through a door. (throughadoor) wrote in peter_and_fran,
through a door.

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Part 24

"Okay," Viggo says, and the answering applause makes a sound in his ears that's like rain on the roof of a car. "Okay," he says again. "We're going to play some of the new stuff now. If you like it, you can get the new record when it comes out in a couple of months. If you don't like it," he shrugs, and the cheers surge like a wave. "If you don't like it," he repeats, "well, we'll try to play your favorite song later."

This promise is met with a smattered clapping, shouts and screams of approval and the call of one particularly persistent person in the first row, who's been shouting, "Play 'St. Eligius!'" between every song since the show started. Viggo marvels, and not for the first time, at the whole performer/audience relationship thing they've got going here. It's a crude social contract but an effective one, and he tries to honor it to the best of his ability at each and every show.

Behind him, Astin taps the cymbals three times lightly and, as per the set list that was divined three hours ago with the assistance of Orlando's Magic Eight Ball and then photocopied and taped to the floor in three locations by the stage crew, they break into "Bard and Pirate." Viggo can't help but tap his foot in time with the beat; it's so strong he can feel it under his feet through the floor boards.

"Bard and Pirate" has an instrumental opening of indeterminate length. When they set the track to tape in the studio, Elijah said the vocals should come in at a minute thirty-six but when they play it live it always seems longer, possibly because Karl stretches out the mandolin part like taffy. But Viggo doesn't mind, because it gives him a couple minutes in the middle of the show to catch his breath.

Viggo wonders whether Dom will lean into Billy's mic and say, "Sorry, but it's never going to happen," the next time someone calls out for "St. Eligius," the same way he did in Barcelona and later in Dublin. Viggo also wonders how it is that so many people are waiting to hear a song the band has played all of exactly once-- and in Tokyo, even-- but he's been told that the Internet is a marvelous thing.

A few weeks ago, in the afternoon before the show in London, they were sitting around eating curry, trying to put together a set list by drawing names of songs out of one of Orlando's shoes, and Viggo said, "We could play 'Eligius,'" and then stopped to stir his potatoes and raisins. "I mean," he added around a mouthful, "they seem to want to hear it."

Viggo waited for someone else to say something, but the room just got thick and suffocating with silence until Elijah finally said, "Um, maybe that's not such a good idea."

"Yeah," Billy said right on his heels. "Not even sure if I remember me part."

Karl plucked the Magic Eight Ball out of Orlando's lap, shook it and said, "Signs point to no," and so they closed the show with "Scotsman" and Viggo hasn't figured out the right way to bring it up again.

He wants to tell them that it's just a song, and even though no song is really just a song, this is still nothing more than a song, one that he'd started to write on a plane ride to Portugal and finished backstage the last time they played Bangkok. Every song ever written is like a snapshot of its own moment of conception, but just because Viggo doesn't want to go back to the South Pacific doesn't mean that he'd never play the song again. It'd be like disowning one of his children, if he had more than one child.

But that was then and this is now and now is Boston. This is the first show of the US leg of a tour to support a new album, both of which were named for what Bernard used to call their rehearsal sessions back when they were still just playing pubs in Wellington and if that wasn't a million or six years ago, nothing was. Maybe while they're out wandering middle America, they'll figure out how to look back while also looking each other in the eye.

"Same Time Next Thursday" has an instrumental interlude with a xylophone solo that once lasted a record-breaking sixteen minutes. During tours past, when Viggo started to feel awkward standing around at the front of the stage and not singing, he'd turn his back to the audience, jump up on one of the amps and play in the direction of the drum kit. It helped him find his center in the middle of everything, when he started to feel caught up.

He thinks it might be fun to do the same thing now, as it's starting to seem like Karl's going to be a little bit with the solo, but when he turns to face Astin, Astin just frowns at him and mouths, "Is something wrong?" so Viggo shakes his head and turns to face the audience again. Through the lights, he can see the people in the audience singing along; he can see them smile. He smiles back, and lets their energy root him in the moment. It's enough.

Author Comment

Posts: 26
(06/13/2005 1:25 pm)


St. Eligious??????

Can anyone tell me what album this song is on? I really want to hear it! Thanks!!!!!

Posts: 4112
(06/13/2005 1:36 pm)


RE: St. Eligious??????

Saint Eligious is not on any P&F albums.

Posts: 4199
(06/13/2005 1:38 pm)


RE: St. Eligious??????

pffan122787: St. Eligious has only ever been played live and it's only ever been played once, at the Tokyo show during the infamous winter 2002/2003 tour. According to fans who were there, Viggo said that the song was new and that it would probably end up on the next record, but then the band broke up so there was no next record. After the reunion, a lot of people thought it would be on "Backyard Carnival," but it's not on the tracklisting that got leaked a couple weeks ago. They also haven't played it live at all during the European tour. So who knows? Maybe it'll end up a "lost song" like "Leather Pants."

I know there's an mp3 of the Tokyo performance of "St. Eligious" floating around, I'd upload it for you but I'm using the school computer lab. Maybe somebody else can?

Posts: 3122
(06/13/2005 02:00 pm)


RE: St. Eligious??????

Here's a yousendit link for the mp3 of St. Eligious -- let me know if it expires and I'll try to put it up again when I get home.

About the song: my friend was at the Manchester meet and greet, and she asked Elijah whether he thought they'd ever play it again and he said, "Probably not." It's too bad, because it's a great song. Does anyone remember when this link made its way around the forums last year? It says Eligious is the patron saint of metal workers ....

Ian's rented out the hotel bar for their tour kick-off party, so Orlando goes to his room after the show to shower and change before coming down. Apparently, he's the only one who did this because when he gets downstairs, the party's in full swing. He grins and flashes his laminated card at the bouncer standing by the door. The bloke's fit, so Orlando makes a point of brushing past him a little too close and he doesn't think it's appreciated, but that just makes it funnier.

Inside, Elijah runs at him like it's been months since they last saw each other, rather than about forty minutes. "Orli! Where've you been? We thought you'd been abducted by one of the rabid teeny-boppers."

Orlando rolls his eyes. "Just wanted to shower, Lij. I'm safe."

Sean comes up, camera in hand. "How was the first show, Orlando?"

Elijah pouts his lips out. "What, you don't care about how I thought the show was?" Orlando wonders how many drinks he's managed in such a short time, or, probably more relevantly, where the pot's being hidden.

Sean sighs heavily and adjusts the camera. "Okay, Elijah, tell me?"

Orlando takes the opportunity to extricate himself from Elijah's grasp and head to the bar. He waits for his drink and nods across the room at Viggo, who's leaning against a wall and talking to one of the promoters. Viggo sees Orlando and grins broadly, staring at him for a second too long before being drawn back into his conversation. Orlando would bet the stash he knows Billy has hidden in his amp case that Viggo has no idea who that person is or what he's talking about. Orlando laughs to himself as he takes his drink and moves to find Liv.

She's in the back of the dark oak paneled room, sitting in a blood red leather booth with her father and some other friends and family. "Orli," she calls, waving. "Come sit."

Orlando slides in next to her. "Hullo Mr. Tyler." Orlando has met Liv's dad a few times, but he's not sure if Steven will remember him. Orlando never remembers that Liv's dad is really famous and it's a strange thing, because Liv is more normal than any of the rest of them. But then, Orlando never remembers that he's really famous, so he guesses it doesn't matter.

"Steven, please." He grins and Orlando thinks it's also strange how much he really looks just like Liv. He wonders if Milo will grow up to look like that, too, with the famous lips and the perfect cheekbones. "You guys were great tonight. You sound better than ever." Steven grins and sips his water. "Reunion tours are the best."

Everyone laughs and they talk some more about music and touring. Steven tells a few stories from his reunion tours past and Orlando tries really hard to listen, but he's still buzzing from the show and he's generally not much with the attention span at these parties, so he excuses himself when he finishes his drink and wanders off towards the bar, planning to get another drink and then mingle.

He doesn't think he ever used to mingle, before the band, before the movies. Now, whenever he's at a party like this, he feels guilty if he's not constantly moving around the room, making everyone feel interesting. He thinks of Ian and Dana while he's doing it, too, so apparently they've trained him well. He's not sure how he feels about that, but he does like meeting new people, so he blinks a few times and lets himself forget about it until the next party.

Second drink and he finds himself talking to one of the tour promoters and a few local DJs. One of the DJs-- Mitch, maybe?-- interviewed them earlier and he'd seemed a bit of a wanker, but now he's a lot more relaxed.

"So you're a movie star and you play the tambourine?" DJ Maybe Mitch asks, smiling. "Any other talents I should know about? Off the record, of course." He's still rather corny, but Orlando thinks that's to be expected, given that he's a radio DJ and all.

Orlando doesn't answer, just downs his drink and leans into him, draping a long arm over the man's shoulder. He doesn't seem to mind at all and Orlando's looking around for the loo when Ian shows up.

"Hello lads," he says, shooting Orlando an irritated glance. Orlando thinks Ian has some sort of radar for when Orlando's having fun. "Enjoying the party?"

Everyone except Orlando agrees that they are definitely having fun and Ian makes a few jokes before smiling and taking Orlando's arm. "I'm afraid I need Mr. Bloom elsewhere." He pulls Orlando away from the group.

Orlando refuses to move quickly and stops short in front of the bar, motioning for another martini.

"You look like Elijah with a box full of broken records right now," Ian smiles, all sharp teeth and Orlando pulls his lips out of the pout they've settled into.

"He was cute." Orlando takes his martini and turns towards Ian, letting himself smile because really, he is having fun and it's not as though there aren't plenty of interesting people here. "And he wasn't a fan. Dom didn't even think he knew who we were before the interview."

"I know I said no fans, but that's only because I didn't think I had to tell you not to sleep with the media." Ian shakes his head like he always does when he wants you to know that you're behaving terribly. Then he smiles again. "Let me make it up to you?"

Orlando nods, everything in the room going a little blurry in front of his eyes. Ian is very good at making things up. He lets Ian lead him across the room to another booth. Ian's new boyfriend is there-- some second-time-around pop star that Orlando thinks he should know, but doesn't-- with Daisy and another man Orlando has never seen before. The man smiles up at them, brown eyes big enough for Orlando to tipsily imagine falling into, and Orlando thinks that Ian is very good at making things up.

"Orlando, dear, this is Eric. He's a professor of something or other at M.I.T."

Orlando sits down next to Eric and shakes the hand that's offered. There's no room in the booth for Eric to move over, so Orlando is half-hanging off the bench and half pressed in too close, but Eric just smiles.

"Chemistry. I teach chemistry." His accent is thick and reminds Orlando of Daisy's.

"You're from Australia?" Orlando asks, sipping his drink and if he were sober, he might think about how that's a stupid question, but he's not and Eric still hasn't moved away, even though Orlando is pressing against him.

"Melbourne, yeah. I came to M.I.T. for grad school and stuck around." Eric drinks from his beer and grins over the top at Orlando. Orlando grins back like it was a reflex. "England?"

Orlando nods and opens his mouth to answer, but just then Ian comes back to the booth again, this time carrying another round of drinks. He settles in next to his boyfriend and raises an eyebrow at Orlando. "Am I forgiven for pulling you off the reporter?"

"He was a DJ." Orlando protests, but then shrugs and lets his shoulder press closer to Eric. "Anyway, I suppose I'll forgive you. But I wasn't doing anything wrong."

Ian's boyfriend pulls at his hair-- Orlando makes a note to ask Dom if he thinks the popstar has a mullet-- and laughs. "Never the media, man," Ian's boyfriend says in what Orlando guesses is an attempt at an English accent, except that it's utterly terrible and no self-respecting Brit says 'man.'

Orlando and Daisy share a look across the table, Daisy shaking his head and Orlando rolling his eyes. "Just the publicist, then?" Daisy asks.

"Well, we all make that mistake once," Orlando says, finishing what might be his fourth drink. Things are blurry whether he moves his head or not now.

The boyfriend raises an eyebrow, but he just giggles again and curls against Ian's side. Orlando thinks the guy's probably stoned, which reminds him that he never found the pot. He turns to look around the room and sees Dom and Billy ducking out the glass doors to the balcony. Orlando assumes the pot's probably with them, but he knows better than to interrupt anything that might be going on out there.

He scans the rest of the room, laughing when he sees that Sean, Karl and Viggo have joined Liv and her father.

"What's funny?" Eric asks, leaning in closer to be heard over Ian and Daisy's conversation even though Orlando isn't sure it's at all necessary.

Orlando laughs again and focuses through the alcohol blur enough to explain. "Sean, our drummer, is making a documentary about the tour and he's a great guy and we love him dearly, but he's just a bit tedious about the whole thing." Orlando points across to where Sean has his camera aimed at Steven. "So now he's subjecting Steven fucking Tyler to the interview process and I can't even imagine how amusing that must be."

Eric looks where Orlando is pointing, Sean crouched on the green and blue carpet, probably zooming in on Steven's face and asking about something highly inappropriate. Viggo is laughing and Liv's face in pressed against Karl's shoulder.

Eric grins and looks back at Orlando. "Should you go save the day?" he asks, moving to rest his arm on the top of the seat.

Orlando thinks about it, but he's sure Elijah's around somewhere or maybe Daisy will notice. "No, I think he'll manage."

Eric smiles, nodding, and his fingers brush lightly over Orlando's neck. Orlando definitely made the right decision.

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