Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to School

Well, Back to School Tour Volume II is coming to an end. By the end we'll have played for over 15k people, played 25 shows put over 10k miles on the vuses and spent 2 months not getting enough sleep, trying to sleep in our sunks (by the way, we imagine that our vans are buses and our seats are bunks...so we call them vuses and sunks).

This tour has been awesome in a lot of respects. The Orlando show was unbelievable. It was incredible to be able to step away from the microphone and hear 1200 people singing "Empty Me" at the top of their lungs. I think Orlando was my favorite show, simply because with 1200 people stuffed into a room designed to hold 700 chairs...sooo much energy. They sang "Only You Can Save" louder than I could have ever imagined.

This tour has been fun. Aaron and I have gotten to know each other much better and have become friends. Everyone on tour has become so close. Having Meredith out was a lot of fun...she's out with Smitty now, so Lanae is back, it'll be good to see her again.

Anyway, overall this tour has been everything I hoped the 2nd year of it would be. Ultimately, we grew. More people this year. Bigger artists on the tour. More artists on the tour. We're just building this thing year by year.

Next year will be even bigger!

47 comments:

risalea said...

Branson or Bust and along the way, BTS shows in Broken Arrow and Springfield! (It's always a better show with multiple Blogger Girls in attendance! LOL)

Hischild said...

Wonderful report, Chris! I feel like Bob Uecker - nose pressed up against the window muttering "Boy, they look like they're have a great time in there."

But I rejoice in any and all good news you can experience in your life. Mazeltov! my friend.

Spencer said...

You really need to make it out to southern California when you get a chance. I know quite a few people who would see you play.

DJ in AL said...

Yea Risa but it won't be "da bomb" without this Blogger Girl, LOL!

Have fun and give the Fro Head a hug from his fav DQ!

Cathy Storms said...

Without this one either DJ. You know we're there in spirit.

Spencer, yes a Southern California show would be awesome!! Yes there are quite a few fans out here that would love to see a show..

I'm so excited that this tour has been so great for you.

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

Yeah! I could actually get on my computer today, but its still kind of slow...
The Three Florida concerts were so AWESOME!! I want to thank Carmen for letting me tag along with her. I had SO MUCH FUN!! Everyone rocked. I'll be with Risa, Carmen and company in spirit. Next year Chris needs to come to COLORADO!

DJ in AL said...

Amy! What's up girl? So glad you got your computer fixed you've been MIA for ages!

I thought you were going to Branson, I guess I got that wrong!

Glad to see ya on the blog!

rosalee said...

I'm glad to hear that the tour has been a big success!

Have fun at the other shows, ladies.

risalea said...

Oh, my-someone rescue me. Carmen's got me at the Legends show! This audience is so old when "Donna Summer" sang about hot stuff, 90% of them thought she meant Bengay! (that's Carmen's line!)

Badpacifist said...

I will miss all of you this Saturday in Springfield. I will be watching a wonderful performance of a seven year old. I will catch you next time.
I have slept in van seats.../shudder.
People think its all glory sometimes. I think plumbing is an easier career path.

Cathy Storms said...

Amy~welcome back girl. It sounds like you had a great time in Florida. I really wish I could of made it. Glad your back on the blog.

Risa, you and Carmen stay out of trouble if that's possible. Have a great time girls.

robyn said...

Vuses and sunks...sounds like Dr. Seus speak to me! LOL!
I thought the concert I went to was SO great!! Next year will really rock too!! Can't wait! sure hope you make it back to NC!!! (I'll even adopt another kitten)
Anyway what really counts is that ya'll had a wonderful time doing it all and spreading all that love and faith!!
More power to you forever!

HstryQT said...

It's great to hear about how well the 2nd annual tour went :). I wish so much that I could've gone to a show - but there's always next year, and as you said it'll be growing year by year - EVEN bigger and better :).

I'm sure Orlando singing along to Empty Me was AH-MAZING... especially since hearing the MUCH smaller crowd in Avon last March singing along to Empty Me had me sobbing (because I was so proud :).

It continues to be so fun to be along on this journey with you and the rest of the Fro Patro - even when I can't be there, I feel like I am!

Lori

risalea said...

Candy could you give a call? I am on the road with Carmen headind to OK to see Chris. I thought I had your number with me but for some reason it did not get saved to my iPhone.

rosalee said...

It's time to say,
"Happy Birthday, Bully!"

Have a great day!

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

Hey everyone,
Happy birthday Bully! I hope Carmen, Risa, and Candy are having a great time in Branson and are getting ready for the show-don't know if they'll stay out of trouble though. I'll have to give Carmen a call later on today. Welcome to Leah. Sorry I couldn't have welcomed you earlier, but my computer was acting up.

Amy

DJ in AL said...

Happy, Happy Birthday Bully!

Coupla calls from Risa, text from Carmen, a good time is being had! There was some mention about bail $ but I told them they were on their own!

Jon, FYI, you are not in trouble with DJ, all is cool! Mssg. was not for you dude!

Sending love to my Blogger girls on their adventure in Branson, safe travels home!

Amy so good to talk to you tonight! Miss ya girl!

Sending love to my Fro buddies and the Chief Fro Head from a "She ain't no lady and likes it that way DJ" in AL!

Hischild said...

Happy birthday from me too, Bully. Hope it was great.

Went to see Grease with Taylor Hicks this afternoon and all I could think of was what fun was going on in Springfield! Hopelessly devoted to Chris and gang. :o)

Tuhin said...

Super blog & thanks for your report.
Oh!I got a super site today for new singer.I think, its helpful for American idol participant. You may
check out the new iPHONE APP for Singers called SINGERS VOCAL WARMUP. It works so great! You can practice
singing your scales anytime anywhere you want. Great for warming up voice.
go to : http://www.SINGERSVOCALWARMUP.com

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

Hey all,
Talked to Carmen yesterday and it sounds like they're having a blast. DJ-it was great to talk to you too! It's good neither of us got a call asking for bail! Can't wait to hear how the concert went!

Amy

Nicholas. R. said...

Hi Hischild! What did you think of Taylor in Grease?

Hischild said...

Taylor in Grease? Highlight of show. I mean, he pops out of a giant elevated ice cream cone, for goodness sakes! Even pulled out his harmonica (which I LOVE). After all ending accolades, he sang a song from his current album The Distance. So...one song in the play and one solo at the end. What a tease but I knew that going in. I would pay to see a whole concert of his anytime! Saw him once and he was INCREDIBLE! What a hard worker. Though I wasn't gaga over him on Idol, he's grown on me since then. I wish him graduated success.

You thinking of catching the show, Nicholas??

Cathy Storms said...

Happy Birthday Bully..
Can't wait for details from your shows girls. I know you had a blast.

risalea said...

Warning, warning, Will Smith! This is going to be a long blog post. (what do you mean, I should post that warning every time I write? LOL)

Bully, Happy Birthday!

Hey, Amy...it's great to see you back on here. Wave a magic wand over that computer and keep it working!

Ok, where do I start? First, a few "notes to self" about this weekend.

1) Do not leave the driveway without cleaning out the car, even if time is at a premium. Or. You. Will. Really. Wish. You. Had.

2)Put the third seat back in the van out of the garage where it's been sitting since 2006 when oldest song got married and I had to have the space for hauling wedding stuff. You never know when you might really, really need extra seating.

3)Take away texting device from traveling companion if #1 and #2 have not been completed. ; )

4)Carry own bail money.

OK, silly stuff aside, it was a marvelous weekend. Carmen and I arrived in Branson not too far apart on Thursday evening. We drove over to Broken Arrow, OK for the BTS tour on Friday night. That sounded like a really good idea, until I realized how late the show would run, and how long it would take to get back to the condo. Let's just say this chickadee hasn't gone to bed at 4 AM in awhile! Totally worth it, though. Chris and the boys were in top form, and the other folks on the tour-Aaron Shust, Lanae Hale, and Andrew Witt were awesome. One of my favorite parts was the opening acoustic show...what a brilliant idea, Chris. It was an intimate group, with dialogue from Chris and Aaron, and they each sang a couple of songs. Chris did "Vessel" and "I'm Ready." I wasn't prepared for the latter. It really hit me hard, as my Uncle Ray is dying of cancer, and I had just driven to Memphis on Wed. to see him. My dad passed away 25 years ago in Dec. and we have been lucky enough to have all his siblings with us all this time. One of my greatest pleasures over the years has been to sit with all the brothers as they have their reunion discussions on everything going on in the world. It's been like having a bit of daddy still here, and it brought up a lot of memories. (I would appreciate your prayers for him to get through this with minimal pain as he prepares to go Home.)

OK, sorry, back to the subject at hand.

Saturday night was the show in Springfield at a local Bible college. Candy came with two of her children and her mom, and it was wonderful to see her. I'm just sorry we didn't get to spend more time together. Next year, Candy, for sure, and hopefully before that as well. Also, had the privilege of meeting Carmen's mom and her friend and they came to the Sat. show as well. What an enthusiastic group of young people at that venue! There was a blind young man in the section to the right of me, and what that concert meant to him....unbelievable. He swayed and sang to the music and was amening along and it was really a blessing watching him take it all in.

I got a chance to go to a couple of the BTS shows last year, and what was readily apparent right off the bat was the huge difference in numbers. This tour has attracted many more attendees, and I was thrilled to see the growth for Chris.

The other thing for me, was this show seemed more worshipful (if that is a word). Having the lyrics up is a great idea (kept me from making up my own! LOL) It encouraged audience participation. What a powerful ending when everyone came on stage for "How Great Thou Art." Clearsa, I wish you had been there to join me on some harmony with that great old song.

This may have been the second best Chris Sligh concert ever. (Second to NLR, yes, I know I'm prejudiced, Chris, but it was seriously awesome!) My soul was full when I left.

Only downside...the missing Blogger Gals and Guys. Get there next time, people!

Risa

risalea said...

Well, I didn't know how true my words would be. I had to cut this last part, because Blogger said I had exceeded 4096 characters! That was a first!

p.s. I have a few videos which I will post later, along with some pictures, but right now, I have to go to bed. Oh, and seriously, let me say, after having a little time to visit with Chris and company, if something ever happened and they couldn't do music anymore, they could go out on the road with their schtick, and still make a living! I laughed so hard!

Hischild said...

Risa,
Thank you SO much for staying up and chronicling your adventure for us. Loved reading it. I, too, wish I coulda harmonized w/you. Well, another time.

Glad to hear of the great attendance. Remember when Chris was laying out a game plan here and he said his first tour was to play in small venues, do radio circuit interviews at each city and 2nd time around play at larger places etc.? Well, it's great to see his wisdom and forethought playing itself out now.

So glad you all had a great time. Hoping your return to regular life won't be too much of a bummer come tomorrow morning. :o)

Bully said...

Thanks for the Birthday Wishes, you all! :-D I had a lovely weekend. I am pretty sure that it was a great one not because of any gift given, but rather because of the time spent with the family. It was very peaceful. Hokey, but oh-so true!

I too like the concept of the Dr Seuss-speak, and thinking of the "glamorous" life of the musician...traveling in his very special seat-space. heh. Hey, traveling expenses can be high! Even renting a large van for a group of 10 can be pricey.

TobyMac featured his new (unreleased) single on his radio chat with Wally, and Spouse got very excited about that. I like seeing him get enthused about music again. In a way I credit Chris for this, and it's a blessing, this growing enthusiasm for music. Thanks Chris. :-)
I wonder how many other people you have gotten interested in christian music?
*raises hand*

Cathy Storms said...

Risa, thanks for the great update on the concerts. Man, I so wish I could of been there. Next year for sure...

risalea said...

TobyMac and Kirk Franklin and others were here this weekend for Luis Palau's Cityfest in NLR. Of course, missed it due to the trip, but heard it was fabulous.

Be sure and head over to Chris's website and listen to the interview posted recently. He says nice things about his blogger friends. : ) Shout-out to Rosalee for keeping us updated with all things Chris Sligh.

OK, I am semi-comatose, but must get off this computer and get moving to prepare for an evening workshop. Y'all take care!

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

Risa,
Thank you so much for your report on the concerts. I thought about you all throughout the weekend and would have been there if I had not decided to go on a "Chris Sligh Binge" in Florida! Hoping that there'll be a next time we all can get together. I'm so glad you all had an awesome weekend.

Chris- I wanted to mention something I noticed when I was reading the advice you gave to the idols-you kept referring to yourself as the "fat, not so good-looking guy". Quit calling yourself that because that's not what everyone else or I see when we look at you. Instead,I think of the person inside who is smart,funny,talented and has such a kind heart. When I was teaching at the school for the blind here in CO one of the students wrote in the school paper that a cool thing about being blind was that you got to know people for who they were, not because of the color of their skin or how they looked and dressed. Thanks again for the awesome concerts!

Amy

Cathy Storms said...

Amy~good advice we should all live by...

DJ in AL said...

Chris,

Very nice interview- ditto Rosalee what Risa said thanks so much for posting it. It is indeed a very nice interview and more importantly (LOL) a chat about his fans/friends on the Blog. What would we have done without this blog???

Amy true dat what you said to Chris, here's hoping he takes it to heart. Cause here's the thing, I don't stalk, fat, not-so-goodlooking singers. Pulleeaase!

Sending you love ya'll from a "back in the grind" DJ in AL!

DJ in AL said...

Chris,

Forgot to say, I can't hear you say the following phrase enough during interviews, "I couldn't turn down a free trip to Birmingham, AL, who could do that".

Seriously.

Cathy Storms said...

The interview was awesome. Thanks Rosalee for posting.

risalea said...

Pics up--
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=38465&id=1111018038&l=647b5e7b62

Anonymous said...

chris what are you going to do now

record the cd?

rosalee said...

Very nice photos, Risa!

Amy's Purple Poodles said...

DJ-You crack me up-"I don't stalk fat, not so good-looking singers" I laughed so hard when I read that!

I also thought the interview was great. I also liked the "drum lesson" video on Chris' web site. That made me laugh pretty good.

Amy

Cathy Storms said...

Amy~I got your letter. Thank you so much. I loved it.

risalea said...

First video up...Vessel...sorry, it's a little dark. As my dear sister would say, operator error. : )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1J7tv-jREVU

Kevin said...

We attended the Orlando show and had a great time. Very cool to read your thoughts on that specific show. Thank you for bringing this show to our town - you have impacted lives and made a difference. My kids are hooked on your album - great stuff!

Anonymous said...

Risalea,
while it may be dark the sound quality was perfect...what a beautiful song and acoustic performance!
Liz

Bully said...

Amy-- what you said about teaching at the blind school, and music and all that? Epic. I LOVED that.

"Vessel" is still one of my favorite Sligh songs. It is a very personal sort of feeling, yet, it's nice to know other people feel like that too.
*waves at Chris*

Carmen said...

Hey all!
Finally made it back to Florida (and a computer with internet) today! I ended up staying a few days longer and enjoyed Branson with my Mom and her friend. I ended up calling this trip the “Sligh Binge Weekend” trip as opposed to my 3 shows in Florida which I called the “Sligh in Overload Weekend.”

Risa gave a really great update about our trip. The shows were awesome. The Springfield show was my fifth on the Back To School Tour and even though the set was the same each night, each concert was uniquely special. I especially enjoyed the acoustic sets and listening to Chris and Aaron tell how they got into the music industry and sharing with the audience the meaning of their songs. I think my favorite show was the Broken Arrow show. The Orlando was great from a performers perspective, ( who wouldn’t love to have a place meant to hold 700 packed with over a 1,300 screaming fans) but I just don’t like a mosh pit getting in the way of my front seat viewing when it comes to Chris Sligh.

I had not listened much to Aaron prior to these concerts but I have become a super big fan of him. He has such a great personality and I was quite moved by his spirituality and faith. I ended up buying all of his CDs. If any of you have not had a chance to listen to him, please check him out. He is super!

Belated birthday greetings to Bully. Hope your day was extra special.

Like Risa I learned a few things on this trip.
1. I learned that I am not cut out to live the lifestyle of a rock star on the road! I still have not caught up on the lack of sleep from our road trip. Chris, I seriously do not know how you do it night after night!
2. I learned who not to text at 3 am for bail money! LOL
3. I am still amazed at how incredibly talented Mr. Sligh is and how funny he can be.
4. A Sligh concert is always better when you have a fellow blogger girl there to share it with.

Risa,
Thanks for an awesome time. You sure do know how to make a Sligh concert fun. The only way it could have been better is if the other blogger girls/guys had been there.

Amy I will give you a call this weekend after my work week is over and I have some time.

Hugs from a very tired Carmen in Florida!

risalea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy's Purple Poodles said...

Carmen-It's good to hear from you! I'm so glad you and Risa had an awesome time in Branson and Broken Arrow. I loved the comment about the Florida concert-totally agree with you there!

Risa-the pictures were awesome! Are you going to put them up on Photobucket so people can get copies. My camera is not nearly as nice as yours and my concert pictures did not come out really good. I tried to listen to Vessel, but my computer kept stopping and starting the video through the whole song. What I could hear sounded great.

Thanks for the kind comment Bully.

Amy

risalea said...

Amy, I hadn't planned on putting them on photobucket, but will try to do that when I get some time. I'll send you any that you like.

It is raining here like crazy. I went to Lindsay's house for a jewelry party, and coming back, the water was high in the streets in several spots, and the creek behind my house is up to the banks and rolling like I have never seen it. So, prayers would be appreciated that people are spared from flooding....it's rough out there. Well, I guess this is a great test for the roof over my dining room they had to come back and fix a few weeks ago. If it holds out through all this, they did it right this time!

I can't believe it, but I'm about to head to bed. Like my dear friend, I still haven't caught up from my lack of sleep. Being a rock star on the road late at night...definitely not in my future! : )

Chris, hope you had a great show tonight!

Oh, speaking of shows, it looks like Chris may be coming here on April 11th...don't book your flights yet...gotta' get all the paperwork signed and all that, but would love to have Blogger friends come on down!