This Past Weekend in Montana
Sun., Sep. 28. 2008 11:49am EDT
The Montanists were followers of a heretical movement that broke away from orthodox Christianity in the second century and persisted in some places until the eighth century. You wouldn't have found any of them at our concerts this past weekend. There were however, plenty of Montanans on hand, as we played two shows in The Treasure State -- one in Billings and one in Great Falls.
Although Montana is our nation's fourth largest state, it has the third-lowest population density (behind Alaska and Wyoming), but we still had good turnouts. ApologetiX fans drove as far as five hours to get to the shows. In fact, one fan even flew all the way from Rhode Island (See Honorable Mention section below).
We flew from Pittsburgh via Minneapolis into Billings for Friday's concert but made the 220-mile trek to Great Falls Saturday in a "toter-home," a semi-truck with living quarters that can be used as a motor home. Our Great Falls promoter, Kevin Bray, and his wife, Katie, were our chauffeurs, along with their huge black labrador retriever, Dallas (whom we renamed "Pittsburgh," since it's football season).
Kevin didn't know it at the time, but our drummer, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner is highly allergic to labrador retrievers -- they make him sneeze and break out in hives -- so, of course, the band member Dallas took a special liking to was Jimmy, which caused the rest of the band members much amusement. (Editor's note: Jimmy wants to make sure our readers know that he likes dogs and owns one himself, but certain short-haired breeds cause the allergic reaction.)
Dallas couldn't make the return trip, so Greg "The Freek" Pierce (accompanied by his son, Joshua) drove the toter home for us. A 26-year veteran of the air force who worked on Minuteman missile system, he pointed out a number of nuclear-missile sites to us as along the way (he said there were about 100 on the route). Greg didn't know it at the time, but our guitarist/keyboardist, Bill Hubauer, was actually born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He only lived there six months, though, so we were able to avoid another Cuban missile crisis.
Here's an email from a family in Billings who came to see us in Great Falls:
Couldn't make it to the concert in Billings because of another commitment. Drove up to Great Falls the next night with my family. You guys rocked! You were great. My whole family loves your music and show. Thanks for blessing us and taking time to come to Montana! Special thanks to:
Our concert coordinators: Tim Murray (Billings) and Kevin Bray (Great Falls).
Our merchandise coordinators: Dee Dee and Jaime (Billings); and Larry and Kathy (Great Falls).
Honorable mention to: Holly Craig, who flew from Rhode Island to our concert in Great Falls. Holly's cousin, Robin, lives in Montana, but they hadn't seen each other in over 30 years! Holly has now seen us play in five states.