There’s one thing for sure, and I think this holds true for all touring…you just have no idea how stressful it all really is, and how much energy you put out when you are on the road. I feel that that becomes even more intensified when you are actually playing outside your own country, as it is certainly a more intense experience!
It also certainly depends on just where you are actually touring, as each country varies so much in terms of its habits, its customs, its tastes and so on. In Japan, for example, you could hear a pin drop while putting on an intense show, and you may even really think you might be “bombing”, and that the audience hates you, but sure enough, when you’re done, they totally erupt with applause and cheering! It’s purely a cultural thing, as they want to be respectful while you are playing, and not distract you, or be disrespectful, especially in the eyes of their peers, who are also in the audience.
So, that normally expected “whoo!” and “awwright!” we’ve come to so expect when we play in America, will simply never happen at a concert in Japan, that’s for sure! In England, on the other hand, you get a lot of verbal interplay between the audience and the performer, so much so that I actually got loud questions such as “whaddya think of the beer in this part of the country?!” while giving a clinic/concert in Birmingham! Of course, I said “great!”, and then the audience erupted as if beer was the only thing on their minds! Even in different parts of England, the audience attitude would seem vastly different as well, but there always seemed to be a consistently friendly and warm attitude towards me, the performer. Maybe part of this was due to the fact that I was also up there onstage, sharing my deepest feelings, telling stories, and at the same time, playing my heart out for them. I guess they felt that they could really “read into” me, and that the experience was a very personal and connected one between artist and audience.
I guess that’s also why I always loved given clinics as well as concerts, because the clinics always felt more like “being on the campaign trail”, where I could actually shake the hands and look into the eyes and get the real feedback from my fans out there. I loved that connection that was made, and I always will in the future!