Crowd shot masthead ApologetiX Logo Keith Haynie plays bassBill Hubauer plays lead guitarJ. Jackson sings leadJimmy Vegas Tanner plays drums
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09.21.20New USB Thumb Drives in Stock
09.18.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
09.18.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 19
09.18.20ApX Episode 139 This Weekend
09.18.20Get 1300 Tracks for $100 This Week
09.18.20New Donor Will Match All Donations This Week
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09.18.20New Single: '69 & '77
09.18.20Bible Reading Update: Nehemiah 1-Job 21
09.18.20How to Donate & How to Get Multiple MP3s
09.15.20New Single, Another Matching Donor
09.11.20Fans in Kansas Will Match Donations Thru Wed.
09.11.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 18
09.11.20New USBs on the Way
09.11.20ApX USBs Contain Complete Catalog
09.04.20The Stories Behind the Songs on the New Single
09.04.20How to Donate Online or by Mail
09.04.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 17
09.02.20New Single, 2 New Matching Donors
09.01.20New Single: 2 Groups We've Never Spoofed Before
08.31.20We Need Help but Fan Will Match Donations
08.28.20From a New Fan in Virginia
08.28.20ApX Reaching Kids in Canada
08.28.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 16
08.28.20Clues for 2020 Single #15
08.21.20Encouragement from FL, SD, TN, TX & VA
08.21.20Fan in Kenya Reacts to New Single
08.21.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 15
08.17.20New Single: East Coast 80's, West Coast 90's
08.14.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 14
08.13.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
08.11.20Weekly News Update
08.11.20New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
08.08.20Alphabetical ApologetiX IV: The Final Frontier
08.07.20The Stories Behind the Songs on Our New Single
08.07.20Get All of Our Parodies at Once on Download or USB
08.07.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 13
08.02.20New Single: Old Testament Ladies, 90's Style
07.30.20New CD BOGO Ends Friday
07.30.20He's Heard ApX Played on Five Continents
07.30.20ApX Lead Singer Interviewed on Philly Radio Show
07.30.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 12
07.30.20Wonderful Words from MI
07.30.20Touching Testimony from TX
07.27.20New CD BOGO Ends This Friday
07.24.20Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner Recovering After Surgery
07.24.20Former ApX Sound Man Needs Prayer
07.24.20Fans React to New CD
07.24.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 11
07.22.20Clues for Our 13th Single of 2020
07.20.20Weekly Email Update
07.18.20A Bad Case of Mono (and How It was Overcome)
07.18.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 10
07.14.20New Video from Todd Waites
07.13.20New Single: '83 & '97
07.11.20The Meaning Behind the Title of Our New CD
07.11.20What's on the Braggadocious CD?
07.11.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
07.03.20Next CD Coming Soon: What's It Called?
07.03.20The 365-Day Album Challenge: Week 8
06.29.20New Single: '78 and '90
06.27.20Prayer Request from Fan with Aspergian Narcissim
06.26.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
06.20.20God Turns Prayer Request to Praise Report
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06.18.20ApX Alum Keyboardist Releases New Album
06.13.20Watch ApX Accept Award Online Today
06.13.20Prayer Request for Kansas Pastor
06.13.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
06.01.20New Single: Sisters Side by Side (80's Ladies)
06.01.20Over 1300 Tracks for $100
05.29.20How to Help the Studio Where We Record (It's Free)
05.28.20Clues for This Weekend's Single
05.28.20Another New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
05.23.20The 365-Day Album Challenge
05.23.20Prayers for ApX Fan & Fiancée with COVID-19
05.21.20New Single: 2 More from Our 25th Anniversary Show
05.15.20Alphabet Super: ApX from A–Z (Again and Again)
05.11.20New Video from Our 25th Anniversary Show
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05.08.20New Single: 2 from Our 25th Anniversay Show
05.01.20ApX Webmaster Facing More Health Challenges
05.01.20Prayer Request from a Fan
05.01.20Bible-in-a-Year Finishes Next Tuesday
04.25.20Songs We're Working On While Staying at Home
04.25.20What J's Been Reading in 2020
04.18.20Whatever Happened to the 25th Anniv. Recordings?
04.13.20This Week's News Update: CD BOGO Ends Tonight
04.13.20New CD BOGO Ends Tonight
04.10.20J. Sings All of the #1 Songs from 1964-78 in Order in 25 Minutes
04.10.20ApX Easter Playlist Now on Spotify
04.07.20This Week's News Update: New USBs in Stock
04.03.20God Enables Fan to Help Others in Midst of COVID-19
04.03.20Passion Week Playlist: ApX Songs for the Season
04.02.20New Video from ApX 25th Anniversary Show
04.02.20Happy Birthday, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner!
03.31.20This Week's News Update: New CD Sent to Fans
03.24.20New Single: 70's Superstars in '69 & 83
03.22.20ApX Featured on Syndicated Canadian Radio

Nice Ice Baby: Last Weekend in Alaska
Mon., Jan. 2. 2006 2:07am EST

Well, we've finally played all 50 states! They call Alaska "The Final Frontier," and that's certainly what it was for us in terms of the United States. It took almost 14 years, but we made up for lost time, playing three concerts in Soldotna, Anchorage, and Fairbanks, giving us a total of 103 concerts in 34 states in 2005. Hey, we were on the fast track. It took the United States 173 years to add Alaska to its list of states and 174 years to get all 50; we did it in less than one tenth of the time!

It was well worth the wait. Alaska was every bit as beautiful as we'd been cold ... er ... told. Actually, although all of Alaska was snowy, Soldotna and Anchorage were relatively mild, not much worse than it was back in our hometown of Pittsburgh. In fact, the kids in Soldotna were wearing shorts and flip flops to our concert Thursday night!

Now, our final stop, Fairbanks, had the Alaska weather you'd expect -- 8 degrees below zero and snow everywhere. To top it off, the concert was sponsored by North Pole Christian School! The second-largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks is eight hours north of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. Ironically, they tell us that Fairbanks can get warmer than Anchorage in the summer, with temperatures as high as 90 degrees, because Anchorage's location near the ocean keeps the temperatures more moderate.

Speaking of the ocean, we got to see plenty of that on our way to Soldotna for our first Alaskan concert. Soldotna is located on the Kenai Peninsula, and there's only one road there, with mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. It would be less than hour from Anchorage if you could drive it directly, but the rough terrain makes that impossible.

They tell us that the road to Soldotna is usually is packed with ice covered by a layer of snow this time of year, but unseasonably warm weather made it not quite so bad. That's comforting, because they say the locals drive the same speed on that road whether it's ice-and-snow-covered or not. There was still plenty of snow, rain, slush, and ice to contend with, however -- not to mention early nightfall (this time of year, there's only a few hours of sunlight), and narrow and winding roads -- and the drive took three hours.

By the time the last two band members (we took different flights because of holiday schedules and limited seating) arrived in Soldotna, there was a long line of people waiting to get in, although the weather didn't seem to bother them. Soldotna was "sold-out-now." Youth pastor Thad White, who coordinated the show, had told us several weeks ago that not many national bands, Christian or otherwise, make it up to Anchorage, let alone Soldotna, and that we wouldn't play for a more enthusiastic crowd, and he was correct. We've since learned that Audio Adrenaline will be playing in the area in the near future, so we're glad to be trendsetters.

After the Soldotna show, we stayed at the host church's lodge, which was a great experience. They even had a gourmet chef (no, that wasn't part of our contract demands) come in and make us a magnificent Alaska breakfast of eggs, sourdough pancakes, and more bacon then you've ever seen in your life. The lodge had a genuine bear rug on the wall, and genuine moose prints in the snow outside the window. Some of our party got to see moose in the wild on the drive back to Anchorage on Friday. The rest of of us saw two moose walking across the freeway in downtown Anchorage the same day!

We learned quite a bit more about Alaska while we were in Anchorage on Friday. Pastor Jim Brenn, whose church hosted the concert, informed us that Minnesota's boast of 10,000 lakes has nothing on Alaska, which has 3 million lakes larger than 20 acres! He jokingly noted that he likes to remind Texans that the Alaskans might just split their state in half someday so there will be two states that are bigger than Texas, rather than just one :) Pastor Jim was also the chaplain for the Washington Redskins in the early 1980's, encompassing their trips to Super Bowls XVII and XVIII, and he has an autographed picture of Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs in his office.

We carried on a New Year's Eve tradition of bringing our wives (Krista Haynie, Bonnie Hubauer, Lisa Jackson, Deb Messner, and Eve Tanner) along, no matter how distant the venue. Before we had so many children in our families it was lot easier for our wives to come to many concerts, but these days, most of the concerts they get to attend are the ones in Western Pennsylvania and occasionally in surrounding states.

We also carried on an unintentional streak started of playing eight straight New Year's Eve concerts in eight different states. Since 1998, we've played New Year's Eve in Baltimore MD, Houston TX, Philadelphia PA, Rochester NY, Seattle WA, Belle Fourche SD, Smithland KY, and now Fairbanks AK.

On the way home, the Jacksons and Haynies flew out early in the morning, followed by the Hubauers, and then the Messners and Tanners in the afternoon. During a five-hour layover in Anchorage, Messners and Tanners were picked up by ApologetiX fan Frank Curry and treated to a gourmet dinner by another gourmet chef named Richard, who had been at Friday's concert. He and his wife, Cari, held the meal at their house, and others from the Friday concert were also in attendance. After that, they took Messners and Tanners on a driving tour of Anchorage, wrapping it up with a visit to the 16-foot snowman in some guy's yard!

It really blew our minds to find long-time ApologetiX fans at each of our three Alaska tour stops. We even met a fan, Kathy Rudolph, on our flight from Minneapolis to Anchorage, and she came to Friday's concert. But the prize for longest-time fan has to go to Kim Eames, who has been a fan so long that she was a newsletter subscriber back when we sent it with stamps! Her first ApologetiX album was the "Radical History Tour" cassette! Kim and her husband, Dennis, have been waiting to see us for over a decade. Kim works as a customer service agent for Alaska Airlines and was there to greet us when we arrived in Fairbanks. Not only that, she sent us home with a huge Copper River salmon Dennis caught himself. Thanks for everything, Kim, and thanks for the fish, Dennis!

As we told Kim, when we first heard from her years ago, we never dreamed we'd ever make it to Alaska, let alone all 50 states. God is amazing and is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). Thank you, Lord!

Thanks also to:

- Thad, Michal, Riley and the amazing Tyler White and Pastor Alan & Miriam Humphries for sponsoring our Soldotna concert and for acting as our chauffeurs and tour guides.

- Dave Taylor and Pastor Jim Brenn for sponsoring our Anchorage concert and for bringing Karl's guitar to the airport the next morning when we discovered it was missing! Also to Glen Pruitt for opening for us.

- Chuck & Donna Lincoln and North Pole Christian School for sponsoring our Fairbanks concert and running the ApologetiX shuttle to and from the hotel, the restaurant, and the airport.

- Thanks to our wives for their help at the CD table, too.

We also took lots of pictures, and some are online already, with more to come soon. Things look promising for a return trip to Alaska, so if you missed us this time around, we hope to see you next time. And if you saw us this time, we definitely want to see you again!