New Year's Eve: ApologetiX Superfans Converge on KY
Thu., Jan. 6. 2005 1:34am EST
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Of course not, especially on New Year's Eve! That's why it was so cool that a bunch of our "auld acquaintances" converged on Smithland KY to make our New Year's Eve concert last Saturday an unforgettable experience.
In fact, so many of them arrived early that when we went to get food at McDonald's before the show, we filled the place with band members, family and friends. We were worried that we were keeping the McDonald's staff past their early closing time, but we found out after the show that the cooks were actually fans who were already planning to attend the concert. Is that cool or what?
When the members of ApologetiX talk about our fans, we all agree that you're the greatest. We can't believe how many of you are willing to drive long distances to see us multiple times in multiple states. We're not the Grateful Dead, but we are grateful you come to see us "live" so often!
Many of our most frequent fans were in attendance New Year's Eve, including Jon, Carol & Missy Eklof from Minnesota; Chris and Alex Christopherson from Wisconsin; Marty, Carrie & Nicole "Trunk Girl" Waite from Tennessee; Audra Knatcal (and sister Alayna) from Missouri; Anne Edwards from Alabama, and even one who actually lives in Kentucky, Dave Barnett :)
If you combined all the ApologetiX concerts those people have attended, it might rival the number of ApologetiX concerts we band members have attended. In fact, each of those groups and/or individuals above have seen us play in at least five different states, and all but one has seen us play in at least six different states!
Which ApologetiX fans have seen us the most times in the most states? Our wives, of course! Three of them were in attendance, J.'s wife, Lisa; Keith's wife, Krista; and Bill Rieger's wife, Chris. Three of our unofficial roadie-types were also in attendance, Bob Flaherty (who has been both our drummer and soundman), Micah Clausen and Steve Hopkins. Although these guys are great friends who have all seen us many times in many states and have volunteered much time and energy to the ApologetiX effort, they've often come along in the band van as helpers, so we can't accurately compare them with the rest of our fans.
To the best of our knowledge, the non-relative/non-roadie who has seen us the most times in the most states is Jon Eklof, who has seen us at 27 concerts in nine states (MN, WI, IL, MI, OH, PA, KY, IN, AL). Jon's wife, Carol, and daughter, Missy have seen us at 24 concerts in seven and eight states, respectively. And they've driven over 15,000 miles to do it ... all since February 2002!
Audra Knatcal, who also saw her first ApologetiX concert in February 2002, has been to 23 concerts in seven states (MO, KS, MN, IL, SD, KY, WI). She and her sister, Alaina were the only two non-related fans (to us, not to each other, of course) in attendance besides ApologetiX alumnus Bob Flaherty who were also at last year's New Year's Eve concert in South Dakota.
Chris Christopherson and her son Alex are rapidly gaining on Audra and the Eklofs (sounds like a girl group from the sixties, doesn't it)? By the end of 2004, they had driven over 8,700 miles to see ApologetiX at 17 shows in eight different states (GA, IL,WI,MI, IN, LA, MO and KY) including seven states in 2004 alone, and had brought 21 different people with them, most of whom were attending their first Christian concert. It's no wonder Chris' favorite ApologetiX song is "Wherever You Will Sow."
Anne Edwards doesn't know how many ApologetiX concerts she's attended, but ironically none of them were in the state where she lives, Alabama, although we've played there a couple times since she first met us. Anne has seen us in FL, LA, MS, GA, TN, and KY, however. She first met us at Grace Fest in Pensacola several years ago, and started volunteering to work our table and has volunteered at every concert she's attended since. She has been an incredible blessing to us and has never seen an entire concert, because she's always working at the table.
Dave Barnett is the only six-state ApologetiX fan who has driven to nearly every concert via motorcycle. The one time we recall he came by car, Dave told us "I came in a cage." Marty, Carrie & Nicole "Trunk Girl" Waite are the only family of ApologetiX fans to include both a person who has fallen into an empty baptismal while trying to photograph a concert and a person who has spent part of an ApologetiX trip in the trunk of a car.
Although she couldn't attend our New Year's Eve concert, honorable mention should go to Wanda Rose Bush, who designs and sews many of the shirts and pants you see the band wear onstage (including New Year's Eve) and has seen us perform at 19 concerts in six different states. Like Anne Edwards, Wanda spends much of her time at ApologetiX concerts doing volunteer work. She's also the person who made those lovely tablecloths that everybody compliments us on for our CD tables.
Editor's note: We're not trying to turn this into a competition. We know that some of you aren't far behind those folks in number of concerts (DelRay, Shaleigh et al) and/or in number of states! Thank you all for your wonderful support! And if somehow you have already exceeded the records above and we have overlooked you, please let us know!