Great night to close out a great tour... I ran out of CD's which is good--and also a bummer. We took a group picture of all the guys in Building 429, Aaron Shust and his band, Meredith, myself and the crew... check it out.
The highlight of the night definitely did end up being the pranks... here's a run down:
Meredith went on first. She was nervous through her whole 3-song set, but nothing happened--until she headed off stage and one of the guys from Building poured water on her from the catwalk above the stage... nice.
So I head on, and I'm playing through my set just wondering what's coming. My biggest fears were realized when I heard Jason Roy talking in my in-ear monitors. The first time was between song 2 and 3, and he was just trying to freak me out, so he said "ok, you got the stuff... sweet, let's go get him." Then, as if that wasn't enough to throw my concentration, he actually starts playing puppeteer. Immediately after song 3, Jason speaks again... "Mark, do exactly as I say... put your right hand in the air and don't make a sound." So, fearing consequences--the catwalk was directly over me--I took one step forward, raised my right hand as the applause tailed off and then, after a short pause, began speaking. Now, while I'm speaking, I'm hearing gut-level laughter at my obedience along with one last comment, "nicely done, Mark"... all while I'm trying to talk to the crowd. Yeah, I have no idea what I said, but I give kudos to Jason--well done.
Next was Building 429... they have a section of their show where they play "Sing Like the Saved" and invite kids from the audience up on stage to dance. Well, Meredith had taken Aaron's hat (the bass player) the day before, from bus and she--wearing said hat--and Scottie (Aaron Shust's guitarist) came running on stage with, yep, silly string... made a mess and danced around a bit... more good stuff. The bass player was wearing a 'backup' hat, and I think everyone had a different hat on by the time they were off stage.
Lastly, during one of Aaron's songs, the guys from Building (yeah... they were involved in just about every prank) ran on stage with various and sundry hats they found backstage, and started pulling hats off of Aaron and switching them around, adding hats to people without hats, and generally causing mayhem... it was actually very funny--sounds just like the Meredith trick, but it was to the next level or two... meanwhile, I was hiding behind a small facade wall behind and to the right of the drummer, waiting for some silence. As soon as the song ended, I waited for the most opportune moment and blew an airhorn at him. Kind of inside joke for Josh--he and the bassist Duffy both heard it and had a laugh...
Like I said, good night, good tour... I absolutely can't wait to hug my wife and son in a matter of hours. I'm finally getting used to the road, and I simultaneously want nothing more than the various and sundry blessings and burdens that await me at home. In the words of Michael Bublé:
I've had my run, baby I'm done... and I wanna go home.
With eyes welling up as I type those words, and bitter-sweet goodbyes filling the next few hours, I'm signing off for now... thanks for coming alongside me on the road via the amazing phenomenon of the blog.