This Past Weekend: Big Crowds in Big Sky Country
Sun., Aug. 27. 2006 12:25pm EDT
This past Saturday's concert at the inaugural Downpour Festival in Great Falls MT was our second trip ever to to the nation's fourth-largest state. Like the previous time (October 2, 2005 in Hamilton -- 250 miles away), we were greeted by an extremely enthusiastic crowd. Montana may not be a very populous state (it's 44th, with just over 900,000 people), but it appears to have a lot of ApologetiX fans per capita! The event's organizers told us repeatedly about how many people had told them they were looking forward to the ApologetiX portion of the show.
Despite the festival's name, there wasn't a raindrop in sight, but the place was flooded with thousands of people. It may have been the largest attendance we've ever seen for a first-year festival. And the event staff was second-to-none -- extremely friendly, helpful, gracious and hospitable. We shared the stage with a number of performers we've played with before, including Building 429, Jeff Deyo, Seventh Day Slumber, and Among the Thirsty.
Unfortunately, our keyboardist, Bill "Wild Thing" Hubauer, was unable to attend, because he had to move out of his old house and into his new one immediately as part of his closing arrangement. We helped him move on Friday, as did a few other ApologetiX fans, Rich Polick, and Brandon and Evan Gross. Bill has missed both of our concerts in Big Sky Country thus far, so we're looking forward to coming back soon and showing him off to Montana, and vice versa. The concert organizers did say from the stage that they wanted us back for next year's Downpour festival, so we'll pray that happens and that Hubie is available.
Jimmy almost wasn't able to make it, either. As we reported last week, Jimmy's father-in-law passed away in the wee hours of Monday morning, and the funeral was scheduled for Saturday morning. Thankfully, with some flight rearranging we were able to bring Jimmy in on a much-later flight, and the Downpour organizers graciously rearranged their scheduled to accommodate us in a later slot. Jimmy and the rest of us were all amazed at how many people at the festival offered their condolences and said they'd been praying for him. As we always say, you ApologetiX fans are the best!
Special thanks to our concert coordinator, Kevin Bray, and to Dave Anderson for getting Downpour's organizers so excited about ApologetiX. Thanks also to our merchandise coordinators, Bobbie, Crystal, and Stephanie; and to our chauffeurs, Lisa, Jeremy, Jack, Jodi, Reggie, Bradley, and Brandon.
Honorable mention to Jon and Heather Ravenhost, who drove 700 miles from Boise ID to the concert. They hope to host a concert themselves in Idaho one of these days.