4.11.18 Newsboys United Tour Blog (Numero Six)


Hey friends!!

This weekend was a bit of a unique and special one as Ben Bugna (our drummer), was off adventuring in China, Thailand, and Hawaii for 3 weeks. In his absence, Phil Joel’s 14-year old son, Eden Joel, stepped into the drummer role and absolutely ROCKED it!

It has been a long time dream of Phil’s to get to share the stage with his son, Eden, especially the opening slot for the Newsboys, so this past weekend and next are extra-special. People’s reactions to Eden KILLING the set were pretty spectacular. From where I was standing on stage, you could see people’s faces in the crowd just absolutely beaming with smiles. Even Michael Tait of the Newsboys videoed the set to document Eden’s skills. So fun!

To further help the tour run smoothly, our good friend, Mark Davenport, joined the Zealand crew as a drum-tech for Eden and all around good hang. We loved having Mark on this crazy traveling circus! Mark and Phil had a band in New Zealand when they were teenagers called, Drinkwater, and they actually opened for the Newsboys in New Zealand before Phil joined Newsboys in 94’. Mark was Drinkwater’s original drummer and manager, so his expertise and leadership helped this weekend feel really great! We’re hoping he’ll hang around?. The amount of history and mojo that was on the tour this past run was something special and certainly God ordained. The tour is certainly feeling “united” on every front!

We played three shows this weekend in Evansville, IN, Louisville, KY, and Poplar Bluff, MO. All three shows were sold out and were close enough to our home base in Nashville, so all of the shows had family, friends, management, and label reps, which always makes for a fun night and packed backstage of smiling friendly faces! On top of local family, Roger Angove(our bassist) brought out his cute little family (from Canada!) and also his parents, who came all the way from New Zealand to catch a show.  What a sweet weekend!

It’s a joy to get to travel and share our music with new people around the country and also have our loved ones close to us at the same time. The tour life can be really fun, specific, interesting, and not always glamorous, so letting our friends and families see our realities is a nice point of reference for them!

Thank you to everyone who came out this past weekend and for those of you who stopped by the merch table to buy some Zealand goodies. We love getting to meet you after the shows for a quick selfie and a little chat!!

We look forward to seeing some of you out there next weekend!


Ben Garrett