July 1st - Bratislava, Madrid, Barcelona

It’s been a busy week, so let’s pick it up where we left off: Bratislava, Slovakia.  I had played a couple of festivals in the countryside nearby, but this was my first show within the town itself, and thus my first opportunity to explore.  Like many cities lining the Danube River, I found Bratislava to be charming and pleasant (check out my pic of the Presidential Garden below), and the weather was absolutely perfect.  The show was solid, if a bit sparse, not unusual for a midweek gig in the summertime.  I hope I’m able to return under any context, as I found myself quite taken with the city and its people in general.  

If Bratislava was laid back and leisurely, Madrid was an absolute madhouse in comparison.  Throngs of people made their way in every direction, and clearly the tourist season was in full swing.  I was able to take some time out and do some good old-fashioned record digging and found a few nice things.  I try to limit myself to 45s exclusively these days due to the draconian luggage restrictions airlines impose.  Both Spain shows were excellent, with a slight edge going to Barcelona, if only for the fact that it was my birthday (U.S. time; I actually went on at 2am the following morning).  My wife and daughters had secretly brought balloons from home and filled them while I was playing.  During the encore, they dropped them from the balcony on the audience, who had no idea of the occasion...I think they just figured it’s a club, there’s always confetti or something raining down.  It made for a nice moment when I got on the mic and explained that it was in fact my birthday, and impromptu chants of “Feliz Cumpleaños” came from the crowd.  All in all, a great birthday and a memorable week of touring in summery Europe.  

-DJ Shadow