One incredible phone call inviting us to perform at Seminole Hard Rock's Acoustic Music Festival lead to weeks of preparations and rehearsals. None of which prepared me for one of my favorite experiences I've had on a stage throughout my 7 years of performing.
We appeared on the stage for set-up with an anticipatory crowd, full of new and familiar faces, and I felt my heart start to race. PJ then walked up to me on stage telling me to calm down. I refused to, instead jumping up and down and preparing myself to deliver a lively performance.
I remember when I spoke into the microphone, my voice sounded different from normal; higher, less monotonous, more spunky. I glanced left at Cory and then right at PJ and Taylor with an electrified look on my face and waited impatiently for the sound booth to give us our cue.
Despite our acoustic instruments, I played like it was an electric set at Wembley Stadium! I started singing Come Together by the Beatles using this different voice to my advantage. The crowd roared with applause after the song and I roared along with them away from the mic.
We continued with our originals which felt just as energetic as the first song. I even played guitar solos on the acoustic guitar, something I had never done live before. Song after song, the crowd went wild, fueling me to play more ferociously. I yelled for the crowd to sing along several times, and to my surprise and delight, I heard the crowd singing. I remember catching Taylor's eyes as we shared the same thought, "Is this really happening?"
This show was, for sure, one of my favorite moments in my performance history. The show ended and my legs felt like jello. I immediately pleaded for a chair and a drink. However, for some reason I felt like I could play for another hour or two.
Between the supportive audience, the other incredible performances that night, and the vibrant, pulsing energy that exists, by nature, at The Hard Rock Cafe, I can easily say that the night of June 26th was one of the best moments in my life! Maybe because we were treated like royalty, or maybe because we made so many new friends. I just know, that I am honored and humbled to share that stage with icons; past, present and future!