US playback report…
Last Saturday (15th November) Dido hosted a special US playback event, with around 60 fans who’d won tickets. It took place at a stunning location in Topanga Canyon, called the Mountain Mermaid. The venue was set way up in the hills of the rustic community outside LA. Dido wanted somewhere that was outside of the usual venue feel and which gave her the chance to see her fans up close and personal.
As with the UK playback, Dido played a 45 minute acoustic set with her guitarist Joel Shearer. There were songs from previous albums (Thank You, White Flag and Life For Rent) and many from the new album. While she played them, you could have heard a pin drop.
The fans came from far and wide – Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, UK and from all over America. It was like watching a show in your own living room. Well, assuming your living room had floor to ceiling windows of a spectacular canyon backdrop with panoramic views.
There was some drama on the day, because of concerns for rolling power black outs, due to the fires in California. Dido had heard earlier on the news that we were due to get ours at 4:30pm – exactly the time she was to go on and perform. Fortunately the power stayed up and running. But the fires, which had started the night before, were present all around. By the end of the day, everyone was covered in bits of ash and smelling like they’d spent a weekend around a camp fire. As the sun set in the canyon it was really eerie as the colour of the sky wasn’t the usual Los Angeles hues. Thankfully the Mountain Mermaid was absolutely fine, but it was a reminder of how crazy things can get in LA.
The fans were transported up to the venue from Santa Monica and their faces were a real treat when the mini buses pulled up outside. They had no idea where they were. Greeted with drinks and appetizers, they soon let their hair down. One fan from Mexico insisted Dido stopped drinking water on stage and refill her glass with tequila, while an Australian fan who was enjoying his wine more than most was invited by Dido to grab her a glass on his next round. He didn’t seem to get the hint.
The event ended with a meet and greet / signing. It was, like the UK playback, an amazing day. We’ll post photos from the performance up on the site in the next day or two…