This Past Weekend in Arizona
Mon., Jun. 19. 2006 6:52pm EDT
Formerly a part of Mexico, Arizona was the 48th state admitted to the union, and is the sixth largest in area and 17th most populous. We've played seven concerts there since 2002, and based on how things went this past weekend, we might be adding to that total again soon!
We had a grand old time in the Grand Canyon State, with capacity crowds at every concert: Friday in Sierra Vista, Saturday in Flagstaff, and Sunday in Glendale (Phoenix).
ApologetiX lead guitarist Karl Messner brought his wife, Deb. ApologetiX lead singer J. Jackson brought his wife, Lisa, and three daughters: Janna, Heather, and Kelly. J.'s sister-in-law, Jody, and brother-in-law, Joe, live in Mesa AZ, along with his nephew, Connor, and niece, Livvie. J.'s mother-in-law, Linda, and father-in-law, Ed, drove across the country from Kentucky to meet them there for a family reunion.
Our bass player, Keith Haynie, took the weekend off because his daughters, Sarah and Abby, were in a production of "Cinderella" with their dance class. Our good friend and fan John Taylor did an admirable job filling in for him, playing a total of 27 different songs in the span of three days. John will also be playing with us Tuesday in Nashville, although Keith will be back for the Murrysville concert Wednesday.
We really appreciate the sacrifices John and his family made for us. Not only did John miss Father's Day, he also had to miss his son Steven's eighth birthday. Thankfully, Steven is a big ApologetiX fan, as is John's daughter, Allison, 11, but John still asked for Steven's permission before agreeing to do the concert. Thanks for saying yes, Steven! Thanks also to John's wife, Kathleen, for letting us borrow her husband!
There was plenty to see and do. On Saturday before the concert, J. and his family went to visit the Grand Canyon. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang went to Tombstone AZ and the O.K. Corral, to see what Wyatt Earp was making all that fuss about. Karl and our keyboard player, Bill Hubauer, even staged a showdown on main street, which will probably appear in the photos section of our website sometime soon.
Our concert Saturday night was held in an airport hangar and sponsored by a Christian aviation company. Maybe we should have called this our "Hangar Management Tour." We even had a huge parachute as our backdrop, and we played right next to a small private plane -- the very same plane our hosts used to fly Karl, Deb, Bill, John, and our drummer, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner, from Sierra Vista into Flagstaff.
But it gets better. The pilot of that plane was a guy named Orville -- yes, that's right, but not Wright, although this Orville did originally come from Ohio, just like the other guy, and his last name also starts with W (it's "Wiseman"). Orville and his wife, Kristin, coordinated the concert.
Karl has been telling us for years that he'd like to get his pilot's license someday, and Orville gave Karl his first flying lessons on the Saturday trip from Sierra Vista to Flagstaff and the Sunday trip from Flagstaff to Phoenix. Not only was Karl the co-pilot, he got to do the majority of the flying (aside from take-off and landing, of course) on Sunday. Even J. was along for that second flight, and Orville flew us over the Grand Canyon, Barrington Meteor Crater, and the wildfires in Sedona.
Three promoters of past ApologetiX concerts drove large distances to be with us in Arizona:
Ricky Morris, who promoted our first concert ever in Arizona back in 2002, drove 11 hours over three days to attend all three concerts. Ricky has attended every concert we've ever played in Arizona.
Randy Hyde, who promoted our concerts in Riverside CA in 2004 and 2005, drove 11.5 hours (despite vehicle problems, which is why it took so long) from Riverside CA to the Flagstaff show. Although he's based in California, Randy has come to concerts as far away as New York, and he's always a big help in the roadie department.
Dale Lumley, who promoted our first and third concerts in New Mexico in 2002 and 2003, drove with his family 6.5 hours from Rio Rancho NM to the Glendale show. He was actually driving near Flagstaff on Saturday and heard a radio ad for that concert, but opted for Glendale once he found out about it.
Honorable mention to:
The Rabenstein family, who came all the way from Ohio, where they've seen us five times, and planned a trip that included our Flagstaff concert and a visit to the Grand Canyon.
Todd and Donna Harker, who drove eight hours from San Diego to the Flagstaff show.
In Sierra Vista, we also met the two charter members of the newly formed Hawaii/Arizona ApologetiX concert club -- two guys who first saw us in Honolulu back in 2002. Ironically, neither of them knew each other, but one is in the military and the other comes from a military family, which is how they found themselves in Hawaii and Arizona in the first place.
Special thanks to:
our concert coordinators: Dolores Lopez (Sierra Vista), Orville and Kristin Wiseman (Flagstaff), and John Diaz (Glendale).
our merchandise coordinators: Deb (Sierra Vista, Flagstaff, and Glendale), Kelly, Lori, Dolores, Dave, Vicky, and Denise (Sierra Vista), Connie and Bonnie (Flagstaff), and Susie (Glendale).
our radio support:
Randall and Dorcas at 90.9 KWRB (Sierra Vista), and Larry at Joy 89 (Flagstaff).
Clint and Amy, and their kids, Megan and Tristan, who kept J.'s wife, Lisa, and daughter Kelly company in the "cry" room at Sunday's concert.