Tennessee has been home our entire lives. As a band, as people, Tennessee is a part of who we are. So when we stand on stage in Nashville and say, “It’s good to be home.” We sincerely mean it. Leading up to our Nashville show we had been away from home for about a month. Needless to say, we were all ready for September 27th for many different reasons. For some of us it was sleeping in our own bed finally, for others it was drinking a familiar cup of coffee, but we all were most excited to see our families and friends. Even if it was for a brief moment.
Something we didn’t expect perhaps, was the amazing night that awaited us at Mercy Lounge. Hometown shows are always fun. You get to see the people that have supported you all along the way as well as play to a crowd that most likely knows your music better than most. I suppose what we were not ready for was the amount of new faces singing our songs with us this time.
The couple days leading up to the show started out as most approaching Nashville shows do, wondering if anyone is going to come see you play yet again. That concern was dismantled somewhere between St. Louis and Cincinnati when our tour manager called the promoter to see how tickets were selling. I heard from the passenger seat in our van Thomas (our tour manager) repeat the number he thought he heard back to the person on the other end of the phone with excitement in his voice.
You must understand that hearing that your show is going to sell out is a new thing for us. The first time it happened to us was also on this tour in Los Angeles. It is not a normal thing for us quite yet. Needless to say, our excitement for this Nashville show was through the roof. Showtime came and like all great moments snuck by much too fast, but September 27th was one the most special nights for our band to date. I say this for many reasons beyond having a full room.
The things I remember from that night are the eyes that met mine while on stage. As I walked up on stage to begin our first song I saw two dear friends who had fought their way to the very front despite the lack of air conditioning and breathing room to make sure they got the full experience. A few rows back I made eye contact with my sister and her husband who have been some of our biggest fans and supporters since the beginning. Right behind them was my father who would only leave my mom’s side long enough to get a better view of me and my brother on stage. I watched as he walked back to where I met eyes with our number one fan… my mom. About halfway through the set I found my wife in the back by the merch table while I sang a song I wrote for her four years ago.
Near the end of the set, standing right in the middle of the room, I met eyes with our producers who worked on this record with us for over a year. I had this nostalgic moment thinking about how far these songs had come since the first time we played these tunes for them. Lastly, were the gazes that met mine on stage. Sometimes when I look into my bandmates’ eyes while playing a show I can’t help but think I am looking into the past, present, and future. I see the hours in a van we have spent together getting to this moment. I see the fights and the triumphs along the way. I see the present moment as a reminder to not miss what is happening right now and yet I see all the times that are to come. The victories and defeats. The good times and the bad. I see a group of friends that will be brothers until the bitter end.
With all that said we can’t thank Nashville enough for all the love they have shown us. It will without a doubt always have our hearts.