This Past Week in TN, PA, MI, OH & PA Again
Mon., Jun. 26. 2006 11:51pm EDT
Last week in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio was a busy one -- five concerts in six days (or eight concerts in 10 days if you count our Arizona trip).
Some people would say it's a real coup for an independent Christian band to play five concerts in six days. If so, it was a Coup De Ville, because the first three of those five concerts were all in towns whose names end in "ville" -- Nashville TN (Tuesday), Murrysville PA (Wednesday), and Northville MI (Friday). After that, it was on to Canal Fulton OH (Saturday), and Greensburg PA (Sunday).
Saturday's concert in Canal Fulton was our first appearance at Ohio's Alive festival since 2001, and the place was packed. We got a wonderful response from the fans, and it was worth the five-year wait. In fact, one of the people in charge told us the line for autographs after our show was the longest they'd seen of any artist there this year. Believe us, that did not go to our heads, but it did touch our hearts; we were very, very blessed and honored. It had rained all day before, so the place was a muddy mess, but thankfully, our stage was in a huge roofed area that had kept everything from getting waterlogged.
Speaking of water, our van blew its water pump on the way home from that concert. Since the concert was relatively close to home, J., Bill, and Jimmy had left earlier in family vehicles, but Karl, Keith, his wife and three kids, plus, two fans who flew in from Australia were all on board. Thanks to Rich and Marie Polick and Beth and Larry Davis, who picked up and drove everybody home in their two cars. Thanks also to Keith's nephew Brian, who towed the van back to the shop, and to our mechanic, Rodney, who had given Keith his cell number in case of emergency, even on weekends.
Getting back to that rainy-day theme, Sunday's concert in Greensburg looked like it might be cancelled by rain, but things cleared up in time for the event, although the amphitheater was a little soggy. That didn't dampen people's spirits, though. In fact, one lady named Ruby came up to us after the concert and told us she got saved after the gospel message was given. Greensburg is ApologetiX lead singer/lyricist J. Jackson's hometown, a city we've played a few times in the past, but Sunday's venue was just a couple blocks from where he went to grade school and to church -- the same church where he was a choirboy, as he sings in our parody "Choirboy."
Speaking of hometowns, the location of this past Wednesday's concert, Murrysville, is the hometown of former ApologetiX rhythm guitarist (1991-93) and bassist (1992-95) Andy Sparks, although he was unable to make it because of medical conditions.
Two other ApologetiX alumni were on hand for Sunday's concert, however, drummers Fred Behanna (who played for us from 1999-01) and Keith Harrold (who played for us various times over the years from 1992-00 as our official back-up drummer). Like J., Keith was born and raised in Greensburg. In fact, he still makes his home there, even though he spends a lot of time on the road as a sales representative for Word Records, one of the top labels in contemporary Christian music. Our regular drummer, Jiimmy "Vegas" Tanner, graciously abdicated his drum throne to allow Fred to sit in on "I Love Apostle Paul" and Keith to sit in on "Jacob's Name is Israel."
Our bass player, Keith Haynie, rejoined us in Murrysville on Wednesday (John Taylor filled in for him the previous four concerts in Arizona and Tennessee), sporting a new look. Well, it's a new look for Keith, but it's a look you've seen on ApologetiX members before. It's the shaved-head-plus-beard-and-mustache style first popularized by former drummer Bill "Moose" Rieger and currently sported by our keyboardist Bill Hubauer. Keith has yet to decide whether it's here to stay.
We had one other celebrity guest star join us for "Jacob's Name is Israel" in Greensburg, Kathy Svilar, an actress and media spokesperson known to most Pittsburgh residents simply as "The Shop 'N Save Lady." After the show, Kathy approached us and confessed that she'd never heard of ApologetiX until recently, but that she was now a full-fledged fan who planned to attend more concerts in the future.
Special thanks to:
our concert coordinators: Jeff Fincher (Nashville), Sam Dull (Murrysville), Bob and Mary Carter (Northville), Bill Graening (Canal Fulton), and Maryann Schneider (Greensburg).
our merchandise coordinators: Millie, Allan, and Christy (Nashville), the unknown sellers (Murrysville), Cindy and Sandy (Northville), Vanessa, Lisa, Jen, and Krista (Canal Fulton), and Larry and Julie (Greensburg).
our chauffeurs: David and Michael (Nashville).
our roadies: Rich and Larry (Murrysville, Canal Fulton, and Greensburg), Greg (Murrysville and Greensburg), and Micah (Greensburg).