Batumi, Georgia

It rained all day.

It was raining when I woke up before breakfast. And it was raining when we went to sound check. I used to pray that the rain would stop. Now I just pray that it all “gets to happen.” Because when the show does get to happen and it’s raining, something magical happens that just cannot and will not happen when the weather is perfect and clear. People never forget that.

Last night was another unforgettable memory. Four Thousand People could have stayed home. But when they walked out of their front doors, it was rainin’ hard, and they decided to come. They stood there singin’ in the rain, just as though they were members in the band, and for sure as though they were members of the congregation… “Church.”

The band sensed all of this, and just wore it out. And the people screamed, and the band wore it out some more.

From the first note, when I sang, “It’s a little bit funny…” That’s the opening line of Elton’s “Your Song”, and it was as though I had written it and sung it first. It was raining sideways, and we continued non-stop through the first three songs. They even sang in Swahili: “Nitakungodea Milele,” then we finally took a deep breath and took the whole vibe in a different direction with Chris’s ballad from “Zone,” his new solo album.

Since the beginning, when they came through the gates, they were standing, front row with their chests pressed against the barrier railing, arms outstretched and leaning over, teenagers. No kidding. Lots of kids. Under 21.   Here we were in Batumi, Georgia, nowhere near Atlanta, about 6500 miles away, and there are some kids down front wigglin’ with a Chicago or New Orleans or Houston attitude… It’s universal.

We had a beautiful night, and felt the wonderful spirit of these people. I would go back tomorrow if they invited me.

Thank you, Batum!


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