By the end of 2011, Collision was in good form. Mark still wished for a female vocalist/rhythm guitarist, but with Jonathan on keyboards and vocals they were able to do quite a bit. Kyle on guitar and Nick on drums filled out the sound nicely, and more opportunities arose.
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The first of these was an evening outdoor event at Dutch Neck Village May 25th. Evan Young dropped in to run sound, but he had been out of touch with the band and the new equipment for over a year. Everyone agreed that a sound technician was needed; no one was certain how to find someone able to commit to the position. But again, the Lord did something unexpected.
That something was peculiar because it had its roots in a seemingly inconsequential meeting some time prior. Early in 2011 (before Jonathan joined the band) Mark was at a local department store, and on his way to the door he encountered a total stranger and somehow got into a conversation. It was on one level a fascinating conversation, because the stranger had lost much of an arm and a leg in an accident, but claimed to be a bass guitar player who played for his church and was interested in becoming part of a band. Mark thought that having a bass guitar player would free him to play rhythm, second lead, keys, and other instruments, which would help the sound immensely, but he was daunted by the idea of a one-armed bass player. In any case, the would-be instrumentalist took Mark's e-mail address, promising to write to him, share some music, and show what he could do.
He never did; he lost the address.
However, early in in the summer of 2012 Mark was back at the same department store, and the same stranger spotted him in the parking lot, hailed him, and introduced himself afresh. At this point, things with the band had changed--having Jonathan meant that Mark wouldn't be needed on keyboards, and much had been done with Mark on bass that would be difficult to shift. Still, not wanting to reject possible help, Mark invited the stranger to hear them that Friday night, at the second Dutch Neck Village concert on June 22nd. He showed up, loved what he heard, and said that he could do good things for the band's sound, particularly for the sound quality of the bass guitar. It seemed an answer to hopes, and soon Michael Brantley was working our sound boards, contributing his own equipment to improving the sound.
Thus by the time we played our next concert, July 28th at a coffeehouse known as "In the Company of Jesus", we had a professional running our sound.
In the midst of this, Nick pressed for the band to record an album, and the result was the nine-song EP Collision Of Worlds. We announced it at our third and last Dutch Neck Village show, August 24th, and then because Tony Mascara's studio at which we made the recording had a stage at the outdoor Millville Day street concert, we played there on September 9th. Outdoors seemed to be our favored venue, and we played at the Olivet Methodist Church's harvest celebration on October 13th. Rounding it out with a show at the Living Waters Coffeehouse in Pitman on November 2nd, we had played at least one concert every month from May through November.
Although there was a list of eighteen songs the band considered its target repertoire, those which were actually performed at at least one concert during the year included Convinced, Fork in the Road, Free, Heavenly Kingdom, I Use to Think, Look Around You, Loveís the Only Command, Passing Through the Portal, Selfish Love, Sometimes, Song of Joy, Stand Up, Still Small Voice, and Thatís When Iíll Believe.
That November concert proved significant in several ways. Most significant is that we shared the stage with Sara DeWitt, who sang a couple songs to prerecorded commercial tracks. Mark talked with her about whether she played the guitar, which she said she did not, but it was the beginning of a next step, the introduction to 2013.