This Past Wkd at Sonshine in MN (Stryper and Kansas!)
Mon., Jul. 17. 2006 11:06pm EDT
Well, whoever named Minnesota's premier Christian music festival "Sonshine" knew what they were talking about. We've played there five straight years, and it seems every single time was sunny. This past Saturday, our first time on the main stage, was no exception. It was so hot and humid, you'd have thought we were Apolo-sweat-iX!
Sonshine was celebrating its 25th birthday, and two ApologetiX members were also celebrating their 25th birthdays (we all stopped counting after 25) -- bassist Keith Haynie (July 16) and keyboardist Bill Hubauer (July 18). God gave Keith and Bill nice birthday surprises, as each got to meet and chat with members of bands that inspired them growing up -- 1980's Christian heavy metal pioneers Stryper and 1970's progressive rock band Kansas.
Keith and the other members of ApologetiX ran into Michael Sweet (lead singer and rhythm guitarist) and Oz Fox (lead guitarist and backup vocalist) of Stryper backstage as we were about to leave for the night. We'd seen Stryper's show that afternoon, and their vocals and musicianship were as impressive as ever. Although we all like Stryper, Keith is the biggest Stryper fan in the band; he and his wife, Krista, even played Styper's biggest hit, "Honestly" (a Top-25 pop hit in the late 1980's), at their wedding.
Similarly, we all like Kansas, but Bill is the biggest Kansas fan in ApologetiX. In fact, he used to play in a Kansas tribute band called Leftoverture (named after one of Kansas' biggest albums), so he was delighted to discover we were playing at Sonshine the same day as Proto-Kaw, a band led by Kansas lead guitarist and keyboardist Kerry Livgren. A cofounder of the band and its primary songwriter, Kerry composed Kansas' two best-known songs, "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind." He became a born-again Christian in 1980.
Bill not only got to see Kerry play live at Sonshine (as did our drummer, Jimmy "Vegas" Tanner), he also got to eat dinner with him in the artists' tent and discuss Kansas, computers, and music production.
Here are the links to the websites of both Stryper and Kerry Livgren. Feel free to send them an email and mention that you first heard about their sites from the ApologetiX website and/or newsletter. :)
Of course, we saw lots of other cool people at Sonshine, including our pals Andy and Luke from Sydney, Australia, who also came to see us at the Alive festival in Canal Fulton OH three weeks ago. This past Saturday was their last day in the States before heading home. G'day, mates!
Honorable mention to Derek and Brandi Leasure and their kids, who made the trip all the way from Steubenville OH. They're also planning to come to our concert this Friday in Sheridan IN. All four family members were wearing custom-made "ApolunatiX" shirts. Another family of five came clad in matching Enter Samson shirts.
Special thanks to:
our merchandise coordinator, Susie, and Sonshine's volunteer coordinator, Tom, who helped us get situated in the vendor area.