Wow! How did it get to be the end of summer already? The last road trip of the season is already upon us? Impossible. I remember thinking about this weekend at the beginning of the summer and feeling that August 28th was a long ways away.
We played Friday night in Boise at the Knitting Factory. It’s not the coziest place to perform but it does feel like a rock and roll show with all the lights and the massive P.A. system. There was no opener, so it was just us playing all night long. We played long and loud. It was great to see so many familiar faces. The energy in the room was way up! We don’t get as many folks out as we did in the halcyon days of a decade ago, but those that do come out sure know how to cut loose, sing along and generally get wild. Way to go Idaho!
We left fairly early on Saturday for the drive to Salt Lake City. We were headlining the 2nd annual Intermountain Acoustic Bluegrass Association Festival downtown at the mighty Gallivan Center. It was a windy drive and storms were expected, but the storm blew over and left us with a beautiful warm and windy evening. We hit the stage around 8:30 and rocked the heart of downtown Salt Lake City for a couple of hours. It’s so much fun to be loud and brazen in a public space. And not a single noise complaint! (Maybe there was, but most of the time ignorance is bliss.) When I think about the limitations that most of us have when it comes to even turning up the stereo in the home or workplace, it’s kind of hard to believe we get to play at about the same volume as a jet taking off in the heart of an American city! When I practice in my apartment I generally sing an octave lower and strum my guitar a little quieter to keep the decibels to a minimum for the sake of my neighbours. Not ideal, but until I move to a cabin in the hills of Appalachia I will keep it toned down. Most of the time. You should too- Keep it toned down most of the time, then move to the Appalachian hills!
The show was really fun. The organizers were super sweet and the staging was top notch. I had a great monitor mix and could hear everything perfectly so that went a long way in terms of my personal enjoyment. But the big news was that Jason proposed to his girlfriend Renee ONSTAGE! About half way through the set we played an old time tune called Rosalie McFall where Jason takes a turn playing solos on a bunch of different instruments. After a while we got Renee onstage to help with his percussion solo. Jason, the true romantic that he is, then got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. (She said yes) It was extra special as she and he had met at the very same location seven years ago. Congratulations to them! After all that emotion, I then had to sing the last verse of the song. Lets put it this way, I sounded a lot like Peter Brady attempting to sing “Time to Change” when his voice was changing. It was truly quite emotional. The episode AND Jason’s proposal to Renee!
We had sixteen hours to think about Saturday night and other things the next day in the van as we drove back to Vancouver…