Anyway, the concert started out with The Neverclaim who I had never heard of, but had a really interesting song about being made for such a time as this, based on Esther. It's so funny going to concerts with Justin, because while I assumed they had a guy playing a banjo, Justin leaned over and whispered to me that it was actually an electric guitar shaped like a banjo. I learn all sorts of interesting things from Justin at concerts ;)
Up next was Trevor Morgan, who was AMAZING. I actually knew several of his songs, including one of my absolute favorites currently, Jesus Rides the Subway (which you can listen to here, and I would HIGHLY suggest it! It is amazing!). I have no doubt that Trevor Morgan is someone to watch in the Christian Music scene. I loved that he said he would love to speak to anyone and everyone after the concert, and would stay as late as needed to do so.
After Trevor Morgan, Matt Maher came on stage. I knew a couple Matt Maher songs (like Hold Us Together) and really love them. But again, he performed a number of songs that I knew, but just hadn't associated with his name. I was so impressed with the quality of his live music, and even more impressed by what he spoke about in between songs. He basically said that he often has the opportunity to speak with Christians who have really been hurt by "the church" and its members, but he encouraged us to lay those hurts at the foot of the cross, because the one requirement to be a member of the church is that we all have to recognize that we're sinners. All of us. So the fact that we hurt each other despite our best efforts to the contrary really isn't surprising. The fact that we don't love each other perfectly as God does really isn't surprising. And maybe the important thing is to lay those hurts at the cross, and forgive each other anyway. I don't know if that speaks to anyone else like it spoke to me, but it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear at that moment.
After Matt Maher, Third Day came on. Did you know that Third Day has been a band for TWENTY YEARS?! That is a long stinking time. Once again, the quality of their music was just so amazing, and there is really just nothing like standing with such a large group of believers and singing Creed (which was originally done by Rich Mullins, but I love Third Day's version best of all--again, if you haven't heard it before, go listen to it here right now!) We don't belong to a large church--on any given Sunday, there are fewer than 100 people in attendance...so hearing hundreds upon hundreds of people singing "I believe in God the Father" is really just indescribable, and powerful. For me, at that moment, it was needed. But above all, I was struck by how absolutely gracious Third Day were as a band.
Part-way through the concert, they went back to the lawn, and played a few requests for those sitting in the lawn seats (which is sort of incredible in and of itself that they were basically ready to play any song from their twenty-years as a band). For whatever reason, after that, they didn't have security or gates of any sort up at the front of the stage, so there were literally people hanging on the stage. Mac Powell handled that so graciously, and was continually shaking hands as he was singing, and at one point, even signed someone's t-shirt that was passed up on stage mid-song. Not only that, but towards the end of the concert, he brought both Matt Maher and Trevor Morgan back up on stage with them to sing. Now, I haven't been to THAT many concerts in my life, but I've been to a few and had never seen that happen before. I just thought it was pretty amazing. And not only that, but Third Day actually played backup for one of Trevor Morgan's songs
I don't know if you can really tell what's going on in that second picture, but Mac Powell, the lead singer of Third Day, moved his microphone out of the spotlight, and sang backup vocals and played tambourine for Trevor Morgan. It was kind of a relief to see that there are big-time bands out there who seem to have remained humble and just gracious throughout it all.
It was just a perfect evening, to be filled and renewed spiritually. Great music by what seems like an amazing group of bands. I'm still just beyond thankful that we were able to attend--thank you again for thinking of us Emily!