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!

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


9 Responses

  1. Thank you for taking us along with you! A virtual concert experience! I’m not sure Linda, if I could handle the loudness any more. Maybe getting too old. But it sure sounds like fun. And glad you got to have that VIP time with Jars of Clay. I keep thinking of the song they play on the radio some yet from them . . .and it escapes me. argh. But I love it. Oh wait . . .some words are like “God will lift up your head”.
    One of the other things that you shared about is how they give testimonies at these concerts. That is so awesome and important. It’s more than just a concert. People’s lives get saved and changed for eternity there. A happy sigh . . .
    God bless you Linda , for being our up to the minute music minister!

    • Deb, Exactly, it is so much more than just a concert! It’s a giant worship service! There’s always prayer, and they share about Compassion International and give opportunities to sponsor a child if you can.

      I have to admit that this was almost too loud for me. 😉 But not quite. I’ve loved concerts since I was a teenager, but I enjoy them more now that I go to Christian concerts and I just feel so blessed afterwards.

      And I know the song you are talking about. It’s on their Redemption Songs CD, which I’ve had for quite a while. It’s all old hymns, like I’ll Fly Away, It Is Well With My Soul, and They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love. They rearranged them to be a bit more upbeat than you might sing in church, but they are still all the same great hymns.

      Thanks for coming along with me to the concert! Peace, Linda

      • The last concert I went to was an Aerosmith, Ted Nugent one. There you go. ha! When I came to Jesus, I had the same dilemma. Rock music was so much a part of my life. I just stopped pretty much, cold turkey. But I missed it. God was so good to me and gave me a friend at work who told me about the Christian music radio station. I started listening there. And he gave me some Rich Mullins to listen to. Then the only church I ever went to was an Assemblies of God church and they had a praise and worship band. One of the teams was the youth pastor’s group and they’d do some Third Day songs and he wrote music too. I loved that! Mostly, I think God did a work in me, to mellow out some of that hard rock addiction. ha!
        And ya, my hands just kind of shoot up. It’s like they have a mind of their own. But it was easier because I was in a place where others did it too . . .and even danced . . .and it was all I’d known.
        God bless your heart that rocks for Him!

  2. I admire your passion for praise and worship. In fact, I’m a little (alot) envious. I’m happy the concert was all you wanted it to be!

    Since I graduated from a life on ongoing sin, and The Doors, Queen, and Meatloaf, I just can’t get into music. It’s terrible, I know.

    For one thing, I’m way too uptight to let go like that in a group of people, even my “brothers and sisters in Christ.” If I had to raise my hands in praise, I would run screaming to an Independent Baptist Church where we sing proper traditional hymns and everyone stands still.

    This is a battle I struggle with every day, especially since my iPod is loaded with great Christian bands, and I love singing alone in the shower. I tell myself I just have to grow into this, but I really want it now.

    Sigh. You’re a pro… what do you think? And hugs…

    • Linda, As a teenager, I listened to a lot of AC DC, Foreigner, Judas Priest, Quiet Riot, Nirvana – I could go on, but suffice it to say I was a “head banger” and a rocker. Just tonight my husband reminded me of when we went to the Meatloaf “Everything louder than everything else” tour when I was a few months pregnant. It was in the same venue we were in last night, only 16 years ago. I had to leave the arena because I felt so sick.

      I’ve always loved music, and when I first gave my life to Jesus, I had a hard time with finding music that I enjoyed listening to. I started out listening to Creed, which isn’t technically a Christian band, but it was a good bridge because of the Christian themes in some of their songs but they really rock.

      I still like some of the stuff I used to listen to. One of my favorites was George Thoroughgood, but “Bad to the Bone” as a lyric isn’t something I really want to listen to very much, if at all. I’m just glad there are a lot more really good Christian bands of all different genres now to choose from.

      As for raising my hands and moving with the music, no matter where I am, I guess that’s just part of who I am and always have been. I just never let the devil take that away from me. I figure if David could dance and sing to the Lord like a madman (see 2 Samuel ch. 6), so can I. And so can you! Peace, Linda

  3. Thank you, Linda,

    I’ve been waiting for this 🙂 Sounds like you had a blast! (pun intended!! 🙂 ) Wish I could have been there but you wrote such a wonderful review I think I’ll just go to YouTube and ‘relive’ the experience 🙂

    Blessings and thanks for sharing.


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