Euro Tour: Day 16, Sarajevo
Josip picked us up at the hostel and then we collected Sasha and Damir (no Bruno for this last leg of the tour) and headed south to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The border crossing took forever. The customs declaration for our gear was in order, but they had no computerized system and had to write everything down. Our introduction to the country was sobering. Every third house was either bombed out and stood in ruins or was in some state of rebuilding in a process that seemed to be taking a very long time. The country was beautiful — heavily forested mountains and hills and winding rivers, but the depression, both economic and emotional was palpable. Driving through Sarajevo to find the venue was again sobering. Many buildings still bear bullet holes and the top floors of many of the taller buildings still appear to be empty and in ruins.
We arrived at the club and met the promoter, our friend Mirza. For dinner we were provided with a selection of bureks — phyllo pies filled with potato, cheese, spinach or meat. Absolutely delicious, especially the potato. It took a force of will to stop eating. Shortly before Joe 4 started, there had only been two paid entries. Coupled with Mirza’s apologies, we resigned ourselves to another tiny audience. However, by the time they finished their first song, the place was somehow packed. It remained that way for our set as well. Both Jason and I were pretty brain dead when it had come time to write a set list so we enlisted Steve Jobs. The iPod shuffle came up with an interesting list of songs in an interesting order and we didn’t argue. It was a rather ungainly set though that zig-zagged rather than flowed. The crowd dug it though and even called us back for one more. It was a great night and we were humbled even further by the fact that some people drove from Prague to Sarajevo to see us play. Mirza put us up in a hotel called Banana City. It was a bit scruffy around the edges but had a clean shower and relatively comfortable beds.