Tuesday, February 8, 2011

All of creation, sing with me now

Cy brought Will...

Ally brought Brooke...

to the Alliant Energy Center for the Rock & Worship Roadshow !!
It was our family's first experience at a REALLY big concert. Tickets were only $10, which is a steal for the chance to jam with 4-5 nationally-known bands. Mark estimated at least 8000 people were there!

Our church took 3 buses, and Wynne's friends Kate & Sara were excited to ride a bus for the very first time!

I actually came prepared with earplugs and glowsticks!!

We got there early and it was so nice to not worry about parking! The bus dropped us off and picked us up right by the front doors. This picture was taken pre-concert as people were just starting to enter. A local band was playing, and they were actually pretty good.

Then the opening gig was The Afters!! They were fan-TAS-tic. I really like their music (pop/rock), and if you don't listen to Christian music you may still have heard some of their songs. Doing a little research, I discovered that their song "Beautiful Love" is the title track to MTV's "8th and Ocean" and other songs have been played on "Grey's Anatomy", "Rachel Ray", and a made-for-television movie "Secrets of the Mountain". Their music is even played on 30-second commercials at Wal-mart!

Lead singer Josh Havens was wearing a Packers shirt and told us that he grew up in Osseo, Wisconsin! So that was pretty cool to hear.

But even cooler was his testimony to God's saving power in his life. He and his family were in a near-fatal car accident on Good Friday last year, and they escaped without injury. Praise God!

Their latest hit "Light up the Sky" brought out the cell phones in the crowd!! It was pretty awesome.

Next up was Matt Maher. He has a great voice and some excellent guitar skills. He also gets into the Word, because His songs reflect that intimate relationship. I was going to say he sounds kind of blues-y, but he also has some more rock-sounding ballads...so I'll just say that his music is eclectic and genius.

His song "Hold Us Together" is full of soul and takes you back to the 70s. His music makes you want to get up and start living for Christ, at least it does me. My friend Diane and I were having a pipe-dream "if we could get Matt Maher to lead our worship on Sunday mornings"....! Him or Lincoln Brewster, whoever can make it to Lancaster :)

Matt sang during the offering time, with proceeds being taken up for Compassion International. Then the hard rock dudes came out. We were supposed to hear Thousand Foot Krutch, but someone must have been sick or something. However, Disciple is also a strong hard rock Christian band in their own right. They did the whole head-banging, hair-swinging, guitar jumping stuff. The guy closest to us even did a back-flip!

Last but not least were the headliners, Mercy Me. MERCY ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These guys have been around for over a decade and cross over genres to deliver a God-honoring message to people around the world. They were behind the Roadshow, which is touring all over the U.S. to bring awareness and funding for Compassion International and "the love of Jesus", as lead singer Bart Millard was quick to point out. Bart spoke to us throughout the evening and would make a truly great pastor. And he always had a smile on his face!

If you haven't heard Mercy Me's music, then you've been living under a rock. Their hit single "I Can Only Imagine" came out in 2001 and is a beautiful rendition of what it might be like to meet Jesus one day. "Word of God Speak" is a standard worship song heard in contemporary churches across the country (now I sound like a Grammy Award presenter) and I want "Homesick" played at my funeral. Seriously. (Along with about a thousand other songs by these guys, Lincoln Brewster, Francesca Battistelli, The Afters, Matt Maher, the Go Fish Guys, Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns...etc...!!)

"The Generous Mr. Lovewell" reminded me of the Beatles. The videos showed as the music was playing, along with lyrics, really made for a complete worship experience. These guys were very interactive, having us all join in on some chants and choruses. The one that stands out in my mind and heart right now is "Whoa-oh, oh, oh, oh" (which means nothing to you but will help me remember) in "All of Creation". I could link up a gazillion times on this post, but I'll just leave you with that one.

It was a great time. What an understatement!!
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. - 1 John 4:16


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