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Reunited with Downhere in Tulsa, OK

August 29, 2007

 

Jason in Tulsa at the Riverwalk with KXOJ and Downhere

Jason in Tulsa at the Riverwalk with KXOJ and Downhere

We received this kind email from the KXOJ in Tulsa about the free concert that I did with Downhere in Tulsa this weekend.

The trip started out a little spotty with delayed flights due to storms in Chicago, and then a mix-up with the hotel shuttle that left me stranded waiting for the shuttle to take me to a hotel that was just minutes away (I should’ve walked!). I won’t name the hotel, but upon arriving, it looked really sketchy and there were obvious illegal activities going on in the hotel parking lot, so I got to my room asap and bolted the doors. The AC wasn’t working right, and neither was the TV, but I was tired enough it didn’t bother me that much. But what topped it all was when I went to use the bathroom and discovered a little surprise left in the toilet from the previous occupant. When was the last time this room was cleaned?!!

I apologize if that’s more information than you wanted about my hotel room adventure, but suffice it to say that I slept on top of the covers and with one eye on the door for most of the night. Ah the glamorous lifestyle of a traveling musician 😉

I met up with the Downhere guys again the next morning and there were hugs and warm feelings all around. We got to the Riverwalk out door venue and started setting up our equipment, spending the better part of the afternoon in the 100 degree heat. But all went well and when it came time to do the concert, It was apparent that God’s blessing was on it and we had a GREAT night.

In fact, we got a wonderful note back from the station about their impression of the night that I thought I’d share with you. He’s right in that it was clear that this was not an audience that was there just to see us, and it was our job to win them over and draw them in, to compel them to listen and stick around. The crowd kept growing through the whole night and we met some wonderful new friends in Tulsa! We also discovered a great new favorite coffeehouse with Nordaggio’s (a distinct espresso unlike any I’ve ever had… mmmmmmmmm…..)

Thank you to KXOJ and their staff for being wonderful hosts – we can’t wait to come back!

..

The note we received from the station:

Let me tell you a story. One night, in a small city in the midwest, about 1500 people came to an outdoor amphitheatre to see a couple of new artists most, admittedly, had never seen live before. In fact, most admitted they had only heard one song on the radio from these performers at best. They came for the atmosphere, or because previous acts who had performed there were more well-known, or just because it was date night or something to do for free with the kids.

Then a shocking thing happened. The concert began. First two songs- still sitting on their hands, but starting to lean forward. Third song- now fully engaged and starting to sway. 5,6,7 songs in- riveted to the testimony and the music of this sweaty man named Jason Gray.

Fast forward ten minutes. By now everyone is wondering if the next band could possibly be as good as what they just heard. It was Friday night and the stars were out. Time for some mellow music and coffee right? The river was running deep just 20 feet behind the stage, a wedding reception was being held in white tents just down the Riverwalk. The mixture had everyone as relaxed as they could be… and then the music startled. That’s right, startled. The first song was a rocking number that pushed adrenaline through the mostly middle-aged crowd and featured a low lead singers voice that was engaging and electric. This was worth staying for. It was written on every face.

Fast forward 5 minutes. The second lead singer opens his voice. Shock. Total, utter shock. People who brought friends turned with an “I told you so” look, but not matter. The newbies just stared, jaws dropped, not believing a band already impressively tight could be fronted by not just the guy with the husky voice, and accomplishment in it’s own right, but this ridiculously perfect pitched second voice. For 55 more minutes they cheered the drummer, jumped with the bass player, hopped, swayed, raised their hands, pumped their fists… but they mostly just stared at the Canadian in cropped pants and a drenched white shirt.

By the end of the night the rock stars who need money, and their friend Jason had given much more than they would possibly receive that night. They absolutely, clearly pointed to Jesus, while simultaneously rocking the riverwalk crowd. In the end a tuxedoed wedding party member walked over, listened for a few minutes, bought a green t-shirt, and tossed it to his new bride.

I think a lot of lives started a new chapter that night.

Thanks for making it happen. Please give our deepest thanks to Jason and all 4 guys from the band. They traveled far and worked hard and we do not take it lightly. But man did they make some serious fans on Friday night. I literally had a guy turn to me 2 songs in to say “I’m convinced- this is my new favorite band!” They were absolutely spot on. Just fantastic.

Some great pictures are online at kxoj.com. If you need the originals let me know.

Thanks for partnering with us,
Bob

 


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