Sunday, August 14, 2011

God and Montana's blessings

Billings, Mt 

Aaron mixing at 104db's, baby!!!

The days they all start the same at this point. You wake up and head out early not really thinking about the town you’re heading to.  We opened for Dierks Bentley last week so I expected more of the same. We then pull up to a big ass arena in Billlings, Montana (thought it’d be just another dusty and hot stage) but it ended up being (to me) an imposing  building. Our van looked like a matchbox car beside it. Walk in and it’s the same. I felt tiny and a little lost . Where’s the “grandstand” and the place to put up my little plastic table (and where’s the smell of cow and horse shit)? They point me in direction of my “merch place”. It was across the BIG ass arena and up an elevator . I walk that mile, go up that elevator but THEN, I see a guy (who ends up being  a nice guy) who wants all of our merch. He works for the venue. I end up having to give all of Jason’s “product” to a group of people that was "to sell for us".I can’t touch it, they tell me. Well THAT sucks! They don’t know who the hell Jason is nor do they probably care. I told them about the single and video and everything that I could think of to make them interested (one of the girls then started watching the “Ferris Wheel” vid on her phone). I just basically tried to get them to like me (and  in turn Jason and his music).You know, after a while they actually seemed to show interest. Still I hated the idea and getting them to understand that what we needed was to sell as much as possible at the “signing table” and for them to help us out with that, which they actually did with 2 cute girls (which always helps) walking up and down the line selling CD’s and pix (ran outta ALL of our pix and almost ran out of CD’s).
Show started. HOLY SHIT, it was just really something to watch unfold. How the guys responded I did NOT expect.  I didn’t realize that Jason had never played in an arena of this size (probably held 10,000- 15,000). He said (to the crowd) that when he first walked in to the building that “his heart sank”. It was imposing to him. But then it became indescribable to say what it was like to watch the guys shine from the FIRST to the last damn note.  I’ve seen it go either way, some get swallowed up or they get inspired and you just don’t know until it all goes down. I could hear the crowds response and (later heard) that there were a BUNCH of them on their feet during the last song but I was in the middle of getting all of the signing shit ready (uh, they didn’t know he’d actually need a table)L. Hell I’m just their merch guy, but I felt so proud for the few songs that I DID get to watch.
 Signing table. HUGE  and seemingly endless line that we had to “cap” as soon as we could because it was SO long and around a corner.  After a while, Jason looked up and then looked a little helpless at how much was left to do. It was SO great to watch happen. Everything, from the line to the people’s comments to Jason about his music and his show and his band.
The freakin endless signing line
You know, you could not have asked for a better way to end 3 ½ weeks on the road. In looking at the “flipcaming” this morning it was SO great to watch the guys see how great they really played. More times than not you look at stuff in the morning and it just don’t play back the same as you’d remembered (or maybe had created) in your mind. Last night really happened. The crowd response, the performances and all. Maybe it was God’s little present I guess for all of the dusty stages, the never ceasing dirty sweat, the times where the “green room” was a scalding hot van in the middle of a dirt field. Don’t get me wrong and crazy as it sounds, I actually enjoyed those days and I think without them you would  NEVER appreciate this kinda night. Thanks to God and Montana for that gift to the band (and me).  Don’t even  think that we took any of it for granted.

Post show beers with Cassidy (current Dierks Bass player/ex JJ player) 

The Big ass building

Justin and the girls selling some JJ merch :)
SOMEbody can't wait until they get to their room
Now the LONG 24 hour drive home… finally.  

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