Tonight's show in Irvine is very special to me for several reasons….
This is a homecoming of sorts for me. Although Nashville has been my beloved home for the last 19 years, I grew up in Orange County and this part of the world will always have a secure spot in my heart. I was raised in Tustin, California and attended UC Irvine my freshman and sophomore year of college (before transferring to UCLA). During my freshman year I lived on campus at UC Irvine and during my sophomore year I had to "suffer" through living in a house on Balboa Island with 3 fellow Anteaters. In fact, every morning on my way to class my dear friend and roommate, Val, and I would stop at Dad's Donuts and get an old-fashioned donut and cup of coffee before heading to campus. Tough college years, huh?
My first real job was at Salvadore Deli on the UC Irvine campus. I wonder if it is still there? I also earned extra money by being a giftwrapper at Buffums department store at Fashion Island. Buffums is long gone but Fashion Island is better than ever. Unfortunately, no time to shop on this visit…
And the other part of the story that makes tonight so special is that my very first Amy Grant concert was 20 years ago at the Pacific Amphitheater in Irvine during the original Lead Me On tour. What an incredible "full circle" experience tonight is going to be for me.
I have several dear friends who will be in the audience tonight and we are all looking forward to celebrating this music and our memories together. If you see me tonight don't expect me to be acting like some seasoned professional artist manager. Tonight I'm putting on my FAN hat and going to dance and cheer like I did way back when….