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On The Road Again, But First, A Recap…

September 17, 2009
Taken from our first show in Cambridge, ON

Taken from our first show in Cambridge, ON

After the first leg of the my tour with Sanctus Real/Phil Wickham we were blessed to be able to retreat to the home of some of our dearest friends in Clare MI to do laundry, catch up on sleep, and get some emails answered.

The first weekend in Canada was great – We were well received everywhere we went, though the crowds were smaller than everyone expected.  There was some trouble booking these first dates and in fact one of the shows was only booked a week before!  There were some miscommunications that made some of the shows challenging – like insufficient power at a couple of the venues that left us without power until an hour before doors opened (to appreciate this, you should know that our daily schedule has us running all day long, and we’re supposed to be powered up and ready for sound check by noon!).  At one of the venues, the Sanctus guys had to put up chairs in the room for the event.

When a Grammy nominated band willingly puts up their own seating for the show without a single complaint, you know you’re working with some quality people.  In spite of some of the challenges (that are always a part of the first week of a tour), it has been a joy and a privilege to be out with these guys – some of the humblest and kindest people I’ve ever worked with.  And the Canadian audiences have been so generous with us!  I wondered if they’d be more stoic and reserved (much like Minnesotans are compared to Tennesseans :-), but they’ve been very giving and enthusiastic and it’s been a blast to play for them.

Our good buddy Glenn Lavender, bassist for Downhere, and his wife, sister, and even mother showed up the first night to visit, help us do an inventory of our merch.  We are huge fans of Glenn and his kin and it was good to see him.  When I mentioned from the stage that he was in the audience, they made more noise than they had all night – even when me, Phil, and Sanctus were introduced!  I think Downhere has some fans in Canada.  I didn’t mind at all, I thought it was great and I was glad Glenn was there to hear it.

Taya and I got to break away from the tour twice, once to play at World Vision headquarters in Canada and also to play a church service.  It was fun to get to go out with Taya on our own and make some connections apart from the tour.  We paid for it in sleep, though… our early morning excursions coupled with first weekend tour adaptations meant that we averaged about 4 hours sleep a night for the last week.  By Monday morning I looked (and sounded) like a 70 year old man.

Speaking of 70 year old men, you may have heard about our run in at our hotel where we saw an older man swimming in the hotel pool – buck naked!  We thought that story couldn’t be topped, but it nearly was on the last night when there was a disturbed man at the show walking around getting into verbal fights with people.  When he began to raise his voice with the World Vision volunteers, Taya stepped in to ask if there was anything she could help him with.  He turned on her and started to verbally abuse her, even calling her the anti-christ!

He wouldn’t leave the premises and we were all afraid he might get violent, so the police were called.  Man, I don’t know if all Canadian police are like this, but the guys who eventually showed up looked tough.  They were all tatted up on their arms and pretty big.  We were grateful that they escorted the man off the premises without incident (by that point, though, I was kind of hoping for a fight!  Just a little one to make things interesting 😉

We rode the bus back to Toledo and Taya and I hopped in our van and drove to Clare MI to visit some friends we haven’t seen in a long time.  It was good to get rested up again, before we head out in about an hour to pick up a new suitcase (mine broke – I hate buying suitcases.  It’s so unrewarding and no fun at all…) and then hop on the bus for one more date in Canada before starting the US leg of the tour.  Canada has been fun and memorable and has given us some great stories!  I hope we get to come back soon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    September 18, 2009 7:29 am

    Glad your tour has been blessed. I actually only heard of you about a week ago, but your music and ministry have encouraged me while I’m studying in Japan. Thanks!

  2. Lisa Wesler permalink
    September 22, 2009 5:24 pm

    Saw you in Greenville Ohio last Saturday and loved your music! You have at least one new fan now. Congrats on the Vikings win with the old man Favre. I still can’t get used to seeing him in that jersey. Just don’t rub it in that my Packer’s lost. It was good talking to you after the show, although I am a little disapointed that you promised to wash my car if I sponsored a child through World Vision and haven’t showed up yet to do that. lol Maybe next time you come to town. Take care and hope the rest of the tour goes well for you and the other boys.

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