My Winter Jam Review and Commentary

First the review.....

The 25 of us from church arrive at the concert at 4:30pm along with 5000 other people. When the doors opened at 5:00pm we all made our mad dash to find some good seats. I love this kind of stuff because it reminds me of the day after Thanksgiving sales. We finally found some seats for us all in section 110 rows U, V, & X.

The concert begins with some girl I have never heard of. She looked and sang like a "Christian" Avril Lavigne. I thought she was weak. Next some group called Hawk Nelson performed. They looked like some guys that a Christian record producer packaged together to make a few bucks off of that would be a nice alternative to the more secular punk bands. They also were weak. Then Zoe Girl came out. There's 3 of them. So weak, weak, and weak. Next up was New Song. The place erupted. I sat down. No wait I was never standing. They did their usual routine. They even sang "Sweet home Carolina". I wish Kipp, Jeremy, and Aaron could have been there to hear it. They also sang "Arise my love". Most of the people there were raising their hands and singing. I stood and started reflecting. (which I'll get to in my commentary) Then came some worship music, the offering, a guest speaker, alter call, adopt a kid speech, then intermission.

Next came the only group I really wanted to see, Toby Mac and Diverse City. He was great as usual. We had our own Toby Mac in the stands with us in the form of John Vogel. For a white guy he was really breaking it down. After Toby Mac we had the "Sphere of Fear" or Death as I like to call it. I thought Scott summed it up best when he said , "And what has this got to do with anything?". I will add my thoughts in my commentary. The Newsboys wrapped things up. They are the only major Christian band I had never seen live, and they were worth the wait, sort of. They did have the most amazing stage trick I have ever seen at any type of concert. Their drummer was lifted into the air on a large hydraulic arm. The stage that he and his drums were on then started to tilt down. It kept going until he was facing straight down, drums and all. Then he and the drums started to spin like a wheel. He played a whole song like that. It was not weak.
After the show they announced it was the biggest crowd in Winter Jam history with over 16,000 people. We left while they were doing a final prayer. It was my idea. I hope God understands.

Now to my commentary...

I have been to nine Winter Jam concerts. It was the first "Christian" concert I ever went to way back in '98 so I guess it will always hold a special place in my heart. But as I sat (and stood some) and watched the concert unfold tonight, a couple of things ran through my mind.

First, is this what Christianity has been reduced to? "Let's see how many people we can cram in a place and get them to yell for Jesus as loud as we can". Have we turned our faith into one big pep rally complete with loud music, Jesus chants, flashing lights, smoke machines and confetti shooters? Is this what Jesus had in mind? When he was healing people, loving people, and hanging on the cross, was He saying to himself, "Man, if I only had some confetti shooters and a strobe light then everyone would really believe in me"? Do we need concerts like this to get us "excited" about Jesus? Do we need concerts like this to prove to non-believers that Christians can "rock on" and have fun too? And what does the "Spere of Death" have to to do with my eternal destiny?

Secondly, anyone that is good looking and can sing can make it in the Christian music industry. If an artist can't make it there then they'll never make it anywhere. Donald Miller talks about it some in "Blue Like Jazz". How you never see and ugly Christian music person. It's like we try to promote the image of, "If you believe in Jesus then you to can look like this". With the exception of Toby Mac and Newsboys, none of the performers tonight would ever make it playing nothing but secular shows.

Lastly, maybe I've become way to callous and cynical. I use to be that guy with my hand raised during "Arise my love". Tonight as the song was sung I sat and daydreamed about what it would be like if I could ride in the "Sphere of Death". Why don't these concerts move me emotionally like they use to? Have I wised up or hardened up? Maybe a little of both.


Veeno said…
I am glad that I could provide an extra bit of entertainment for you.

How was you vacation? I am not able to check your blog from my office, so I rely on your blogspot.


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