Mother Nature Stays Away and Lets the Turnpike Troubadours Own the Night at Johnny’s Outback in Salado
Less than a week after the biggest show in the history of the Lone Star Music Series at Johnny's Outback in Salado was cancelled at the last-minute due to mother nature, the Turnpike Troubadours did what Pat Green wasn't able to do... clear the clouds.I went through an awful lot just to get there, so it wasn't too much of a surprise that 15 minutes after the music had stopped I was still wandering around backstage. In 18 years of radio and concerts I'd never stuck around long enough to see the trash cans being emptied. Then again, this was my first Turnpike Troubadours show.
I knew as soon as the schedule for the 2015 Lone Star Music Series was released that I'd have a problem with April 24th. My time spent as PA voice for the Baylor baseball team was something I'd committed to prior to the schedule being released so there was nothing I could do. Luckily for me, Buddy Logan from Radio Texas Live was willing to come in for the show.
With the task of doing the live broadcast and stage introductions out of the way, all I had left to worry about was whether or not I'd get there in time to see the show. The Baylor game started at 6:35, and we'd had a few 2-and-a-half hour games this season. That meant there was a chance we'd be done around 9 and I could be there shortly after they were scheduled to start at 9:30.
Finding out via text that the Troubadours were going on at 9 instead of 9:30 was crushing for my plans to get there, but the final nail in the coffin appeared to come with a bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder. That's an automatic 30-minute delay. The storm in Waco was crazy. A camera was blown from its perch during the storm. The wind blew the tarp off the field, flooding the infield. That was a blessing in disguise.
The flooded infield meant there was no more baseball to play that evening. That meant more work Saturday to finish the game, but it also meant I could start my journey to Salado. My question was whether mother nature was going to deliver another cruel blow to the waiting crowd in Salado. I got word that the show had at least started, but the radar I'd been staring at all night looked like it was bringing quite the line of thunderstorms to the I-35 corridor.
Once I put the truck in drive and started the drive south I didn't get another chance to check the radar on my phone. That's because I was fully involved in the storm showing up on the radar, anyway. I may have hit 70 MPH once or twice driving south, but overall it was a terrible drive. The rain was coming in Sunday. Lightning lit up the sky. I thought to myself, "No way in hell this show makes it all the way to the end". I was quite wrong, and I'm glad I was.
It was in Troy that the rain began to lighten up, and by Temple the rain had stopped completely. Little did I know it at the time, but the skies had parted and mother nature had given her stamp of approval to a great night of music.I made one more inquiry to a friend and found out that, yes, the show was indeed "on".
I'd even briefly put on my blinker to get off I-35 at my exit, but I kept on southbound, determined to catch the show I'd been looking forward to more than any other in the 3+ years we've been partnered with Johnny's Outback. Josh always knocks it out of the park in regards to talent, but he took a huge step forward with these two huge shows back-to-back in Pat Green & Turnpike Troubadours.
I heard "Gin, Smoke & Lies" coming from the stage as I pulled into the Johnny's Outback parking lot. I'd made it. It was 9:55. It had taken nearly an hour to get there, but it was more than worth it. The first stop I made was at the beer stand. From there I parked myself as close to the stage as I possibly could and enjoyed the rest of the show.
In my years of being able to hang out backstage at various shows, I've always kept my professional face on, even if I'm a bit star struck. Never before had I stopped an entire band on the way to their bus backstage just to take a picture. Never before... Friday night.
Don't forget that Johnny's is hosting their 2nd Annual Crawfish Boil this Saturday, May 2nd, with live music from Classie Ballou. Admission to the live music is free with the purchase of a plate of delicious crawfish and veggies. Saturday, May 9th the Bellamy Brothers return to Johnny's Outback. Get tickets online, at Johnny's Steaks & BBQ in Salado, or at Heights Lumber & Supply in Harker Heights.