Concert Recap - Rock the Sound V

Some thoughts on an excellent event, involving some excellent bands and some excellent people.

Ever since Rock the Sound started five years ago, the premire event has always been held at the Arena at Harbor Yard, in Bridgeport, Connecticut.   A couple of things have changed over the past couple of years, however.   First, RTS has been doing more and more events in New York City.  In fact, this past Saturday's event was bookended by a David Crowder* Band concert Friday at Pier 5, and this coming Friday by the Winter Slam Tour show at the Hammerstein.  This makes RTS events easily accessable to both New York and western Connecticut in NYC.  Second, the desire has been heightend to bring more Christian music to more of New England as a whole.

All this came together to move the main RTS event this year from Bridgeport to Springfield, Mass.  The concert was held at a great venue - the Mass Mutual center, right in the heart of the city.  It turned out to be a great venue - lots of space, good acoustics, good views. 

There were six - count 'em, six - bands taking part in this year's concert.  The first was a nice surprise, a band called Out of Hiding.   OoH is part of a local youth ministry called Holy Fire Ministires.  For local talent on a very big stage, they were surprisingly good.  I spent some time talking to one of the band members after the show, and could tell that this group of young musicians really gets it. Plus, they are telented as all get out.

The next band up was called Danyew, led by newcomer Phil Dany, who has been touring with DC*B this year.  He's also friends with Phil Wickham, and has worked with Vicky Beeching, so I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of him in the future. He did a set with just him and a drummer, and it was some quality entertainment.  Danyew was followed by Seabird, and alternative Christian band out of Cincinnati.  I didn't get to see much of them (I was working at the promotions table) but I was right outside the door and liked what I heard.  They've also been touring with DC*B and Danyew this year.

The next band up was one that gave me a little pause at first: Family Force 5.  FF5 is a "crunkcore" band, which apparently means they yell a lot.  I've seen a few of their videos, and heard them on the radio.  I can tell you they are more entertaining live then they are in videos.  I probably won't be doing any FF5 tunes in church next week, but I had fun watching them.

But then, it was time for the big boys to come out, and the first "big boy" was one of my personal favorites: David Crowder* Band. I love these guys, love their music, and especially love their stage show.  They did quite a few tunes off the Church Music album, including demonstrating how they use their iPhones to get the "Cher effect" on "Dance."   (in fact, Mark gave a quick rendition of "Do You Believe" to demonstrate!) "How He Loves" was picked up right away by the crowd, even without the sloppy kiss, and when Jack grabbed his banjo for "I Saw the Light," there was litterally a hoedown going on in the rear of the arena.  But at the end, when they got into "O Praise Him," it was clear that the fun was moving over to make room for some worship time.  They ended their set with a great, sing-along rendition of the worship classic "Here I Am to Worship."

The last act of the night was the incredible Third Day.  Somehow, I keep missing these guys when the come to the northeast, so I planted myself right up front for the whole set, right in front of Mark Lee. These guys were worth the wait all day long. They opened with the blazing tune "Otherside" from the Revelation album, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.  Along the way they did (among others) great tunes like "Call My Name," "Slow Down," "Revelation," "God of Wonders," "Consuming Fire," "Cry out to Jesus," (just Mac on acoustic) and "Creed" before giving an encore with "Agnes Dei."

Click on any of the photos for Super Largification.  More photos are here.

Below is a video of Third Day going from "Holy" into "Call My Name."   The sound is pretty lousy - I was standing in front of one of the stage subs - but the video is pretty decent. Play it at about half volume and it doesn't sound too bad.. 


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