LEVELHEADED is pleased to present the online US tour diary of DJ Vadim's Russian Percussion Crew. Check this page every week during the entirety of the US tour for a new entry.

Week 1: 02.12.03 - 02.21.03
Week 2: 02.21.03 - 02.27.03
Week 3: 02.27.03 - 03.06.03
Week 4: 03.06.03 - 03.12.03
Week 5: 03.13.03 - 03.19.03
Week 6: 03.20.03 - 03.26.03
Week 7: 03.27.03 - 04.02.03
Week 8: 04.03.03 - 04.09.03
Week 9:
04.10.03 - 04.16.03


03.06. 03 -  03.12. 03

This is the tour Diary of Vadim, Yarah Bravo, First Rate & Gez.

Location: USA

Welcome to the 4th installment of our weekly diary during our US tour. This week we do some of the longest drives on the tour so far, see some truly spectacular mountains, act like tourists and go crazy in the desert! Plus itís getting a bit cramped in the van, mostly because of the record shopping.

Thursday, March, 6th - Lawrence, KS

Dear Diary,

We drove 7 hours from Dallas to get to Lawrence, but it was worth it. You see we played here last year, and it was excellent, so we were all looking forward to it. and it didn't fail us this time. Pretty cool turnout and nice vibes.

But the beautiful weather was gone - return of the snow and the winter jackets.  

Friday, March, 7th - Denver, CO.

Another long drive of 8 hours through some of the most undramatic scenery but we were welcomed by the most spectacular mountains we have seen for a while (well since we were in Norway last year). Most American cities seem very similar,  when you drive in you see sky scrapers, shopping malls, loads of traffic... but Denver was really carved out into the mountains. None of us had ever been here before so we didn't really know what to expect.

After the sound check we went to an amazing Greek restaurant, like always we think of our bellies, and we ordered too much food, but that was OK cause we had it for breakfast and for lunch...!!!

First Rate met a cop, that was working as a security guard at the show.  In England cops donít really carry guns, so Firstrate got quite exited and was checking the cops gun out.  The cop pulled out the gun and told firstrate that he had shot someone last night. Firstrate got pale, and ran away. The response was great at the show and it was a good turnout.

Saturday, March, 8th - Boulder, CO

We had to do an in-store at Twist and Shout Records. It went really well except I forgot my mixer at the hotel and had to do our routine on some shitty disco mixer! The store was amazing for vinyls and i proceeded to buy like 150 vinyls plus new flight cases for my turntables (cause the ones I had were well battered up!) After the in-store we did a radio show, again I had mixer problems. We did a quick interview and a dj set - there were so many MCís in the studio and loads of people walking in and out every 5 seconds so it was a little difficult to get into the swing of things.

Everyone we spoke to at the Denver show told us Boulder was gonna be off the hook. So we were really looking forward to it. But the actual show was a bit of a disappointment. not a bad turnout but the crowd seemed a little apathetic to what we did which was a little disheartening. However we did get to see the Youngblood Brass Band (a marching brass hip hop band!) perform next door. And these guys are so funky. One of the most original and creative bands we have ever seen. If they are playing near you - go see them . You will not be disappointed. In Boulder we also had amazing sushi rolls.

Sunday, March, 9th - Travel Day

Travel day to Salt Lake City. 10 and a half hours through the rockies and north east. amazing scenery. Very inspiring. Plus we watched a couple of movies in the van.

Monday, March, 10th - Salt Lake City, UT

We all slept in this day as we were well buggered from all the driving the previous day. Anyway, First rate and I went into town to find an internet cafe which we did at the library and then tried to score some coffee which wasn't as easy as you might think because Salt Lake city is the city of the Mormons and they supposedly don't drink coffee! We found a couple of vinyl's spots - Orion's and Randy vinyl's which were excellent for 25c records. We were all very unsure of how the show would go that evening causes we never really heard of anything going on down here. Before the show we had the most amazing Mexican food. It was a very popular spot with he locals, and there was a queue to get into the restaurant, But it was worth it, cause it was slamming.

The club we were playing was a really nice spot, sort of a jazz bar. We heard rumors that an American football team called the Warriors were gonna turn up, but only 2 of them showed up. But they were big enough to be counted as 6 people.

Normally we get a bottle of vodka backstage, but in Salt Lake City they have this funny law. That only bartenders are allowed to pour alcohol. No matter how old you are you are not allowed to mix your own drink... Still somehow Firstrate managed to get drunk. And the last thing we saw of him that night was when he disappeared into a limo with some big momma!!!!

The club wasnít packed but the people managed to make more noise then a packed club in Boulder. Some people just feeeel the vibe and soul.

There were some folks who turned up to the show with a big Russian flag, and Russian shirts.  Thatís what I call representing...

Tuesday, March, 11th - Day off / Traveling day (Tourist Day)

When we woke up in the morning we decided to go to Las Vegas.

Our next gig was in Phoenix in 2 days time. And Phoenix was really far away, and we knew we wouldnít be able to make that drive in one day. So we split it in two, and Las Vegas was kind of half way. So we decided to check it out.

On the way we stopped at this artificial lake and fed the ducks with ice-cream, they were loving it.

Coming in to Las Vegas we were blinded by the bright lights. It was surreal.

A society built for the people to spend money. We saw those famous wedding chapels, where you can get married by Elvis. And we even saw a drive-thru wedding chapel, figure that. Incase youíre in a hurry huh?

There were casinos after casinos, and sparkliní food joints after food joints. There were miniature Eiffel towers, Little Venice, Egyptian pyramids and statue of liberty...In case the Americans donít want to leave their country....

It was all a little too plastic and fake.  We did manage to score some great Italian food though away from the bright lights.

The hotels in Las Vegas were for big rollers so we had to keep on driving. We passed another tourist spot - Hoover Dam, which wasnít that impressive but we did our duty, and took some photos.

We stayed the night in a town called Flagstaff, close to the Grand Canyon. So we could check it out the next morning

Wednesday, March, 12th - Phoenix, AZ

We got up early the next morning to go check out the Grand canyon.

We obviously didnít wake up early enough for sunrise, when itís suppose to be the most beautiful, but it  was quite spectacular to say the least. The weather was slamming, and we even managed to catch a suntan(first rate actually got a little burnt!).  We found a secret path down to a cliff where we walked out to the edge. It was nerve wrecking but refreshing, we felt a bit dizzy. We acted like tourists and took loads of photos of course.  

Then we proceeded to Phoenix. We were met by really warm weather(30c) so we all went swimming in our lovely motel 6 swimming pool. The club was like a small art gallery, strange set up with no tables or bar or anything so we had to scrape around in their backyard to find something suitable to set 4 decks up. When we returned the place was really empty but by the time we started suddenly the club was packed and it really rocked. Wow - cant wait to come back here again!

Now weíre heading to San Diego. This coming week is gonna be great. Weíre going to Los Angeles and San Francisco...catch you next week folks...

We're out like we're not in
Vadim & the team...




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