New NRT contributors Lynn and David Holzemer share their thoughts and photos from their experience at a recent Casting Crowns concert on June 13, 2009 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV.
The five-time GMA award-winning band, Casting Crowns graced the stage at WesBanco Arena in West Virginia on Saturday, June 13th. Their presence filled the arena, bringing Christians, from all over, together for an evening of fellowship and worship. If this was your first show, you were in for a treat!
This contemporary Christian rock band originated in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1999, and released their first album, Casting Crowns, in 2003. The band consists of seven members: lead vocalist, Mark Hall; violinist and vocalist, Melodee DeVevo; electric guitarists, Juan DeVevo and Hector Cervantes; bassist, Chris Huffman; pianist and vocalist, Megan Garrett; and, keeping the band on beat, drummer, Brian Scoggin.
It was very evident, from the beginning of their career, that Casting Crowns would be a success because their first album was the fastest selling in Christian music history. Six years later, they have continued that success, as their sales have exceeded four million records and have included two platinum and one gold record.
The two hour performance, on Saturday night, was a mixture of music, prayer and short sermons, carried out by Youth Pastor Mark Hall. One could hear and see the passion in their voices and body movements. The convicting lyrics conveyed the presence of God throughout the entire evening. Songs like, "If We Are the Body," and "Love Them Like Jesus," served as a reminder to the church of the great responsibilities we have, as Christians, to carry out God’s plan of love for his world. The first half of the show ended, leaving us with this message.
With the intermission out of the way, guitarist Hector Cervantes opened up the second half of the show with a blistering rock version of the worship song, "My Redeemer Lives." This performance brought everyone in the audience to their feet. Then, vocalist Megan Garrett sang, "I Know You’re There." Her beautifully haunting voice pierced the hearts of many in the audience, bringing them to their feet and raising their hands in surrender to our Lord. Mark Hall then returned to the stage to finish the second half of the show singing, "Voice of Truth," "Who Am I," "Slow Fade," and "East to West."
My only caution to fans is, if you’re coming to the show only expecting a music/entertainment experience, you may leave feeing short-changed. Worship, not entertainment, seems to be the main emphasis of the show. Mark Hall also gave stage time to make an impassioned plea for the audience members to sponsor children for World Vision, which is one of the band’s ministries. If you bought your ticket knowing all of this, you certainly didn’t leave disappointed.
The one thing that was very clear to me, after spending the evening with Casting Crowns, was that God has touched and blessed this band. From the perfectly worded lyrics, to the musical talent of each band member-—whether through instrumental talent or vocal gifts—-this band has been blessed by God to give a message to a world so in need of hearing it. The song, "I Know You’re There," speaks clearly of a foundation built on Christ—-a foundation none of us can do without. We have so many successes and failures in our Christian walk. Only through Christ can we embrace both, and learn from each of them. The song, "Voice of Truth," reminds us that God’s wisdom speaks to us above all other voices. "Praise You In This Storm," shows us how to embrace life’s difficulties and allow our circumstances to be an opportunity to grow into stronger Christians, serving God’s kingdom through ups and downs and passing this important message along to others. Casting Crowns includes positive lyrics in all of their songs—-lyrics that inspire, give hope, and just make us feel closer to our Father in Heaven.
Lynn and David Holzemer are Christian music fans with a desire to serve God with their talents. With Lynn's passion for writing and David's passion for photography, the two bring great coverage of Christian events to NewReleaseTuesday.com.
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