Posted by Natalie Plumb on 04/29 at 03:43 PM
Contemporary Christian artists Caleb and Tenth Avenue North set the mood on Thursday, April 15, for Casting Crowns’ “Until the Whole World Hears” tour, filling the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) with music.
As soon as they graced the stage to open up the night, Tenth Avenue North asked the excited audience to stand and “raise your hands to the Lord.” The lead singer Mike Donehey encouraged the audience to do this, despite any discomfort.
With his hands in the air, Donehey gestured, “When I do this, I say, God, I’m weak; God, I’m needy. I’m a little kid and I need to be picked up by my Dad.”
The band sang a few of their hit songs, like “By Your Side.”
They were followed by Casting Crowns, the headliner of the night. The band said they were honored to be playing in the BJC venue again this year.
“We’re totally unqualified to be playing up here right now,” said Casting Crowns’ lead singer Mark Hall. “And you’re totally unqualified for what God’s calling you to do right now, too.”
Both the opening bands and Casting Crowns encouraged the audience to sing to every song, with words displayed on a projector screen of black with white lettering. The band played popular songs, including “Who Am I?” “Slow Fade,” “One Day,” “Voice of Truth,” “East to West,” and “Praise You in the Storm,” and the over half-filled-BJC crowd loved it.
Throughout Casting Crowns’ performance, Hall broke out into tangents, sometimes about lighthearted topics like his memories in his early years with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). At other times, Hall advocated charity organization World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine, an event that has raised $135 million toward feeding the poorest of the poor and educating the richest countries about hunger since 1992. Hall also encouraged people to sponsor a child through the organization.
Toward the end of their first set, Casting Crowns’ female vocalist and pianist, Megan Garrett, sang “Mercy,” a softer-sounding praise song. This song changed the mood and put listeners in a mindset of prayer.
And that is exactly what followed. The audience sat, some with eyes closed, others with hands clasped. Hall led them in prayer.
“Fifty of us prayed for you in your seats before you got here,” Hall said. “We prayed that this would be more than a concert for you, and that you would feel the transforming power and love of God in your seats right now.”
After intermission and Casting Crowns’ second set, which included “Nothing But the Blood,” accompanied by scarlet red-flashing lights, “At Your Feet” and “Lifesong,” Hall invited the lead singers of Tenth Avenue North and Caleb back onto the stage.
As the night came to a close, Donehey shouted, “Bands go home, songs get old, but Jesus goes home with you! Amen? Amen!”
The three bands ended in unison with an audience call and response of “Oh, oh, we’ll sing until the whole world hears,” a line in the chorus of Casting Crowns’ “Until the Whole World Hears.”
The lights faded and the concert ended with that – an echo of the audience’s last line: “...we’ll sing until the whole world hears.”
Author: Natalie Plumb
Bio: Natalie Plumb is a sophomore in Penn State's College of Communications' print journalism program. She enjoys writing, singing, playing guitar, reading, dancing, speaking French, traveling, playing basketball and softball, ballet, choir, tennis, skateboarding, snowboarding, swimming, and growing in her faith. Her favorite music genres tend to be techno, folk, gospel/religious, and, of course, just about anything you can dance to. That said, her favorite bands are not too exclusive. She enjoys experimenting and hears new bands often. Though most of these artists are mainstream, her favorite artists include, but are not limited to, Josh Groban, Natalie Grant, Carrie Underwood, Radiohead, Big Daddy Weave, John Mayer, Relient K, Jewel, Ju White, Fleetwood Mac, Stacie Orrico, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cascada, Nine Days, Eve 6, Mae, Aerosmith, Ben Folds Five, Akon, The Wreckers, and many more
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