Monday, September 27, 2010

A Night with Tenth Avenue North

If you've read my blog before, or if you know me in real life, you have probably picked up on the fact that I love music.  Lots of different kinds of music strike my fancy, but my favorite, the music that really speaks to me, is Contemporary Christian music.  I just love to let the music roll over me and experience the meaning of the lyrics.  I feel a kinship with the song writers because I feel as if, at times, I could have written the same lyrics - would have IF I could, that is.  I am not good at poetry or music lyrics, my writing flows more in the prose category.
 I do know how it feels though, to have something, a thought, an idea, some epiphanic moment and feel an overwhelming need to write it down, to organize my thoughts into some sort of structure.  Maybe that is how some people write music, maybe not, but at any rate, I have great respect for those who can write meaningful songs that go way beyon"I like big butts and I cannot lie" in significance.

While listening to music on CD or radio is wonderful, in that one can find just the right song to play for whatever the mood happens to be, there is nothing like going to a concert to hear and watch the music right from the horse's mouth, so to speak.  It is an experience like no other.  I have been to lots of concerts over the years and I have always longed to just sit down with the song writers and chat about what was going on in their life and in their head when they wrote a particular song, or to find out exactly how the process goes from thought to actually being on paper and set to music.  I find it all so fascinating.  Maybe someday I will be able to do just that.  Until then, I will just go on enjoying the music.

This past weekend I had an opportunity to do just that - enjoy some really great music and in the process worship together with some really gifted music artists - Tenth Avenue North.  These guys are pretty impressive to me.  I should mention that I don't impress easily, so for me to be impressed by these young men is quite unusual.  They seem to be so thoughtful and spiritually grounded.  What makes this even more impressive is the fact that they are all so young - in their mid 20's.  I certainly wish I had been half as erudite and faithful at that age.  I suppose we all come into our own at different speeds, though.  God has a plan and things take place in his timing.

At any rate, back to my point, I was able to go to their concert last weekend, and I brought my 15 year old daughter along.  I love it that we can both enjoy the same music even though we are at much different stages of our lives.  The fact that Tenth Avenue North's music appeals to us both speaks volume to the range of emotional nuances evoked in the music.  We both had a great time and were each touched to reach deeper inside our own faith and pull out some things that needed to be exposed to the light.

Join me on a little pictorial journey through the night:
This is us waiting outside the venue.  It was open seating so we got there early in order to get a good seat.

When we first got inside, the band was still answering questions offered from the people who had Deluxe tickets, which I had wanted but was unable to purchase.  We were stoked to be able to sit in on the last couple of questions.  These guys are so unbelievably cool and down-to-earth-humble.

We had about an hour to kill at that point, so we just sat and people watched for a bit until the show started.
Also performing that night were two other wonderful acts.  First was Matt Maher.  He rocked a great version of Your Grace is Enough.
Then Addison Road took the stage. Hope Now = Incredible song.  We really enjoyed both of sets of music.  Wonderful songs, performed by very talented artists whose hearts were most evidently full of love for our God.
After Addison Road finished their set, we heard an outstanding presentation about the Christian charity, Compassion, which offers people a chance to sponsor impoverished children around the globe.  My daughter was excited to sponsor a child.  More about that in another blog.  Stay tuned. : )
After a brief intermission, Tenth Avenue North took the stage.  They really rocked it.  It was an energetic, yet worshipful experience.
They mixed it up and sat down for some more sedate, but still inspiring selections.
When they were singing Hold My Heart, lead singer, Mike Donehey went out of our line of sight.  Next thing we know, he is climbing over the balcony wall up were we were sitting.  I still haven't figured out how he got up there - and without missing a note, no less.  We were so agog that we barely had a chance to snap a picture.  Unfortunately, right then, my camera memory became full and we only got a ten second video and one grainy picture.  I really need a new camera!
They rocked some more after this, but alas, I have no pictorial evidence of it.  Even the pictures I got before this do not do justice to the event.  Maybe it is my camera.  Maybe it is because I am a bad photographer.  Or maybe it is simply because - you just had to be there.  Surely, the Spirit of God was in that place.  If you ever get a chance to go see Tenth Avenue North in person, GO.  You are sure to be blessed and feel like it was time and money well spent.