Tag Archives: Anthem Lights

Worshipping Christ in Music

The Rock and Worship Roadshow in Portland was awesome! And for the most part, very loud!

The evening started with a wonderfully intimate session with Jars of Clay. Because we had VIP tickets, we were treated to an acoustic performance and a question & answer session in a small room below the Memorial Coliseum. There weren’t more than 60 people in the room. It was almost like we were just hanging out at a friends. The harmonies of this band are amazing. This was, by far, the best part of the evening.

One of the songs that they sang during this acoustic session was “Boys (Lesson One)” from their CD The Long Fall Back to Earth. Lead singer Dan Haseltine told the story behind the song, and it was very touching.

Then, because of our VIP tickets, we were in a reserved section on the floor for the main concert, and were in the second section from the stage. This is probably one of the reasons the concert was so loud where we were, since it had to also get to the people who stood in line for $10 nosebleed tickets in the back of the Coliseum.

The first band was an up-and-coming group called Anthem Lights. They actually played before the official start time of the concert and we missed part of their performance. But what we heard was very good, especially the song “Can’t Get Over You.” It was a catchy song that was easy to sing along to, and it was worshipful since the “You” that the song is talking about is Jesus.

The second band was The Afters. These guys were great! The lead singer told a great story about how Jesus has impacted his life and the lives of his family, especially his brother who was delivered from drug addiction through his faith. My favorite song that they played was “Light Up the Sky” with the chorus:

You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me, You are with me
And I, I, I can’t deny
No I can’t deny that You are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes so I can see You all around me
You light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me, You are with me

Next up was Matt Maher, who lead the whole crowd in some great standard praise and worship songs, though I must confess I don’t recall exactly what we sang.

So up to this point, it was kinda loud, but not too bad. Then Thousand Foot Krutch took the stage, and if I didn’t know better I might have thought I was at a Metallica concert or some other hard rock or heavy metal concert. But I know they are a Christian band, and I was wishing I knew the lyrics because you really couldn’t understand much what they were singing because it was so loud. I did catch the line in “Welcome to the Masquerade” that was “I’m not afraid, I’m not ashamed” and I’m pretty sure they were talking about the Gospel. Now, I actually like hard rock and heavy metal as a musical genre if the lyrics are good. So I decided by the end of their set that I wanted to check out their CDs and maybe get some of their music for my car and iPod.

Next up was Lecrae, a hip hop band. They were not only loud, that had that deep hip hop bass thing going on that made the floor vibrate. This is definitely not my style of music. But their message was awesome.

Finally, Jars of Clay took the stage. Their set was terrific, and they started with my favorite song “Two Hands.” But when they were done I found myself feeling even happier that we had experienced their acoustic set before the concert because it was such a different side of the band.

Throughout the concert, Bart Millard, the lead singer for MercyMe had taken the stage for various introductions and to talk about Compassion International child sponsorship. He seems so ordinary when he is up on stage just talking. Then MercyMe took the stage for their long-anticipated set. By this time it was 8:40 and technically there was only supposed to be 20 more minutes of the concert. But the band did not disappoint and played until just after 9:30. The best part of their set was when they sang “God With Us” and the whole Coliseum sang along:

 All that is within me cries
For You alone be glorified
God with us

My heart sings a brand new song
The debt is paid these chains are gone
God with us

MercyMe played quite a few of the songs off The Generous Mr. Lovewell (though sadly not the title track), as well as some older favorites. Before singing “Beautiful,” Bart talked about how important it is for parents to make sure their kids, especially young girls, know that they are loved. At one point I was wishing he would stop talking and start singing, because I knew what song was coming; but then I realized that there might be someone in the Coliseum who needed to hear what he had to say.

One thing that I took away from this awesome night of rock and worship is that performers and fans can worship Christ through a wide variety of types of music. Whether it be mellow praise music, hip hop, heavy metal, or something in between, if the lyrics lift up Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords, then it is worship music. Though one or more of these types of music may not be my preference, they may be just the music style that is needed to reach someone for Christ.

The other thing I took away was the reminder of how many believers there are and how awesome it is to be together with brothers and sisters in Christ whom we might not know personally, but we are all connected nonetheless because we worship One God!


Filed under Faith, Family, Jesus, Life, Music, postaday2011