Gear tetris is one of my favorite games to play. It is when you try to stuff musician’s gear into the back of a vehicle. This time we had eight people: Jessica, Jennie, Nia, Nikki, Micah, Frank, Chad, and I. The most difficult part about gear tetris is deciding what can not come. Usually the amps are the first to get kicked out, but I managed to get mine in there somehow. When we go on these weekend trips, we have to bring everyone’s change of clothes and their gear as well as Ocean’s Edge merchandise. It is always a tight fit.
We arrived at Calvary Chapel Melbourne in the early afternoon to load in. Let me just say, I had a pretty great view! It turned out they had a Matchless there for me to use. The last time I ran through a Matchless was at Not So Silent Night. The funny thing was, I had a difficult time getting the tone I wanted out of it. I never really bonded with it, I think it was largely due to the fact that it was aimed at my face and was ear piercing. Either way, it is always nice to run through high end amplifiers. Chad, the other electric guitarist, got to run through their Fender Twin Reverb.
Also joining the team was Shane Wright, a worship leader and Melbourne local. It was great to finally meet this guy. I have seen him around a lot and he writes some really sick worship music. He led a few of our songs such as “You Never Let Go” and also sang harmony with Jessica and Nia.
After we spent some time running through the set and making some last minute adjustments, we got down and went to the greenroom to pray for the service. We were playing a Saturday night service and two Sunday morning services as well as their college ministry service Sunday night, but I will get to that later.
One of the weirdest and most challenging parts about playing at Melbourne for me was being on live camera. There was a swinging arm camera mounted on the floor right in front of me and sometimes the camera would be not even three feet away from me. It would zoom in and next thing you know you were on a big screen in front of two thousand people and who knows how many online! It was a bit terrifying if I do say so myself. I have been on “live camera” before at Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg, but they were far away. They do close ups here!
One of my favorite things about playing at Melbourne was the congregation’s ready hearts to worship! They were singing, clapping, and lifting their hands to the Lord. It was great. You can always tell when the congregation is engaged and they definitely were. There was an excitement and joy in the air during all of the services. That is how it should always be!
After playing both Sunday services, we moved all of our gear across campus to their college ministry room. It was a trendy room with lots of lights and candles. It had a very intimate and welcoming feel. We had a completely different set planned for Fusion. I had to get my mind out of the first set which we had played three times and then think about the next set. We were also changing rooms and monitors. It was definitely a strange experience. I have never played two completely different worship sets in the same day. Adding to that, we had been at the church for almost 12 hours. We were all in a funk and some of us had even went to sleep on random couches. We had to pull ourselves together for our last set and get engaged in worship. It was tough, but it was also fun.
When Fusion ended, we packed up our gear and headed out for something to eat. We went to Panera, Moe’s, and Sonny’s, but they were all closed. After getting in and out of the car multiple times we finally rejoiced in finding an open Subway. We ate and then headed home. I give Jessica Busboom major props for driving up, leading worship for two days with a sore throat, and then driving back home. After eating cookies and listening to Jennie read stories, we arrived at Calvary Chapel FTL at about 1 AM. It was a long weekend to say the least! I am so glad that I got to have this experience.