Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: Judah First Road Review, March 2nd 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Judah First Road Review, March 2nd 2007

This is a review I posted on the Judah First boards from a performance several weeks ago.

I drove into Nashville to pick up Spencer and Barry and head toward Bealeton, VA. To pick up who, you ask?

As a reminder, Spencer is a young bass player who performed with JF during our “Epic Battle” in Springfield, TN. The band just loves this guy and he was heading out on the road with us for the first time. Barry French is a Nashville based musician who was gearing up for his first ever performance with JF behind the drum kit. As most of you know, Chris “The Dr.” Rosenstone is not as available to perform with JF as he once was. If you are a Dr. fan out there, don’t fear, Chris will still be playing with JF when he can! Anyway, Barry had been working diligently on the JF tunes for several weeks and seemed confident that he was ready for the heavy metal thunder. A JF show is not the easiest gig to play, both in terms of musicianship and energy. JA and I had talked that this would be the first time we would be playing with two new musicians at once other than Keyth and Chris. We were not exactly nervous, but anxious to see what would happen.

As I pulled into Spencer’s driveway to pick him up, his parents were nice enough to offer their perfect 5x8 trailer for the weekend. I hooked up the trailer and noticed that the lighting harness needed an adapter which I did not have. It just wouldn’t be a JF weekend without some kind of trailer drama, but to my pleasant surprise his parents were more than willing to help out. Spencer’s dad basically told me not to worry that he would take care of it, and before I knew it, he was in his truck heading out to find the right adapter, leaving me to hang out in their beautiful home chatting with Spencer and his mom. This was meaningful to me, check out Acts 2:44-47 to see why this was such a great Christian witness. Spence’s dad comes back in no time, hooks up the adapter perfectly and just like that, we are off to The Shed to meet Barry.

Once we loaded everything up perfectly at The Shed, including SKULL FOGGER, we set out to Kingsport, TN. It just felt great to be back on the road in Judah One. The trip was pretty simple. Spencer was curled up in a ball most of the way and Barry and I talked about his former experiences in music. We all three had an interesting conversation about WCW Monday Nitro. Anyway, we arrive at EFWC and meet up with JA and Keyth, who was meeting us to run through the tunes as he would be playing the next weekend with the band. It was great to see them both and after some good hugs and loading in, we ran through the tunes while Barry was setting up his drum kit in 5 minutes flat. After taking Keyth home and picking up a quick bite of Taco Bell, JA and I headed back to the church and went to sleep in the greatest church basement ever. I’m talking zero light in this place man, it is awesome. JA and I kind of started one of our laughing episodes right before bed time, basically because we said, “I’m so happy” and “TWANG!” We woke up pretty early actually the next morning and ran through most of the songs as an entire band. This was the first time Barry had played with the entire group so it was important to get through as many as possible before getting on the road. He was doing great and so we loaded up and got out of there.

The drive to our Virginia shows is always one of my favorites. Probably because we pass two, count ‘em, two Aunt Sarah’s Pancake Houses, home of the greatest chicken livers on the planet. No time for Aunt Sarah’s though, we were running a bit late. As we pull onto our last main highway before reaching Bealeton, James Aaron decides that he needs a steamer. IT’S A STEAMER! So, we pull into the all time greatest gas station, complete with your deli, bakery, wine steward, and coffee house. This place was nuts. After studying the menu intently, JA ordered what he later described as the “greatest steamer I have ever drank.”

Finally, 45 minutes later, after noticing that Pizza Bella was out of business, we pull into the church parking lot where Aroma Rhythm is held. As we get out of the van, kids are running up to us giving us high fives and telling us how pumped they are that JF is performing. It was a warm welcome to be sure! Kathy met us and, as usual, was very kind and gracious. We loaded in and got set up. After a quick sound check, we headed into the “dressing room” to prepare and pray for the show.

Since this was Barry’s first outing with the band behind the drum set, we did not have our normal intro music. So, JA came up with a cool idea to begin the show (which you can actually see on the Aroma Rhythm video, search for Judah First Aroma at You Tube or just visit our MySpace Page). Once we started playing, it was madness as usual. These cool cats were headbanging with us the entire night. Even the adults, although they stayed their distance in the back, seem to be having a blast. But what set the night apart from all others was the “crazy” man EVAN. This is one of the most hardcore JF fans on the planet my friends. I am not kidding when I say that he did not see a second of the show because he was headbanging so hard the entire time. It was a site to behold. At the end of our set, Evan steps on stage and says he wants to present the band with something. JA and I nearly started crying when Evan produced a 5 foot wide poster of the band that he had created with his own hands! (see picture below). It was the coolest thing a fan has ever done for us, and I still have the poster to remember how awesome this night was.

As far as the performance itself, it was great. Barry did a terrific job behind the kit. A fan told him that he did “the Dr. justice.” Spencer was a madman as usual, and it is just an honor to perform with a frontman like JA.

The night was young, however, as we realized that we were going to be staying with Sean again! This guy is the nicest guy in the world, and really encouraged JF by saying some great things about the band and the ministry. We all crashed at his and his lovely wife’s house, eating a ton of potato skins and chips. He told us some classic “Parris Island” stories that had us remembering the good ‘ol days of playing down there (when Greg nearly ended it.) What are those flagpoles for?

All I can say is thanks to everyone who made this trip possible. It was another JF night to remember.


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