I had an interesting gig with my good friend Tom Nedreberg in the live band Highway 6 on Saturday April 10, 2010. We played for the UEA (Utah Education Association) Political Action Committee Capitol Club Event. It was the first time I’ve ever played a show that had a political purpose. It was also the first time I’ve ever followed a speech by the Governor of Utah.
Highway 6 was the entertainment for the evening and we were asked to play 6 songs on acoustic guitars. The members of Highway 6 that played were myself and Tom Nedreberg on acoustic guitars and Disa Nedreberg making her debut singing lead vocals. We practiced and were ready for the gig with a tight set of songs.
The event was held at Market Street Grill in the Cottonwood Heights area of Salt Lake City. We knew that Governor Gary Herbert would be speaking but we weren’t sure if we would be on first or the Governor would speak first. As it turned out, the Governor spoke first. It was a really interesting thing to watch the buzz and activity surrounding the State’s top politician as he entered the room. As luck would have it, the band sat at the table right next to the Governor while he made his speech. I got the distinction of sitting 3 feet to the left of the Governor. I’m telling you, I was aware of how I was sitting during the entire speech.
I was dressed in black stage clothes with a pullover high-neck shirt instead of the shirt and tie that everyone else was wearing. I felt really conspicuous sitting at the very front right by the Governor and tried not to do anything stupid. The Governor gave a good speech centered around Utah Education and the associated budget and he was well received by the attendees. After the Governor finished his speech, it was Highway 6’s turn to take the stage.
We got up and played exceptionally well. I was a lot more comfortable performing than I was sitting by the Governor’s side. It was the first time that Disa Nedreberg had ever sung lead vocals at a gig with Highway 6 and she did a great job. The audience was very liberal with their applause and we got some great compliments at the end of the show. The 6 songs that we played seemed to be over as quickly as they started.
I’m not used to doing so little work at a gig but it was a nice change. We only had to haul in a couple acoustic guitars and a couple microphones so that was nice. We also got a free dinner and $100 apiece for our efforts. All in all, it was a very fun gig. It will go down as the night the Governor of Utah opened for Highway 6! -Matt-