Through the years, Rock the Desert has gone down as one of our favorite events we've played. I think we performed there twice before, but it has been some time. We were definitely ready to be back. Also, it had been almost two weeks since we last performed and it was time to make some music again. What better place than Texas to get back in the saddle. (Oh that was so bad I rolled my eyes at myself.)
We were warned about the heat several times before we came, and those people were on to something. It was hot. What people don't realize is that we're from Georgia and we're used to hot. On top of that, we've had a really weird summer at home, meteorologically speaking, and have only had a few really hot days. In a really strange way, I think we enjoyed the near 100 degree heat in Midland today.
Upon arriving at the airport, we got in a car to drive to the festival site. Usually that involves a long drive, and I think that's what we were prepared for. But the festival is about half a mile from the airport. So less than 30 minutes after our plane touched down, we were backstage getting ready for a meet and greet. We met and greeted some great fans and supporters of the festival, then did a fun interview with KLOVE. Those radio interviews with live fans are always interesting because you get an immediate reaction, good or bad. Fortunately today they were good. Then we did a youth pastor Q and A, which ended up being a good discussion about faith, fatherhood, and, um, the Water Beetles.
If you were at the show tonight, you saw something a little odd. Our intro music played and the band hurriedly took the stage. The music swelled to a crescendo, and then…nothing. Mac went up to the microphone and told the crowd we needed a minute to sort through some technical stuff.
OK, here's what happened. The dressing room was a long way from the stage, long enough that we had to take a van to get to the stage. Well, there was some kind of mix up, and our intro music started playing before we were ready. We raced over to the stage and got there with about 30 seconds to spare. We donned our guitars and ran out there, just in time to start the show. Except for one thing - our in ear monitors were not working. So we had to take a minute and sort it out. It was a perfect storm of two negative things happening at the same time. We worked through one only to run into the other. If it's not Scylla it's Charybdis.
Once we worked through the little hiccup at the start of the show, it ended up being pretty great. Fortunately the heat had let up a bit and it was a cool 90º when we took the stage. We played to a large festival crowd, and they really seemed to love it. Your Love is Like a River felt like the highlight tonight. Other new songs such as I Need a Miracle and Kickin and Screamin went over well, as did classics such as I Believe and God of Wonders. It was a fun night of rock and worship.
Add another great Rock the Desert memory to the books. Hopefully we'll be back sooner this time!