Daniel, Justin, and I ventured to the Hoover Dam today…. it was my first time seeing this amazing American landmark!
It’s a pretty incredible sight. The other impressive thing about the visit was the GIGANTIC bridge they’re building over the canyon for the new freeway. When it’s finished, it will span all the way across. This thing is HUGE. Pictures don’t do it justice. Driving across it will be a trip once it’s finished!
The water was clearly a LOT lower than usual when you looked out over Lake Mead… It’s so hard to imagine how much water this dam holds back…
This town is a bit of a quirky visit. Driving through the strip is a combination of awe and sadness for me. I’m astounded by the scale of some of the things that have been built here…. the immensity of it all… but saddened by the clear obsession with wealth. In this town, monuments are built to our greed. It’s not just wealth that’s worshipped…. but also those that are the most effective at accumulating it.
If nothing else, it’s an encouragement for me to do my best to live simply. It’s the extreme example of where the love of money above all else takes people. I don’t think it’s bad to have money, I just think the more you have, the more complicated your life becomes.
Tonight I had some pedal-board issues during the show….. something wasn’t working right, and I didn’t know what it was exactly. So, I spent most of the first song pulling pedals off my board, trying to find the offending pedal or cable. Not much luck. Eventually I just plugged in and out of my overdrive. No volume pedal. No tuner. Not a perfect world.
When the time came for the slower songs, I needed a delay… so I grabbed one and patched it in…
We’ve got the next few days off on the west coast… And I’m loving being in the northwest. We spent the night in Albany, Oregon, and this morning Adam showed me around time for the first time… I love Albany!
This is a park we stopped at to enjoy the scenery. I love how the town has so much character, how Adam has a story for basically every place in town, and how there’s an espresso hut on every corner!
I’ve definitely been enjoying the coffee aspect of the northwest. I went with a few of the Mercy Me guys to Powell’s books downtown Portland yesterday, and stayed long enough to have coffee twice! A cappucino and a cubano.
Afterwards, we went by stumptown coffee, and I HAD to take advantage of that opportunity… A latte sounded good. I spent the next couple hours trying to get my heart rate back down. Gosh.
I did pick up some sweet books though… Including some of my fab authors: C.S. Lewis, and Isaac Asimov! I’m starting the Asimov series: Robots/Empire/Foundation.
Yes!! - Taken at 11:48 AM on March 23, 2009 - iPhone upload by ShoZu
We’ve been on the road for about a week now on this Rock & Worship Roadshow, and I’m doing my best to take full advantage of this time…. I’ve been workin on a beard for the last week or so. Jess hates it when I do this, so the opportunity to grow a beard is one of the few upsides to being away from home for so long….
It takes a lot of getting used to. First off, I’m consiously NOT scratching my face all day. It takes a lot of willpower. It also takes alot of mind-over-matter fortitude in order to not shave it every day, because it takes a while to get past that awkward in-between stage… You know, where it’s more than scruff, but not quite a beard. Yeah, i’m in that phase still.
Garrett has been my beard cheerleader on this tour. Every morning he asks me… “How’s your beard stamina today?” He wants to make sure I don’t shave it off in a moment of weakness.
But let’s be honest, this isn’t a long-term thing for me. The moment I get home it’ll be gone. Wives are persuasive that way. You can fight for your RIGHTS if you want, but generally, they’ll get what they want. In fact, give it long enough, and you’ll find yourself wanting whatever it is they want…. It’s amazing how wives can do that. I don’t understand that skill.
Anyways… I’m on Beard Day 11. I’ll keep you posted.
Today we were in Seattle, Washington… It was great to be back in this city which feels so much like a second home to me. I spent 5 weeks here in 2005 when we were recording “Smile, It’s the End of the World”, and I got to explore the city quite a bit at that time.
Today Dan and I walked downtown with our friend Ryan, who had never seen the Pike’s Place Public Market before. It’s a pretty amazing place, with TONS of fresh fruits, fresh fish, delis, bakeries, and so much more. The very first starbucks is also there, so of course we stopped in.
All said and done, we probably walked a few miles… I absolutely love the Pacific NorthWest, and it would not surprise me if I found myself living here someday. We’ll see, I guess….
Tomorrow, Boise, Idaho!
J. - Taken at 12:27 AM on March 20, 2009 - iPhone upload by ShoZu
So winterjam came to a close tonight, and it sure went out big!
We played the Sommet Center in Nashville, TN, for one of the biggest shows of the tour. We started playing a brand new song, Live Life Loud, at the last few shows… It feels so great to have a new song in the set! During toby’s show there was pyro tonight…. Explosions, balls of fire, and columns of flame. I’ve been playing with him for Jesus Freak, so I got to be on stage during some of the pyrotechnics… It was hot! Jess snapped this photo…
Well we’re on our way to Montana now…. To start the Rock and Worship Roadshow….
We start in Billings on tuesday night!
- Taken at 11:07 PM on March 15, 2009 - iPhone upload by ShoZu
So we’re on the last weekend of Winterjam, and I’ll be honest…. I don’t feel like I’ve written about many of these shows. It’s been a great tour, with Tobymac, the Afters, Brandon Heath, New Song, Francesca Battestelli, Pure NRG, and Stephanie Smith. Wow, that seems like a lot now.
We’re leaving straight from the Nashville show to get to Billings, Montana. We’ve got 36 hours to get there. Ouch.
We’re starting the Rock and Worship Roadshow, with Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, 10th Avenue North, and Addison Road. It’s mostly on the west coast, which I’m very excited about! I’ll do my best to blog about it… daily if possible!
Alright….. I’ve put the EP up for free download…. Enjoy!
Click below, or go to my “Music” page to download…
*As a side note, I had originally planned to put a remix of “Summertime” on this EP. You may notice it’s not there. The reason for this is…. well, to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t very good. Haha…. No but seriously. Terrible.
Last night we played in Tupelo, MS. I had been struggling with a bad chest cold, and my voice had been pretty much gone for a few days… Somehow I had managed to limp through each show and still sing most of my parts, but it sure didn’t feel good.
In any case, I started to feel a bit better yesterday, and I actually had a great time at the show! My voice returned spontaneously halfway through the set, and that gave me reason to smile… A few of our friends were at the show, and were taking pictures.
During TobyMac’s set, I was given yet another reason to smile…. I was told that there was a certain guitar that needed smashing (note: the guitar was already broken at the neck). I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of smashing a guitar before…. so I was pretty excited. Again, our friend Jesi captured the moment.
This is all that was left when I was through…
It was a great night! Thanks to all the folks that came out to Tupelo… We’ll be back in your area on April 4th in Biloxi, with Mercy Me and Jeremy Camp… Hope to see you then!
My family came to visit me while we were in Rochester, NY, this weekend! It was awesome to spend some time with my parents, brother, and brother-in-law…. My brother, Michael, is an incredible photographer, and he took some pictures of the show… Here are the highlights…
If you live in the Ontario area, and would like him to shoot anything for you (weddings, shows, bar mitzfahs, anything!) check out his stuff at www.michaelsteingard.com.
I’ve been looking for an amp company to work with for quite some time now. I’ve been working with Paul Reed Smith guitars for a year or two, and I’ve loved having that kind of a relationship with a guitar company. It’s so awesome to be able to pick up the phone or write an email when I have a question or an idea. The folks at PRS are amazing… I can’t say enough good things about them… and I’ve wanted to develop a similar relationship with an amp company…. I believe now the search is over.
Bad Cat Amps are made in southern California… Their amps are all hand-wired, and made with the highest quality parts available. This amp is incredible. My mind is blown!