So 2 weeks after the Kotzen show we get the call to support one of my all time favorites Guitar Players, Rik Emmett. I had been a big Triumph fan and developed a Love for Classical and 12 string Guitar Thanks to Rik Emmett as he plays them on many Triumph songs. As I have said in many interviews and posts the fact I get to meet and support almost all of my heroes growing up is just Amazing and it for certain is Dreams coming true.
We usually get calls pretty last minute but the guys and I are committed to making these shows happen, as getting regular National supports is essential to my and their careers. Anyway I pack up my gear at home and the gig is happening the day my kids get out of school for Summer so the party was on lol. We head to the Arcada and after Ana sets up the Merch Table and I organize the Dressing rooms backstage ( This time no melt downs lol and Rik and his band were there.
So, my kids take off to Rocket Fizz, a really cool Old Tyme Candy and Soda pop store up the street from the Venue. Plus there is a Toy shop along the way.
I start setting up my gear and think about how much I love playing here. Looking out at the empty venue you see all the ornate architecture and the arched ceiling and carved wooden art period pieces. You watch the crew setting up, and the vendors dropping off products and you can start to feel the wave. I have spent my life playing venues like this in the U S and around the world and while they are all different you always get that electricity anticipation. The guys arrive and start setting up and there is always funny banter. My guys are Pros and I am so fortunate to have them. Soundcheck goes great so we head to the dressing rooms. Rik and his guys have gone back to their hotel so we take over the backstage and get some food and drinks, I try to keep tabs on my kids as they assault downtown St. Charles LOL and prep for the show.
The Staff at the Arcada are simply Amazing. Starting with Ron Onesti on down, Its really the only venue I feel safe to have my kids run wild as the staff knows them and treats them like Family. As an Artist whose children are of the utmost importance to me I get the chance to share my experiences with them and they have met some great folks.
Call time comes so we head up to the stage and feel the energy begin to build. I cross the stage to get my guitar and see the crowd and its pretty packed about 3/4 full ( about 650 people I think) and this always makes you feel good. We bust into our first tune and we are off to the races, crowd is getting into it as are we.
We finish up and get a great response and thanks to Todd Mills for packing my gear I straight head up to the Merch table where a line is already forming. I sign autographs and CD's T shirts etc take pictures and chat with the Fans for about an hour. I had folks who had taken picture with em in the past bring those pictures and have me sign them, I love that! Great Fans and support is our lifeline.
Roughly 2 hours after we finish I am packing my car and wrapping up the Merch sales to get the kids home and showered and in bed at a decent hour. Great Great night.