This past Friday, I took a vanful of Sr. Highers and God’s favorite youth leader to Terminal 5 in NYC to check out the David Crowder Band in concert. If you have ever seen a Crowder show you know you are in for a good time but you also know you are in for a worshipful experience. They have this interesting ability to combine the reverence and a great mood that allows you to think, “I”m worshipping, I’m having fun, it’s not cheesy, and I don’t feel guilty. Well alright then.”
Opening was Seabird who got a lot of Relevant Magazine buzz. We also caught their set at this year’s RevGen. I think what I like about Seabird is that they are a band that has a solid piano feel but doesn’t sound like Coldplay. Now we all like us some Viva La Vida but every once in a while it’s cool to see a piano and not think Chris Martin. Not only do they have their own sound, but they don’t dress like hipsters. They pointed that out when they said they needed to buy skinny jeans so people wouldn’t stare at their overalls. At least the boys from, umm …. I think they said Kentucky which makes that the first time I heard that state mentioned all year since I filled in Kentucky for my March Madness bracket. Anyway, they are comfortable with themselves. They have some solid songs like “Rescue”, “Falling For You” (which I hear was on Grey’s Anatomy) and “Don’t Know You Are Beautiful”. You can listen to their myspace stream here.
Following Seabird was a Danyew. I think it’s the lead’s last name and I think he said his first name was Phil. Not sure. A lot of the attention went to his drummer, Brandon, who plays like he was Jesus clearing out the temple. Taking no prisoners, he beats those drums with everything he’s got including coins from a barista’s tip jar. I remember liking the sound but they were more entertaining to watch. It got them noticed and I am sure they will figure out the balance of their music and showmanship. I think the catchy song was “Streetlight”. It’s about how God hovers over your life like a streetlight and illuminates the road but then it gets dark again but then there’s another streetlight. See? Ok, it’s not about that at all, in fact, I have no idea what it is but they seem cool and I wish them the best.
Then Crowder Band took the stage – in suits because you know, it’s the Church Music tour and you have to dress up for church. There is so much I like about this band. They understand that worship music needs to evolve and they create a lot of good energy that isn’t really directed at them. Who would have thought that this tall, skinny guy with big hair would be able to lead the masses over so many years in worship. I mean let’s face it, “being sexy for Jesus” is the last thing on anyone’s mind. The words are on a screen asking you to sing along and at every show there is a mandate to just sing loud and not pretty and that’s what people did.
The 80’s new wave sound of Church Music is a brilliant departure from Remedy and Collision and my hope is that we learn to incorporate these new songs in our worship communities. It will be tough but I hope to see worship bands in the future use these new sounds. I’m all for guitar, drums and the Jars of Clay violin but it will be nice to see how we evolve from here. They played the new stuff like “Happiness” and “How He Loves” and the old stuff like “O Praise Him”, “You Are My Joy” and “Glory of it All”.
To name three other big bands in the Christian music scene that I genuinely appreciate would be Jars of Clay, Switchfoot and uhh, … ummm … well three is a lot but that’s why Crowder is special.
Worst part of the night was not being able to escape all the Owl City mentions (you know who you are). Come on people, it’s catchy but we all know it’s a publicity stunt by Relient K’s Matt Thiessen.