This Past Week in TX, LA, FL, KY & WV
Mon., Jul. 9. 2007 11:55pm EDT
Last week, we told you about the first four days of our ten-day tour -- Pittsburgh PA (Wexford), Geneva-on-the-Lake OH, St. Louis (Wood River IL), and Oklahoma City. And now the rest of the story. Since then, we've played in Abilene TX (Tuesday), Mexia TX (Wednesday), Calhoun LA (Thursday), Pensacola FL (Friday), Owensboro KY (Saturday), and Charleston WV (Sunday).
We played a total of 53 different songs during the 10-day period, and we travelled over 3600 miles. The maiden voyage of the bus was primarily uneventful until we got a flat tire less than an hour from the concert in Calhoun LA. Thankfully, we were only about twelve miles from a repair shop, but unfortunately the tire shredded two suspension air bags. The bus was still drivable, but it made for a bumpier ride. We had been planning on replacing all the tires as part of the restoration project, but we ran out of time (and money- the EIGHT tires are $450 apiece). Now that we're home, we have a mechanic who's going to replace them tomorrow, and a fan who handed us the money to fix them!
After the Calhoun concert, we drove through the night to Pensacola to try to get the suspension fixed at a bus specialist there, but they didn't have the proper part, so we had to drive it "as is" for the rest of the tour. But we should have everything repaired in time for our next trip, especially since we have the next two weekends off.
With the whole day to spend in Pensacola on Friday, we took a trip to the local beach and a dip in the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Just as we were wondering aloud why more people don't vacation there, Karl got stung on the legs by a big jellyfish. It was painful, but at least he didn't have any swelling.
Speaking of which, we don't want to get swelled heads, but we did get some nice publicity along the way. Our friend Sylvia Moore informed us of the following:
The morning after the Mexia TX show, we stopped at a convenience store on our way home and saw the Mexia Daily News. On the front cover was a big picture of you singing and the caption read about the God and Freedom Celebration and ApologetiX.
We're told that the local paper in Charleston WV named us their top entertainment pick for the weekend, too. Thanks also to the entire staff at KGNZ 88.1 FM in Abilene, to Rick Godley at KHLL 100.9 FM in West Monroe LA, and to Steve Bishop at WVAF V100 FM in Charleston WV for their efforts on our behalf.
Here's a great email we received from somebody who attended that Charleston show:
What an OUTSTANDING concert in West Virginia last night ... I took my two kids and wife and we can't stop talking about it! What a wonderful way to share the word and enable the adults to rock out with the kids. I think my kids think I'm more than just a little crazy now!
Thanks for praying with us about our van. It was truly amazing we made it. As I told you our van had a noise like a loose brake pad and I wan't too concerned about taking it to the concert on Sunday (You are totally familiar with van problems I'm sure!) I prayed to God the night before the concert putting it in his hands I said let His will be done.
I had made the decision we were going to go in the van anyhow. We got up to go to church the next morning and it was horrible sounding the grinding was the transfer case on the all wheel drive unit. I had pretty much resigned and figured well God must not have needed me at that concert with the kids. It was four hours till the concert when our neighbors drove over and handed me the key to their van and stated "Don't you have a concert to go to?"
I didn't ask for it or tell them but they overheard my daughter on the phone to their daughter, who wanted to come but was leaving for camp (her family will be with us at the next concert) and wondered why we were still in town. We had just enough time to get to the concert, which was three hours away. God answers prayers and I have no doubt he has his hands on us and definitely you guys.
I bet you all have frustrations on a daily basis about your time and money but please don't ever stop what you are doing. I will do my part by promoting you all in my area. I know I was sent to that concert so I can get you here in Roanoke VA. Talk to you soon.
Special thanks to:
Our concert coordinators: George Sweat (Abilene); Harvey Cox (Mexia); Clayton Poland (Calhoun); Terri Herrington (Pensacola); Tim McGuire (Owensboro); and Pam & Mark Heath (Charleston)
Our merchandise coordinators: Marie (Abilene, Mexia, Calhoun, Pensacola, Owensboro, and Charleston); Amy and Shannon (Abilene); Bridget, Darla, Pat, and Pam (Pensacola); Sarah the Soprano (Owensboro); and Julie, Eve, Jessica, and Brandon (Charleston).
Our caterer: Tony "Yummyziti" Ninivaggi (Pensacola).
Our sounds/light/roadie crew: Ted, Goose, Derrick, and Rich
Our driver: SuperDave Johnson, who waited till the last day of the tour to inform us that he also plays violin (and quite well, as we've heard with our own ears), mandolin, banjo, guitar, and bass.
Our opening acts on the tour, hard rock act King's Ransom and acoustic singer-songwriter Tabitha Bissett (Geneva-on-the-Lake); rap parody group Supertropolis (Oklahoma City); and hard rockers the Texas City Revelators and Fireproof (Mexia). If you like melodic hard rock in a Metallica vein, we'd especially recommend the guys in Fireproof (formerly called Mutte). You can hear their music for yourself at http://www.myspace.com/mutte
Honorable mention to:
Derrick, Brandi, Jenna, and Caleb Leasure, who travelled 3600-plus miles in their car and attended all 10 concerts on the tour, and also helped out. Hailing from Ohio, the Leasures have now seen us play 39 concerts in 14 states (FL, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MN, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, TX, and WV). Those 14 states put the Leasures in fifth place on our all-time list, tied with Wisconsin's Chris Christopherson-Bailey.
Riding along with the Leasures was Marie Polick, who has now seen ApologetiX play 73 times (third most all time by a non-family member) in a record-breaking 19 states. The previous record was 18 states by Bethany Davis, who still holds the record for most concerts (112). Marie is a big blessing to us and always volunteers to be our merchandise coordinator when she comes.
Marie's dad, Rich, attended the first two and last two concerts on the tour, and is now fourth in both concerts (68 -- tied with Jenn "Superchick" Kipp) and states (15). Bethany's dad, Larry, is second in concerts and third in states (106 concerts in 17 states).
Although Marie and the Leasures have now seen us play more consecutive days than any other fan (10), Bethany Davis still holds the record for most consecutive concerts. She went to 13 straight concerts from Feb. 25, 2005 in Elburn IL to Apr. 16, 2005 in Berea OH. The Leasures are in second place with 11 straight concerts (Before the tour, they also attended our concert on June 24 in Clemmons NC).
The Leasures also share another record with Bethany Davis -- most consecutive weeks attending an ApologetiX concert (9). They each set those records in 2006.
The tour has also given us six other new members in the five-state club (in addition to the folks we mentioned in last weeks' newsletter, Kansas' Darrell "Mad Dog" Doesken and Missouri's Charles Palmer. All of the following hail from Michigan:
- LaFon Jenkins (MI, OH, IN, FL, and WV), and her son, Levi (MI, OH, IN, KY and WV)
- Craig & Sandy McGlassion and their daughters Bethany and Marissa (MI, OH, IN, MO and PA)
Thanks to all the other friends and fans along the way who made us feel so special. We know what we do isn't brain surgery, but we did have somebody in that field come to two of our concerts; Dr. Virginia Stark-Vance, a neuro-oncologist and author of "100 Questions & Answers About Brain Tumors," came to our Mexia and Abilene shows. She even gave one of our roadies, Ted Davison, a ride to the airport, so he could get back to Pittsburgh after helping us for the first half of the tour.
It's was great to see you all, but it sure is nice to be back home!