Reincarnated As A Mother

Monday, September 16, 2013

Rockin' and Rollin' With the Flow...

I'm certain I won't be able to do yesterday - Baldapalooza day - justice.
So many incredible moments and emotions... but I'll give it the ol' college try.
The stay started early.
I picked up The Voice artists Amy Whitcomb and Ryan Innes early
for their appearance on our local NBC affil.
The station didn't have the proper equipment to have them play live
(hey, we're not in LA and it was a Saturday)...
so we winged that and they ended up doing a great interview.
We all went out for a well deserved breakfast.
That's Levi Maliwauki on the right.  He came with us and brought
his weighted keyboard-- the one we didn't end up using.
Baldapalooza started around four with several great acts.
About the time one of our bigger acts-- recently voted Idaho's Best Band--
Waking Jordan took the stage (and they were phenomenal)... the skies
started looking pretty ominous to the east.
It was during their last song (my kid's favorite) that things got pretty dicey.
Our on site police officers and city officials asked us to have everyone get to shelter or their cars for safety--
there was lighting just a little too close.
Oh, and did I mention that our darling, local weather anchor who was to serve as our emcee'
showed up at the event sicker than a dog (vomiting).
She was sent home and I took over.
I just never thought my announcing would include clearing the place out.
I gave everyone the option of preferably getting to their cars
or, if needed, squeezing into our VIP pavilion.
The city officials thought the storm would last 15 to 20... unfortunately, it was an hour
before we got back up again.
But... and this is a big but.... once the lightning, winds and heavy rain turned into a drizzle,
our fabulous, down-to-earth musicians offered to leave their cushy RVs and walk over
in the rain to the pavilion to see if they couldn't entertain those who had stayed.

With no mics and not the best acoustics, these guys belted it out.
And can I tell you-- it was pure magic.
Everyone who was there really got a treat... an intimate, spontaneous
full of heart fun time!
Here's the Midas Whale guys (who are hilarious) bookending Amy Whitcomb and Ryan Innes.
When the rain finally cleared up, we were given some more bad news--
but the kind you can make lemonade out of.
The expensive stage we paid so much to rent was water logged, well
some of the equipment was anyway-- enough that it wasn't safe to plug back in for a while.
So our team of artists and techs went to work and figured out how to make do and make a stage
over in the wings of the VIP pavilion.
Everyone -- who was left -- just smashed in tight and gathered around.
And really, for the size of crowd we had-- it was much better than being back on the big, raised stage.
Amy Whitcomb dazzled...
 As did JRyan.
He's the 14 year old from San Antonio who will be on this season's X Factor.
Man this kid can sing and charm.
He's like a mini version of Bruno Mars.
(You should've seen the gaggle of girls following him around all evening-- including
Holland and Greer).
We had some particularly sweet moments.
The little boy in the wheel chair is 11 year old Gage Driskoll.
He has terminal brain cancer (thousands of tumors are up his spine and in his brain).
He's been given 2 to 3 months to live.
We had Fictionist (so adore these guys) pull him up on our make-shift stage) introduce
him and tell why he is such a brave hero.
And then they dedicated their next song to him.
I'm sure I was joined by many others in tears.
You have to know our emcee, Bri Eggers showed up after the storm
and wanted to do her part even though she wasn't feeling great.
Here she is with 12 year old Brenna.
We had Brenna and another boy, Zach take a minute to tell their
story of fighting cancer and then help introduce a main act.
They were wonderful and a perfect reminder as to what the evening was all about. 
It was our family's turn to introduce the main act, Ryan Innes.
We decided Kean needed to be there and be a part of the evening he inspired.
My parents  brought him down (and then whisked him away for bed)...
(Thanks to Cindy Maliwauki and my friend Fabiana who was our professional photographer
 for the evening and took several of these pictures).
Okay, I was a total dork and got a bit emotional but I kept it short and got through it.
I also introduced our main team of founders who were crazy enough to attempt such a huge event.
 But you know, it was worth every stressful second.
All of the artists amazed.
Ryan Innes - I think converted everyone there to his gospel of music.
He has a voice like you can't believe.
I keep thinking, how blessed and fortunate we were to have this caliber of artists
and this caliber of humans.  There were no egos-- they just wanted to help us
make the event successful and memorable.
For the final number, Ryan got personal and told how his own nephew was recently
diagnosed with cancer.
He then asked the audience to send up to the heavens-- prayers, wishes or thoughts
for anyone fighting cancer.
(He said something along those lines-- I was busy getting our cancer kids ready).
Amy Whitcomb, Midas Whale, Fictionist and JRyan all joined Ryan Innes on stage
to sing Rufus Wainwright's cover of Hallelujah (remember from Shrek?).
While they were singing... we had cancer survivors and some of their families
around the audience light those huge three foot paper lanterns and then release them into the sky.
It was incredibly touching and beautiful.
That dang storm may have scared away a lot of attendees... but it ended up being perfect.  Just perfect.


Terra Lorien said...

What an incredible event! Love that "human spirit" to keep going despite the obstacles (kind of like fighting cancer). Thank you for sharing your journey!