May 7, 2009

Liblog: Place we went (on tour) - The Crystal Cathedral

After the Japan part of the tour we went directly to L.A., California. We left Japan in the afternoon after an Easter Sunday mass. Thanks to the International Date Line, we arrived in L.A. before we had actually sung in the Japanese mass that morning! That made us all feel very sleepy.  Time travel does that.

But anyhow, my job is to tell you about the fabulous Crystal Cathedral. It gleamed in the glorious sunlight of L.A. as we touched down. That same day, in the evening, we went inside to see the Glory of Easter show, which had been running there all week.

As we entered, we found the massive interior astonishing. The floor was carpeted and the rows of seats were like those of a concert hall. If we rubbed our shoes on the floor and then touched the neck of the person next to us we would give them a static shock! This was quite fun to start with but soon we all got wise (and not to mention paranoid). They had a gigantic organ there as well with the different sections spread all around the cathedral in four sections. But one thing none of us are going to forget is the JUMBOTRON. This was a giant television screen on the  far right. The congregation can see what happens on stage from this big TV. It was funny seeing bigger images of ourselves on the screen – for instance, Mini-James’s head on the screen was in fact bigger than the size of his entire body in reality! 

Outside there was another screen on the main road advertising things going on at the Cathedral. We saw an ad for our Sunday evening performance on this screen on the way to the Cathedral. 

Also outside, and right next to the Cathedral, is a huge and magnificent tower. We performed there the following Sunday in front of a slightly huger audience to that of a normal Church or Cathedral, as we were being filmed and that information sent to trillions of people’s TVs all across the continent (and in most places in all the other continents). When we performed for the ‘Hour of power’ it was really hot – and that was at 9am! We envied our audience because they were happily fanning themselves with sheets of paper which we did not have. When we sang for the second service it got even hotter, as this was at midday. In fact, that day was abnormally hot even for California. It was about 91°F! As London boys, we weren’t used to this, not in April. At least all the doors were open, including the massive ones by the stage, which open from top to bottom of the Cathedral.

That Sunday we were interviewed during the service by founder of the Cathedral, and friend of Walt Disney, Dr. Schuller. He asked us what we thought of Disneyland – you should go there, by the way – and he also asked us what we thought about the beautiful, sunny climate. We said we loved it because it was beautiful and sunny. We also met one of our biggest fans, a fifteen year-old called Audrey. She had travelled a very long way to see us – from Florida – and we were pleased to see her. That’s one of the really nice things about being in Libera. Apart from the opportunity to trot all across the globe, of course. She sang with us during our rehearsal in the afternoon, and was really good.

The evening concert was, mercifully, cooler than during the day. However, we were still hot because of the heat of all the lights.  Still, this was heat we were used to, and the lighting effects really worked well in the Cathedral because the glass reflected the colours all around - and the fountains and opening door and fireworks made it look fantastic – even from where we were standing on the stage.

We really enjoyed being at the Crystal Cathedral and it was much better than our nearby Crystal Palace in London, which isn’t made of crystal and doesn’t even have a palace.  If you’re ever in L.A. you should visit the Crystal Cathedral.

By Liam