On Saturday, October 27th, the Jared Mahone band was asked to open for multi-platinum recording artists, O.A.R., at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Saxophone player, Jerry DePizzo, asked us if we would like to fill the opener spot, and of course, we jumped at the opportunity. This was our first arena show, so we didn’t really know what to expect. We knew we had to create a special show and really bring it for 45 minutes.
Since the horn section from O.A.R. played on our new album, we thought it only fitting to ask them to be part of our show. Our good friend and musician, Shawn Malone, helped us by writing horn charts for the four songs they played with us.
We arrived at Millet Hall, opened our trailer and a roadie crew unloaded all our gear. I’m pretty sure this was the first time anyone had every unloaded our gear for us. In addition to that, we were given a nice green room with a catered Chinese dinner.
I had just designed a whole new merch rollout for our merch table, including banners, shirts, stickers, buttons, and the new Mixtape album, so our setup looked stellar. My wife, Krista, Jared’s wife, Kara, Jeff’s wife, Erica, and Jared’s sister, Stephanie did a fantastic job of running our merch booth. We sold a record number of CDs and shirts that night. If anyone has a sweet new idea for our merch table, feel free to comment. We are always looking for new ideas.
The show was on a tight schedule, so if we didn’t hit the stage at exactly 8:30, we wouldn’t have been able to play our whole set. Thankfully, we hit the stage right at 8:30, and we were playing to an almost completely new audience. Thankfully, there were around 30 people there to see us, and they made us feel very comfortable playing in front of such a new audience. The crowd took a couple songs to get warmed up, but once we got to song three, they were getting into it. On the fourth song, we had the horns come out and the crowd went crazy. At that point, it was an energetic blur. We left the stage and went straight to the merch table to help sell merch.
All in all, it was a great experience. Thanks to Jerry DePizzo for the opportunity to open for them. Thanks also to our wives for putting up with not seeing us at night while we practiced and developed a new show.