WOW! Praise God for the fantastic show in Cordova, i.e., Memphis, TN. last night! Everyone gave their all, and the sound and venue were outstanding! We got there before 5:30 to attend the vip ticket Q & A and were pleasantly surprised that Trevor Morgan and Tenth Avenue North were part of that! SIX AND A HALF HOURS LATER, after the post-concert acoustic jam session led by Mac, we reluctantly left Hope Presbyterian Church to go forth into the world and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ! So, about the concert, I have too much to say... 6.5 hours of hard work from gifted musicians and an army of support crew?? That must be longer than those old Grateful Dead Concerts! Holy Spirit Power is the only reasonable explanation... Kicking things off, this guy Trevor Morgan comes out, solo, with an acoustic guitar, and immediately gets outside of himself raising his incredibly powerful voice with well-crafted songs about social and economic justice and challenging us all to put our faith into action. Trevor is a great guitar player and must have a few thousand new fans after last night! Tenth Avenue North took the stage like it was a kid's playground and I would not have been surprised to see a few backflips. A couple of times I feared that Mike, Ruben, and Jeff were going to fall down and break their butts, but God protected them! Jason's drumming was tight and robust. Their sound was stellar and the message strong. What a great introduction to "You Are More!" Mike shared the inspiration for the song which connected us all one-to-another and then to God who made us to be more through the work of Christ. I only wished that they had played "You Are," and it would have been a natural follow-on to "You Are More," the way things were going last night. Tenth Avenue North's set was longer than I expected and a real treat... Man, those guys are good! Mike scared me at one point when he said that if we were enjoying their music, we better get ready because Third Day was going to come out and "melt your faces off!" Well, no faces melted, but I know that there were a lot of joyful tears shed. The video about Third Day in Haiti and the appeals on behalf of World Vision Ministries also inspired some tears, but also hope. Out comes Third Day... Mac is concerned that they might be a little bit "rusty..." You have got to be kidding me! There was no rust, just spit and polish and power as Third Day rocked our souls and gave everything they had on behalf of God's Kingdom. Mac's voice was clear and as strong as ever, and he had some smooth moves and an overflowing joy. Mark was hot, hot, hot with every solo and seemed to throw in some improvisation a couple of times. Tai and David were the meat and potatoes of this sonic feast. Tai's introduction to "Make Your Move" was absolutely sick, in the very best sense of the word! I think I've seen Jason Hoard with Third Day before, but I did not remember how wonderfully gifted he is... banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals...he played them all and was a highlight of the free Acoustic Jam Session that followed the concert-proper. Plus, Jason seems like a fun person. Just as we Christians are "in the world, not of it," I guess it could be said that Scotty Wilbanks is "of Third Day, but not it," but his keyboard playing and vocal range are integral to the fullness of this band's sound. Back to the show: A couple of times during this extensive concert Mac announced that they like to do a more intimate acoustic session after their Saturday night shows and that they would like to do so last night even though it was only Thursday, if anyone was willing to hang around and join them in a smaller room. How cool is that?! After they had given us our money's worth and more, Mac left the stage and the band continued to jam HARD, until all of a sudden Mac reappeared in the middle of the hall with an acoustic and told some stories and played some old stuff, and THEN, was joined by the band and Mike from Tenth Avenue North, and others, for an extended "camp-fire" session off the stage up close and personal. This was a super-cool technological accomplishment! They seemlessly transitioned from the stage to the middle of the auditiorium, complete with the video crew, and then back to the stage, with lots of music yet to come! During the "camp-fire," many people, especially kids, were able to leave their seats and go get real close to the guys as they talked and played and sang. Some of the things that Mac talked about were that Third Day has been together for nearly 20 years, his feelings about the early days, a reference to the Founding Fathers of Christian Rock, PETRA, which got a huge round of applause, and how today he feels like they are just getting started, even after all these years. Man, I hope so, too! As I said, there was still much to come, and it was like their going out into the audience for a while gave Third Day new strength and energy, and they found some more watts in their amps or something crazy like that because they just kept turning things up a notch! "Trust In Jesus," and "I'll Be Your Miracle" were highlights for me, by the way. Those songs get to me the way Third Day's earliest hits, especially "Your Love, Oh Lord," "Thief," "I've Always Loved You," "Can't Take The Pain," and "Love Song" always will. As with this review, this amazing concert to the "God of Wonders" eventually had to end. They said good night, God Bless You, Memphis, and left the stage... for about thrty seconds! As the encore began, Mac asked if it would be alright if they played us one more song... then he asked if they could make it two, and then three, and we all said that, "yes, it would be okay," in many diverse ways, just about as loudly as we could! So, they jammed and jammed, and jammed some more, getting us all singing and dancing with them, teaching us their songs, praising Christ and giving all the glory to God. They ended the concert with "Gone," but as I said, they were far from gone because after a final blessing of the huge audience they regrouped about 20 minutes later in the "smaller room" which only holds about 850 people for another half hour plus of humour and terrfic on-the-spot acoustic improvisation which featured songs by Third Day, Tenth Avenue North, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, a rap song about "the prince of L.A." for "the younger generation," and several old gospel standards. The acoustic jam session was a total blast and featured Mac, Mike, Jason H., Jason J., and Trevor. Great stuff! After all this reverie, Mac turned it back to the Lord, sending us off by leading us in "Creed," by the late-great Rich Mullins. If the night had to end, and of course it did, because the new day, TODAY, was only fifteen minutes away, then singing the Creed with about 800 other Christians is just about the best way I can think of ending it. Thanks be to God for Third Day and to all who put this amazing night of worship and music together. God bless!
Make Your Move Tour
It was great to be back on the road after a good time off for Spring Break. This was one of the largest crowds of the tour, and they showed up loudly tonight.
We were worried that we might be a bit rusty, but everything came back nicely for us all.
It was great to see Paul Ebersold, the producer of Wire at the concert tonight. Thanks for a great night Memphis.