This Wednesday I posted a blog about playing keys for Lindsay McCaul, but it was too long for a single blog. Here’s the 2nd part:
Travel, Logistics, and Sound Check
To make the gig, I had to do a show in St. Louis, then drive home to Nashville late. I woke up at 6 AM and had Sarah drive me to the airport, where I met up with Mark and Lindsay for our 6 hour plane flight to San Diego.
We made it safe to San Diego, caught a flight to Sacramento, and then drove an hour in a rental car to Lodi, CA where the conference would be. On the way down, Mark introduced me to In and Out Burgers, and we had a great talk. Mark is the CEO of Creative Trust, an artist management company in Nashville. Mark manages a ton of artists, including Brandon Heath, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Laura Story. It was really amazing to hear someone who has so much influence be so genuine, kind, and humble.
We checked into the amazing hotel and winery that we’d be staying in for the next 5 days. The next morning we woke up and drove to the church that was hosting the conference. We did a short promo at their morning services, then headed into town for some food at the Dancing Fox, a local favorite. I’m was already getting spoiled.
After a quick nap at the hotel, we drove back to the church for the first night of the conference. Lindsay and I got onstage for a quick sound check, where we ran just snippets of each of her songs to make sure we were both on the same page. I ran into tech problems with the Yamaha S90XS keyboard they had provided- it wasn’t sending midi to my laptop. I used the stock sounds in the S90 for sound check, then goofed around with it afterward. It took downloading several drivers and restarting my computer, but I was able to get it up and running before show time.
Lindsay and I walked onstage to a packed house, and waited as the announcer introduced us. This is always the hardest part of the event: right before you play.
We started the first song, and I realized the audio engineer hadn’t put any piano in either Lindsay or I’s monitor mix. We tried several times to get him to boost the signal, but with no luck. Despite poor monitoring, we both rocked it and the crowd seemed to love it. We played 3 more shows the following nights with similar tech issues (the sound system completely shut down in the middle of one of the sets), but we had a blast nonetheless. Lindsay is a true pro at interacting with an audience, and her performance skills carried us through even the bigger sound problems.
I learned a lot from playing with Lindsay this week, especially these points:
• Always memorize your songs. It makes it so much easier to follow an artist.
• Lindsay and Mark are a great example of everything’s that right with the Christian music genre. I wish there were more people out there like them.
• Bring along extra cables, even if that means a bit of extra carryon luggage.
I got spoiled the most I’ve ever been on this tour with the fancy hotel and the great food, but the real highlight of the trip was getting to know Mark and Lindsay. These two people are so kind, loving, and generous, and always made me feel welcome. Most importantly, they reflected the love of Christ to me throughout the tour. And that’s a rare thing in the music industry.