June 30, 2007

Keith Urban

We're yet to actually meet Keith... There's been no chance run-in at Starbucks or standing in line together at Bread & Company. And you can't say we haven't tried, our eyes have been peeled at all times.

So, in light of that, I think it's fair to say last friday night at the FedEx Forum in Memphis is probably as close as we're ever going to get!

Nathan, Kara, Daniel and I made the trip to Memphis for what Kara had described as one of the best concerts she'd seen (previous viewing = Las Vegas). I was a little uncertain of where the bar had been set, as Michael Bolton also goes down as a favorite... But hey, who doesn't love a bit of double denim and a mullet??

Kara was spot-on with Keith - it was an absolutely KILLER show, hit after hit, with some amazing session players supporting him. Keith could've played all night and we would've kept listening and watching. This coming from a girl previously indifferent to Country Music.

Pics c/o our phones:

Acoustic Set in the Round

Nath and I, thanks to Kara's good work, scored tickets right next to the run-way that headed out into the floor-seat audience. So on many occasions, the distance from us to Keith was a mere few feet. We have never before been so close at an arena concert and it was pretty cool to watch him play directly in front of us! I even got my hand slapped a few times by Mr Urban as he ran by (I admit, it's totally corny and "fan-like" but I got suckered into the moment!).

By the end of the evening Nath and I retreated into survival mode as the ladies around us got whipped-up into quite a frenzy over Keith - it really was a little frightening. Keith even looked a little worried when a butt-pinch was followed by one of the girls jumping onto the runway without a hint of security to stop her!

(no... that wasn't me...)

He played for over 2 hours, giving Tennessee one of the best shows I think we've ever seen. He rocked. We watched on in amazement. Everyone was happy.

C & Nt.

June 24, 2007

A Few Extra Thoughts...

After writing the last blog on CA we realised we haven't shared much of what our ministry here in the States has been like. We tend to post things that show most of our down-time. But we wondered if it might help to also share how we're actually doing.

I think it's fair to say we've never felt so weary! Australian touring never took us too far away, and was never for very long. So to have not been home for more than 2 nights at a time over 2 months has been a new experience for us. Along with that, we never realised how much we'd miss setting our own routine and agenda for a day. We have existed on someone else's plans for eating, sleeping, waking, working and getting coffee.

This has meant any hours we do get to ourselves we cram in as many individual choices as possible (can make for some interesting husband/wife moments!).

The good part has been the chance to meet so many wonderful Christian communities and see the varied and unique ways in which God is using His people and inspiring change. We heard a guy speak last Sunday night in San Diego on the moral and culture pressures facing young Americans. He was so bold in his assessment of the American Church, the country's moral deterioration and the desperate, urgent need for Christians to be more than just filling pews for the latest "church" experience.

It was exciting to hear an American's perspective on the church here, as we seek to better understand it for ourselves. We drove away spurred-on in our ministry to help encourage and strengthen young believers, which was especially good in a time of tiredness. God is so faithful in caring for His people.

Thanks for reading... Nt & C.

June 17, 2007

California Dreaming

We've been here for just over a week, cramming in 8 gigs over 9 days. This means lots of driving-time around the southern parts of CA, lots of meeting new people & lots of playing for Nath. Although it was busy, there's just something great about California in the summertime...

A new-found friend who played bass for several of Nath's gigs, Tyler, lives downtown and felt it was his responsibility to share his love of Hollywood with us. He made a hand-drawn map for us, with his favorite food-stops, music stores and shops to check out. So on monday we sampled the donuts at the farmers markets, pottered around the Melrose Ave shops, stopped-in to tried THE yummiest frozen yoghurt @ Pinkberry, went via a Vintage guitar store and ended up at the giant record store on Sunset Strip, Amoeba. It goes down as one of our favorite days...

Here's a few snap shots (didn't take the camera around much this day.)

Amoeba Record Store

[And here's the map! It's highly likely it will end up laminated, so we can use it again next time. Sad but true...]

Since we spent a lot of time working, there's not loads to tell you outside of normal gig stuff. Nath was a trooper, playing a lot in a short amount of time and we were thankful to God for the support and excitement of the churches we visited with.

We did take a sneaky seashore holiday for 1 night down to Newport beach, giving ourselves some quiet time by the pool and a chance to see the ocean after months of being landlocked! It was timely. Newport is a popular tourist spot, mainly due to a little island linked by Ferry called Balboa. This is where white beaches stretch out for miles, everyone gets around on bicycles and Baywatch stereotypes are confirmed! It is a gorgeous spot, wish we could've stayed longer.

Balboa Island

Ferry Crossing


Beach - Baywatch style!

Balboa Pier

To balance this out with the other parts of CA that we saw, here are just a few pics from the desert areas we crossed through on the way to gigs - cities emerged like mirages, all leafy and green and populated.

We are glad to be heading home now, after almost 2 months straight on the road. We have one short side-trip to North Carolina at the end of this month, then it's time to sit still in TN for a bit! If you think of it, please pray we can have a good break and make the most of the time to reconnect with Nashville (especially our church).

Love C & Nt.