This Past Weekend in CA
Mon., Apr. 11. 2011 2:48am EDT
We got to see a lot of California countryside -- and even a little oceanside -- this past weekend. We flew into Oakland Friday morning and flew out of Los Angeles Sunday afternoon. In between, we played concerts in Lemoore (near Fresno) on Friday and Huntington Beach (near Los Angeles), the legendary "Surf City U.S.A.," on Saturday.
Our concert coordinators doubled as our chauffeurs and tour guides. Kerry Udell (Lemoore), drove us 200 miles from Oakland to Lemoore on Friday and another 140 miles from Lemoore to Six Flags Magic Mountain (no, we didn't go on any rides) on Saturday.
Pastor John McFarland (Huntington Beach) drove us from Six Flags to Huntington Beach, including a stop at the beach itself to walk out on the pier to get ice cream and watch the surfers. He also drove us to the hotel near LAX airport after the concert. Known as "Surf City U.S.A.," Huntington Beach was immortalized in Jan & Dean's #1 hit from 1963, "Surf City."
And, yes, we did pass a car that looked like a Woody, as cited in the song, but there were certainly not "two girls for every boy," contrary to the song's chorus. Incidentally ApologetiX lead singer J. Jackson's first rock concert ever was a Jan & Dean reunion show, and his sister Gayle once heard the "two girls for every boy" line and told him, "I don't think Surf City is a place where I'd want to go."
Our tour guides were fascinating all by themselves. Kerry is a transplanted Canadian from Calgary, a former football player for Washington State, decathlon athlete, and alternate for the 1976 Olympics. Pastor John is the tallest pastor we've ever met (6'7" -- even taller than J., who's 6'6") and was loaded with great analogies, metaphors, and parables for sharing the Gospel.
Pastor John wasn't the tallest person in attendance Saturday night, though. That honor went to Michael from Southern California's K-Wave 107.9 FM, who was there with operations manager and morning host, Brian Perez. Although Michael claims to be only 6'7", he looked to be 6'8" when we stood him back to back with Pastor John.
We also had a nice stop off at Surf City Bibles, Music and Gifts to Go in Huntington Beach. The store's proprietors are longtime ApologetiX fans Tom and Joni Prinjinski.
One of the highlights of the weekend for us was a young man with Asperger's syndrome who gave his life to Christ at the show in Lemoore. He had many questions afterward, and ApologetiX lead guitarist Tom Milnes and Pastor John at South Valley Community Church were both able to spend some good follow-up time with him.
Here's a nice email from Saturday's concert coordinator:
God is really good in all these things. The Huntington Beach folks were thrilled. Praying your bus gets paid for and the repairs.Here are some nice nice email/Facebook excerpts we received afterward from fans in attendance:
It was so good to see you and the band once again (in Lemoore), you all are so awesome in spreading the word of the Lord.Special thanks to:
Lonnie Pelley, Christian comedian
I wanted to say "thank you" for coming to Huntington Beach and sharing with us. The Lord has blessed you all, and it is a blessing to me to see you use the talents He has given you to build up the body of Christ. Each of your songs point me to Christ, and encourage me in the faith.
Our concert coordinators and chauffeurs: Kerry Udell (Lemoore) and Pastor John McFarland (Huntington Beach).
Our sound crew: Pastor John and the audio staff at South Valley Community Church (Lemoore) and Randy Hyde, Jon, and Vince (Huntington Beach).
Our merchandise coordinators: Jane (Lemoore) and Lu and Greg (Huntington Beach)
Honorable mention to:
- The group of folks who drove 400 miles from Nevada to see us play in Lemoore.
- Fernando Carpinteyro, a pilot for Mexico Airlines, who drove five hours with his wife and kids from Mexico to see us in Huntington Beach. And, yes, we couldn't resist asking him about the sound mix at the venue (i.e. "Could you the drums, Fernando?").
- Paul Nigh, who owns the Delorean sports car/time machine from the movie Back to the Future II, complete with all the gizmos (including Mr. Fusion), and brought that vehicle to the concert, as he did two years ago when we played in Moreno Valley.