I had the privilege of photographing this handsome fella for an EP he just released a few days ago! Take a look then go take a listen!
It is my goal to make at least one show every tour. This time around, the closest Citizen Way got to me was Brunswick, OH… a whole 7.5 hours away.
I would like to share a few fun facts about my trip:
- I traveled with my Mom and we had fun!
- I was 36 weeks pregnant – that’s 9 months folks. My mom was petrified the whole time that I was going to go into labor, particularly when we were at a standstill in Chicago traffic.
- We hit rush hour on the way there (adding at least an hour to the trip).
- We almost ran out of gas about an hour out from my destination. Turns out, Amherst, OH is not the place to fill up because it seems to me they have made getting gas a sort of treasure hunt, hiding their gas stations from direct paths and plain sight.
- We went 30 minutes out of my way when a construction zone blocked my exit. I turned into Little Miss Crazy Driver for about 5 minutes because that folly maxed out my patience quota for the day.
- On the way home we sat in some more Chicago rush hour for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
- We did all of this in about 36 hours. Nine hours there (thanks Chicago traffic and unnecessary detours), 17 hours in Brunswick (9 of those asleep), and 10 hours home (thanks Chicago traffic).
All in all, an exhausting trip right? But it was so worth it! Pregnancy hormones have made me a bigger sap than I ever could have imagined myself being and as I gazed at my husband on that stage the well broke and proud tears trickled down my face. My one method of saving face was hiding behind my camera. It was so fun seeing Joshua play saxophone for Mercy Me too!
Also, truth is, I laughed so hard with my mom in that 2 hours and 20 minutes of Chicago traffic that I almost wet myself – come on guys, I was 9 months pregnant, give a girl a break!
Josh, my mom, and I devoted the whole week to Nashville exploits. The first couple of days we all paraded aroud together but before long Josh got busy with various K-LOVE Fan Awards related activities so my mom and I continued the fun just the two of us (for the full week of fun in photos and story CLICK HERE).
Time flew and suddenly we were standing outside the Ryman Auditorium. The guys were immediately sent down the red carpet. Though wives are welcome to walk down it was recommended we let the guys fly solo to better enhance the two sets of brothers dynamic. So Alison and I skirted up the sidelines and waited for them at the end. They guys were naturals – easy talkers with ready smiles. I was a grinning fool at the back just gushing over with pride for my hardworking and completely adorable husband. I watched as they were dragged through all the interview lines; they never missed a beat even though microphones were continuously shoved in their faces and cameras and lights constantly lingered overhead (Josh was featured on a video, CLICK HERE to see it).
I finally got to lace fingers with my hubs again and we slowly filed inside to find our seats. We, and all the artists and their peeps, were seated on the main floor of the auditorium while all the fans packed the balcony seats – there were 1,200 seats filled by the artists, label representatives, managers, and the artists various family members and the remaining 1,800 seats were filled by all the fans.
The festivities started with a hoppin’ performance put on by Toby Mac and then the Duck Dynasty stars took the stage as our emcee’s for the evening. The ceremony was a sort of rotation going from Ducky Dynasty, to award presenters, to interviews, to videos, to live performances and on.
Citizen Way‘s performance slot was near the beginning of the evening. I have never been so proud in my whole life as when I watched my starry-eyed husband take the stage. There was a moment in the show when he backed away from his microphone just to listen as the whole audience sang along – I can’t imagine how incredible it would be to not only see that load of fans but also his favorite artists singing along to their song.
Other moments in the ceremony that stand out are when For King and Country had a party on stage as they ran around crashing cymbals and jumping off pianos, when Natalie Grant brought Kari Jobe on stage with her and rocked our hearts out in worship, when K-LOVE presented an award to the brother of a crippled little girl for loving on his sister with such devotion (CLICK HERE for a highlight about that), and when they closed the night by bringing all the artists on stage to lead us in worship.
After all four hours of visual and emotional stimulation my belly was so empty my strapless dress threatened to fall down, my feet so sore I couldn’t feel my toes, and I was simply ready to crumple up and sleep but the night wasn’t over, we still had an after party to attend to. The after party was a mingling event for the artists where there was food and live jazz music. We made it long enough to satiate our hunger and meet a few more of Josh’s musician friends but then we snuck out and made for our sheets.
What was one of the proudest moments in your life?
Last week Citizen Way played for Christ Community Church‘s senior graduation party. All the students came clad in fancy gowns escorted by various family members. They spent an hour enjoying hors d’oeuvres and jazz music. Then they were ushered into this auditorium for a graduation speech and the Citizen Way concert.
Cup O’ Joy, Green Bay, WI
Citizen Way held their second CD release party at Cup O’ Joy in Green Bay, Wisconsin last week. Their first one was held at Judson University the day of the release and their third one, for the Chicagoland area, will be held tomorrow at Harvest Bible Chapel in Naperville. If you don’t have the album yet you need to buy it (CLICK HERE if you’re on the hunt).
It’s been a whirlwind of a year for these guys as they rose in popularity insanely fast. They just got of a national tour with Big Daddy Weave, Chris August, and MIKESCHAIR. For the summer they get to spend a little more time at home with “one offs” beckoning them out for a show here and a festival there.
Anyway, back to last week, Citizen Way piled in their new van and made out for Green Bay. The venue piled over with people! This is was the first show they performed their whole album and boy did they knock it out of the park! Such a cool venue with such sweet and loving people.