As I read the reviews of SummerFest show on July 2 in Ketterling, Ohio, two phrases got stuck in my head: “The show must go on” and “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
RS has exemplified the first phrase many times – he’s often put on amazing shows even when sick – and it’s rare that he cancels a show (he had to cancel one last week on doctor’s orders and occasionally the weather doesn’t cooperate). But this past Saturday night, two members of his band and his sound guy didn’t make it to the show on time – due to flight delays and cancellations and plane malfunctions, totaling more than 30 hours in travel time – but did he let his fans down?
Noooo! He started out with an acoustic set – a taste of his Stripped Down tour, apparently – and then the bassist from one of the other bands playing that night – Night Ranger’s Jack Blades – came to help out. Since he didn’t know RS songs, they played songs they both knew – and rocked the place, by all accounts – then when the band showed up 30 minutes before the noise ordinance kicked in – they jammed through the hits and finished up by the curfew. (For more details about the show, check out this review and this great recap video).
This shows what a pro he is at this rock-star role. I wonder how many of today’s artists would be able to pull off doing an unexpected show like this.
Anyway, as far as the lemons go, I’m sure the travel delays and late luggage (photos from that night’s concert show RS wearing a “Rocket Science” T-shirt sold at the merchandise table) weren’t much fun for those involved, the willingness to improvise and go on with the show – and still give an amazing performance – won him some new fans, according to some of the Facebook posts I read.
(And that’s why the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” came to mind, in case that wasn’t clear.) Kind of like the origin of the song “Down,” off the new “Rocket Science” album – written with Jay DeMarcus of the Rascal Flatts after an ice storm caused planes to be grounded and so RS ended up catching a ride back to Nashville on DeMarcus’s tour bus and it was during this ride that they wrote the song.
Since everyone’s life has its share of lemons, I thought this past weekend’s show was a nice reminder that unexpected challenges can sometimes bring unexpected sweetness.