Friday night, right after the show ended and we packed up we were taken to the airport to fly to Mexico City. This time overweight and oversize charges came to $800. The plane left at twenty minutes to one on Saturday morning and we arrived in Mexico City at 6AM, which was 4AM Tijuana time.

I have heard that many airlines pay bonuses to pilots who use less fuel and was wondering whether that was the reason that the plane was so cold. I was shivering under two blankets and the battery of my digital camera discharged completely during the four hour flight.

Some of us were able to catch a couple of hours of sleep, but we must have looked like zombies when we arrived at the hotel. I was happy to notice that we were staying at the Camino Real Hotel, which is beautiful. It was designed by Ricardo Legorreta, who has had a very successful career designing houses in the style of Luis Barragan, who defined Mexican architecture in the last century. The hotel is very beautiful and you can find photos on Flickr.

I had been told that both the Auditorio Nacional and the Metropolitan Theater were booked all week and thus not available, and that the local promoter thought the Salon 21 was a good alternative. But I had reservations about the venue even before we left Santa Fe, and my suspicions came true when we arrived at Salon 21 for soundcheck. The P.A. was Mickey Mouse – see above photo – all treble and bass without any midrange – in other words without body, harsh and ugly. The venue might have been OK for our XL band, but in this converted warehouse any subtlety would get lost. The bass swirled around the hall and the echo seemed even louder than the original sound. While it was difficult to hear my guitar, Jon undoubtedly had the hardest job because the bass sounded horrible.

However, the show appeared sold-out as well and the audience was fantastic.