August 3rd, 2015

July 27 - August 2: Swamp Donkeys, Johnny Hallyday, Simple Minds, Il Volo & Julien Clerc

Well, friends, I am in Monaco until the middle of August. I’m back for a 2nd year, performing in the house band of the Monte-Carlo Summer Sporting Festival. We’ll be opening for an unbelievable slew of artists like: Santana, Sting, George Benson, George Ezra, Anastacia, Enrique Iglesias and more! I’ll be chronicling the adventures here when I can! The band is: me (guitar), Justin Caldwell (lead vocals, guitar, percussion), Courtney Jaye (lead vocals, guitar, percussion), Ian Miller (keyboards), Taylor Jones (bass) and Ross McReynolds (drums, percussion). Follow me on Instagram or Twitter for more timely posts.

July 27 - August 2: Swamp Donkeys, Johnny Hallyday, Simple Minds, Il Volo & Julien Clerc

So… things have calmed down quite a bit since the big Red Cross show with Sting. The events of the last week don’t really warrant a day-by-day breakdown (also, I don’t really want to do that), so here are the highlights:

New Orleans brass band the Swamp Donkeys were here for several days. It was cool to have some other people from the USA around and the band was absolutely phenomenal. We were all clamoring for ways to get them to Nashville. I’m sure we will see them down the line very soon.

New Orleans' own Swamp Donkeys tearing it up on the beach in Monte Carlo!

A video posted by DJ Phillips (@djphillipsmusic) on

While they were here we opened for the “French Elvis” Johnny Hallyday for two days. I didn’t catch much of his show, but the audience was into it and filled the place twice, so that’s good!

johnny hallyday

A photo posted by @taylorujones on

During the day Tuesday we received an information-packed guided tour of Les Grands Appartements of the Palace. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but it was a whirlwind of historic names and information and fancy rooms. I’m not sure I truly know any more Monegasque history than when I went in, but it was cool!

The following day we opened for 80s pop act Simple Minds. If you’re old like me, you may remember them as the band behind that one song from the Breakfast Club.

Opening for Simple Minds tonight. We will never forget. #thedowntownband

A photo posted by Justin Caldwell (@justincaldwellmusic) on

Somebody had to take the picture, you know.

It’s the one song!!!

A video posted by Justin Caldwell (@justincaldwellmusic) on

After that, we opened for Italian singers Il Volo:

il volo

A photo posted by @taylorujones on

And Julien Clerc:

julien clerc

A photo posted by @taylorujones on

As you can probably tell from my lack of information and enthusiasm, I didn’t stay to watch either of these acts.

Yesterday we got our penultimate day off and Taylor and I went to Antibes (a city to the west past Nice) to look around and have a short adventure. We took the train there and walked around the walled city, some cool modern art sculptures and Fort Carré, a 16th century garrison located on the coast on a peninsula. Fun side note: Fort Carré was used as the villain’s fortress in the James Bond film, Never Say Never Again.

 photo 2015-08-02 18.02.59.jpg Fort Carré

 photo 2015-08-02 18.21.50.jpg Cool giant soldier statue from behind the World War I Memorial at Fort Carré

Fort Carré in Antibes. Vive la France!

A photo posted by DJ Phillips (@djphillipsmusic) on

 photo Never_Say_Never_Again_ndash_UK_cinema_poster.jpg
“Go ahead, say that word in French without using a uvular fricative one more time.”

Tonight we open for a show called 100 Voices of Gospel and soundcheck sounded great!