Hawaii 5-0!!

It was the first night of Spring Harvest, an annual worship teaching event that attracts thousands of Christians from a broad spectrum of churches here in the UK.  I was there with my band to lead worship from the main stage for the week.  Playing at an event like this is always a pretty full-on affair, particularly the first day which involves sound-checking, acclimatising and pre-event team meetings.  As well as the usual mix of teaching, worship, video, dance and drama the plan this year was for a daily interview spot featuring contributors sat on bar stools with hand held mics bringing news and updates of what’s happening on the site. 

Needing 50 seconds or so to change the stage around someone in the team suggested the idea of some walk-on music played by the band.  50 second burst from the theme from Hawaii 5-0 seemed a good idea… at the time!  During the afternoon sound-check we rehearsed it several times.  50 seconds was all we needed and it seemed the perfect solution as a way of sidetracking people from viewing the placement of chairs and mics in position.  Some of the planning team even came over to watch, having ‘routined’ it the general agreement was that this was going to work.

Evening came.  The place was packed.  After a good time of worship it was notices then cue for the Hawaii 5-0 theme from the band.  It was then that we realised we had a problem!  No-one had told us that the lights were to be cut on stage.  We were in blackout - total darkness!  The band struck up, music stands toppled to the floor… a weak “splish..splash” intro on the drums from our drummer who had temporarily lost his sticks followed by an incoherent assortment of chords from a guitarist who could not see his music and a keyboard player who had just about managed to join us for the closing bar.  Between us we had produced 50 seconds of musical nonsense that bore no relation to the classic fanfare of the US serial theme.

Red-faced and embarrassed, we hid behind our musical instruments for the rest of the evening.   I’m glad to say the next morning the planning team were very kind to us at the feedback session, some even saw the funny side of it, and we did get it right on day 2, but the experience taught us something we won’t forget easily.  Lessons learned in the light must always be applied in the dark!