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We drove up in the early afternoon, revelling in the beauty of the lake and mountain setting of the YMCA. A lot changed in my life from age 15 to 45, but Estes looked pretty much the way it had before.
As we were wandering around the grounds, I heard the familiar strains of Beautiful Love, and told Joanna, "Either The Afters are rehearsing over there, or someone has a great stereo system cranked up. Let's go check it out."
Sure enough, they were rehearsing, and after a bit of a wait, we got to chat with Josh, Brad and Matt when they came through the merch area. Marc slipped out a different exit, so we missed him.
We then took in an excellent artist seminar with Geoff Moore, long-time artist, and co-writing buddy of Steven Curtis Chapman, where we saw our twins' music teacher. After meeting Geoff, we went to get a bite to eat, where we ran into Marc--the drummer for The Afters--and enjoyed a nice visit with him. While in the dining area, we also ran across Danny Oertli and Dave Beegle, who was going to be playing guitar with Danny that night. After an enjoyable visit with them, we felt like we'd had a great day and the concert would be a great bonus to cap off the day.
We got to the venue early, bypassing some long lines thanks to my media credential, and got great seats. Danny and Dave opened up, getting a roar from the crowd with their two-guitar rockin' rendition of Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. Kim Hill rocked the house with her band, and then The Isaacs blew everyone away with their combination of bluegrass, gospel, folk and country, getting a standing ovation for their incredible musicianship. Geoff Moore was the host for the night, and gave everyone a treat by bringing out his buddy Steven Curtis to join him for part of his set. The Afters put on a great show, and then Bebo Norman came out to close the night. Although we enjoyed Bebo, we snuck out for part of his set and crashed the artist green room (it was too dark for the security guard to see that we didn't have the right color badges). Although it was rather packed, we got to chat with Dave & Sandy Beegle, GMA president John Styll, The Isaacs and The Afters. We headed home feeling like we'd had a wonderful date day in the mountains, and hope to do it again next year.