Concert Report: Third Day, Jars of Clay, etc

On the heels of the fantastic U2/Muse show, we went with Brett Whitfield to see Third Day in Simpsonville at the amphitheater down there….can’t remember who owns it…..anyway…..

I like Third Day, I’ll be honest. I mean, I hate most “Christian music” as a general rule because it’s just so damn HOKEY. But Third Day avoids that somehow. Their tunes are very singable – which makes them cool for church at times. And they channel more of a “rock” sound than pop, so you can listen through one of their CDs without wanting to stab yourself in the eye before going off to listen to the Top 40 station for a while… if you’re going to rot your brain with pop music, at least use the real thing, right?

So. Friday night found our car stuffed full of 2 Rameys, 1 Brett (Susie was out of town), and 2 bored teenagers with nothing better to do on a Friday night (Trevor & Cary). We paid about $16 to get in — not exactly cheap. And it was at the Heritage Amphitheater in Simpsonville, so we paid $16 to bring our own chairs. lol  But the night was pretty (except for the short rainstorm) and I love any excuse to watch Venus rise.

We missed most of the opening bands (no great loss) so I’m pretty much here to discuss Third Day, Jars of Clay, and Glory Revealed.  GR is a side project of Mac Powell of Third Day. Bluegrass-ish.  *shrugs* It was fine.  I liked their cover of “Mighty to Save.”  That’s about it.

Jars of Clay seriously disappointed me. I don’t know much of their stuff, but the older songs I know I really, really like. What we heard last night sounded like the Killers had a lobotomy, made babies with a bad teen-angst-hardcore band in the back of a Mercedes, and forgot to bring someone with a real voice. OK, that was probably too harsh.  But I hated their set.  Musically dull, lyrically dull. Badly mixed.

Happily, Third Day more than made up for what went before, putting on a great hourlong show of good music and neat light/screen effects. They’re down to just one guitar player (plus organ, keys, bass, drums, etc) but sounded great. I don’t really have anything else to say … it was good.  I sang along. We enjoyed their set.

I do have thoughts about Christian culture, however. 

Christians in the USA as SO cheesy.
For real.

For one thing, I don’t pay for a sermon with my concert ticket. A concert is a concert, not an excuse to meld in a testimony/sermon/guilt trip/collection. Some guy got up and spoke for 20 minutes before Jars of Clay about his life, his conversion, and Rwanda. I’m all about feeding hungry Africans, but dude — take a hint from U2 and donate a percentage of your profits. Plus it was a sucky sermon.

It’s hard to attend a Christian rock show like that one without feeling kind of silly. Everyone is white, middle class, conservative, and safe. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single tattoo, interesting piercing, colored hair, or fringe kid. And of course — no smoking and no alcohol. It’s so “clean” I wanted to do something illegal just to keep the universe in balance.

Nobody really knows what to do other than jump around, sing, or clap. You don’t really feel like moshing for Jesus — as Trevor said, “Christians are just too nice to actually mosh. Now, if they wanna invite us down front to really get it going, I’ll get in there and kill people [metaphorically speaking]… but I don’t think they’d like it.”   Yeah, typical evangelical Christianity doesn’t really have a place for aggression or testosterone. [Perhaps more OT reading is in order?] lol

I’m always happy to hang out with friends…..But I would have been about as happy watching the Muse concert DVD at someone’s house instead.

Well, the Third Day songs were cool enough to be worth a ticket.
More or less.

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