A road trip with my son to see Shinedown & Skillet – PRICELESS!

How many times have you left town to go see a show a few hours away?  I’ve seen some pretty cool shows both out of town and out of state.  I remember going to see the first Monsters of Rock tour in 1988 with Metallica, Van Halen, Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin.  What makes me remember this trip?  For one, the line up was awesome. Second, I stayed out all day and burned like a lobster. OUCH!

I remember driving up to see Destiny’s Child in Milwaukee with my good friend and photographer Paul Natkin. I had brought along a few shirts for the band and crew.  Upon the arrival of the 3 ladies into the production office, the tour manager anounced to them that “the Shure guy was here and he brought some shirts for y’all.” Beyonce’ reached into the box, grabbed one, ripped off the plastic and put on a Shure T-Shirt over what she was wearing.  How cool was that?

I drove down to Atlanta with my good friend from Pearl Drums, Mike Farriss, to catch an amazing set with Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony, and Chad Smith, otherwise known as Chickenfoot.  Talk about a show that was well worth the drive.

Most recently, I was able to pick up my oldest son Clayton after school and travel to Memphis to see a show featuring two new Shure artists – Shinedown and Skillet.  Both Clayton and I liked these groups and were excited to be seeing their shows.  The other items on our schedule included meeting and video interviewing lead singer Brent Smith, Bass player Eric Bass, and monitor engineer Chris Lightcap.  After that, and interview with Skillet lead singer/bassist John Cooper.

Clayton and I had such a great time together on this trip.  I will never forget it.

I will also never forget the great people that I met with both of these groups.  They were very accommodating and it made for a fantastic evening.  If you get the chance to see these groups, you should make it a road trip yourself!  It will be worth your time and money well spent.

Below is the great interview we got with Brent, Eric, and Chris with Shinedown. I’ll be posting the interview with John from Skillet early next year. Enjoy this and then tell us about your favorite road trips.

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Ryan Smith

Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969.

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  • Reed Hawkins says:

    Spent a lot of time out on tour with skillet on the 2012 tour of winter jam . What a great bunch of people to have traveled up and down the road together for some 50 shows . I’ve have been friends with violin player Jonathan Chu since we met on that tour . What a great person to call a friend .

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