parts in Mysterium at the opening of the second half. That was really clever because Ralph was on one side and Stephan was on the other, so there was an illusion that Libera was all around the audience, not just on the stage! (My parents said it was really great!) Anyway, the feedback from the fans at the signing after the concert was very good, and after a hard day’s work I’m glad we were able to impress the fans. (Yup, you did!)
The day after the concert we left for Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music. It was really cool. We went down a typical street in Nashville the day after we arrived. There were so many music shops! And we saw a Hard Rock Café, and everyone knows how cool those places are. We also went to a hands-on science place, which was pretty awesome. There was this star walk, where inside it was pitch black, apart from stars above, around and underneath us. The platform we were walking on was transparent, so it felt like we were walking on thin air. There seemed to be no bottom to this maze, which made it all the more terrifying! The route round was twisty, and in the dark it was really confusing. And the screams from the scared people all around didn’t help much! It was so much fun. (I want to go there!) Obviously, in public places, when we’re all dressed the same, it’s no surprise that people come up to talk to us and ask why we’re in uniform. But what did surprise me was how polite these people were. (Really? I thought most Americans ARE very polite. Hmmm...do we have rude tourists to London or something? Sorry about that.) They were really nice, and everyone we have met on this tour so far has always been so welcoming. (Good!)
After this science trip, we went to this really cool bouncy castle place, where there were inflatable rock-climbing walls with slides on the other side, towers where to climb to the top we needed to climb up through endless webs of elastic straps! (A lot of American kids have birthday parties at those places.) There was also an arena with lots of objects to throw and ridiculously oversized boxing gloves. Don’t worry, they were soft gloves – no bruises! (That would've been really funny to watch!) It was really fun, and everyone was exhausted by the end of the day. That was a good thing, because we could crash out straight away, as we had a long day ahead of us.
On Sunday, we performed at the Brentwood United Methodist Church four times – in all 3 masses in the morning, and obviously the concert in the evening. (I was there!!!) The middle mass was really cool, because it was musically oriented, so there was a band with an electric bass, an electric acoustic guitar, two keyboards, three main singers, and a drummer who was whacking those cymbals and crash drums with all his strength. It was pretty cool. Between masses, I wrote the first part of this blog. We performed “Sanctus” and “How Can I Keep From Singing” at each of the masses, like a taster or a demo version of the concert. I noticed in the concert a few faces from the masses in the morning, which was good because we caught the gaze of a few more people on our way around the states. The concert in the evening went really really well, according to our fans. Once again, we were glad that they enjoyed the concert. (As I've written before, it was AMAZING!)
At the time of writing we are on the coach to Atlanta, so we are now leaving Tennessee sadly, and we are preparing for our first time change since our arrival in Fort Worth, although it is only an hour.
August 15, 2010
We arrived in Atlanta on Monday, quite late. We were invited to a house for dinner, which was very enjoyable. It was a traditional Georgian meal of chicken and dumplings, beans and mash, with peach cobbler, and it was delicious. (We think you are talking about fried chicken, biscuits, green beans, mashed potatoes and yep, peach cobbler. They grow a lot of peaches in Georgia.) We even had live music playing in the house from two guys playing on guitar and drums. (Nice!)
It was very kind of our hosts to look after us so well. The next day was concert day, and in the morning we stayed in the hotel relaxing, and watching films on the TVs in the rooms. The sound check in the afternoon was quite late, and there wasn’t a lot of time between us finishing the rehearsal and the doors opening, so we had to move swiftly.
The church had some pretty cool keyboard instruments within. There was an organ with five manuals and an amazing array of stops, and they also had a beautiful Bösendorfer piano, which is extremely expensive (about a quarter of a million pounds if you’re willing!) and has an extra fifth at the bottom. It was lovely to play. (Another reason to think this is written by Liam since he plays the piano! Although the picture shows Sam actually sitting at the piano.) I suppose if I have that money in my wallet when I’m older I’ll buy one! Our final concert went very well, and the audience was pleased with it, as were we. (It was so awesome!) It was good to see some familiar faces at the signing after the concert. (Hope you'll include me! lol) It was quite sad that we were ending yet another tour, (yes, very) however we still had a few days left for sightseeing and fun, wearing our beloved white or black hooded T-shirts that draw attention to us everywhere. (Wonder what else you did. Did you go to Six Flags? Great roller coasters!)
We had an amazing time on tour, and we’d love to come back to the States soon! (And we'd LOVE it if you WOULD!)