Today was an unforgettable day. We had a great show as part of Elevate Festival, and Tai and I are now college graduates! But that happened much, much later in the day. Let me start at the beginning…
David has really gotten into photography lately, and wanted to go to a cool location this morning to get some good shots. Our tour bus made a stop at Watson Lake on the way into Prescott. Fortunately I was up early this morning (thank you, time change!) and was able to get out and see the beautiful scenery. It literally felt like we were walking around on Mars. If there was a lake on Mars.
Several of us had lunch at a wing joint, and a few followed that up with a viewing of Man of Steel. David and I skipped out and took advantage of the high speed internet at our hotel to get some work done (good internet on the road is a major commodity); Tai stayed back at the venue and helped get the lights programmed. It was a HOT day, as in world class hot. I think it got up to about 106º in Prescott Valley, while a little south in Phoenix they topped out at 115º. Walking back to the hotel, it felt like my skin was melting.
We shared the stage tonight with Jars of Clay. This afternoon we did a joint Q and A for VIP ticket holders. We've known those guys for a LONG time, so it was pretty hilarious walking down memory lane. We hearkened back to a time when Jars drove to shows in minivans, emails were a big deal, and people actually bought CD's. It was a total blast.
Three years ago, Third Day met with the folks at Grand Canyon University, and talked about the idea of us going back to college. Tai and I jumped at the opportunity to accomplish this life-long goal. Fifteen classes and over a hundred late night essays later, we are finally graduates!
Grand Canyon did the most amazing thing tonight - we couldn't make the graduation in May, so they brought the graduation to us. Dr. Kathy Player, who presents the diplomas at the "regular" graduation, came out to the show and led the ceremony in full regalia. They put together a special video, and let us share a few remarks with the crowd. When it was announced that we were now college graduates, confetti cannons were fired. Thanks so much to Scott Fehrenbacher, Dr. Player, and everyone at GCU for making it an occasion we'll never forget.
Our actual show tonight was incredible. After playing a few smaller church shows, it was really fun playing in front of a larger arena crowd. And it was great crowd - this is a new festival and you could sense a genuine excitement at having a big event in their area. The encore was by far the highlight. We've been playing "Your Love is Like a River" in that spot for some time, and it's really starting to feel right. And closing the night with "Gone" is just perfect.
Thanks, Prescott Valley for an incredible show. And thanks Grand Canyon University for capping off an incredible college experience!