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AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL
Treason At Sea?
NRT's Founder responds to dc Talk Cruise uproar using every song title from the groups' last two albums
 


AN NRT EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL, Treason At Sea?
Posted: May 11, 2016 | By: NRTeamAdmin
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We can now officially mark May 11, 2016 as the day Christian music fans lost their collective MIND'S EYE. (Groan. ALAS MY LOVE, this is going to be one of those articles. Buckle up.)
 
 
The buildup was swift and all-consuming as dc Talk crawled out of their dark cave where they've been camped for 16-years and IN THE LIGHT (Hey, I warned you!) completely out of nowhere, promising to deliver future news to their deprived, but still active, fan base that rightfully regards the trio as the greatest Christian band that ever was, and is, and is to come. 

Rumors immediately followed and took root as fan anticipation grew DAY BY DAY for a new single, a new album, dates at summer festivals, VIP events and a world stadium tour complete with free personal helicopter rides with the guys for every FEARLESS ticket buyer (maybe that last one was a bit of a stretch, but seriously people, WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?). 
 

The excitement reached a massive crescendo yesterday (I let it CONSUME ME, too) as the group's fans found out the big announcement was not really the GODSEND news they were hoping for, but a massive music cruise in 2017, something the industry has been doing for quite some time now, that will see Toby, Michael and Kevin come together on the high seas for a much anticipated reunion along with artists Ryan Stevenson, Hollyn, Finding Favor, Newsboys, Toby's Diverse City Band and more. (Cue dozens of instant TREASON AT SEA memes.)

Unfortunately, it didn't take long for fans to revolt, turn on each other, verbally abuse anyone "rich enough" to actually afford a vacation and then they all burnt the Internet down (talk about RED LETTERS...of rage!). Meanwhile, the PR team scratched their heads as their master plan quickly took a DIVE and plotted to calm the waters with a personal statement from Toby and a few humorous responses shot directly at the upset fan base.
 

I can understand everyone's instant disappointment. As someone who spends every day reporting on Christian music, there is still a massive love for this band unlike any other that has come before, or after, and closure has never been offered to its fans. The very definition of an intermission is temporary. It's not meant to be permanent, and there has never been a statement from any of the guys that would redefine the expectation from fans that some day, we'll see them back together again. Sure, we've heard there are "no plans," but what we haven't heard is that "we're done and we won't be returning." That's closure. So while their music has stood the test of time, unlike 99 percent of the albums released around Jesus Freak and Supernatural, the desire has remained, the anticipation has grown and the expectation has never gone away.

Which leads us to this announcement and how much of an initial let down is was to so many. I get that. I also understand it comes from a deep passion that still exists for this band. People want to SEE dc Talk. Many won't be able to with this announcement, due to timing, costs, limited availability and fears rooted in scenarios like "WHAT IF I STUMBLE off the side of the ship and drown?" (I'm trying so hard here. IT'S KILLING ME. No, really.) So it's very alienating to a base that's absolutely hungry for more. 

When the ashes settle, and the tickets go on sale Monday, I predict a few things will happen:

(1) Despite the reaction, the cruise will quickly sell out. There's enough dc Talk fans out there that are looking for an excuse to get on a boat and travel to the Bahamas...and see a pretty historic event take place. Negativity always rises to the top (thank you interwebs!). But those who are actually INTO JESUS (yes, I just #jesusjuked the complainers) will be racing to be one of the lucky few to snag a cabin.

(2) Your voices will be heard. It's the same passion I've been seeing for over a decade, but this event collected a lot of them, and will continue to do so. I expect it will be received with an undeniable argument that closure is needed. The tone must change from "it could happen" to "it will happen" and I believe the intermission will be replaced by a period. The fans deserve this, and three of the most talented guys in our industry deserve it as well. Adding a period does not mean a sequel can never be written. But it does allow people to move on. 

(3) The cruise will turn into a bigger media event than anyone expected it to be. Only a few thousand will be on the boat. There are hundreds of thousands of dc Talk fans. When dc Talk went on their intermission, iTunes didn't exist. YouTube wasn't around. Facebook was still in development. Twitter wasn't even an idea yet. Instagram wasn't a possibility because taking photos, let alone videos, with your phone was some SUPERNATURAL idea. They will find ways to bring their fans along for the ride and we will all benefit from that.

(4) Fans will come to their senses. I believe that while the initial knee-jerk reaction was one of disappointment, as they scream "WE JUST WANNA BE LOVED!", fans will quickly realize that this is but a step in the right direction. At the end of the day, this is going to bring the guys together. Assuming that experience is a positive one that involves a sold out ship and seeing first hand how their music is still impacting people, coupled with the massive amounts of feedback from their fans that desire their continued involvement in their lives, more will come from this. We did get a song on Toby's latest album (that was pretty incredible, by the way). Now they are performing together, something they've said "no" to dozens, if not hundreds of times in the past. 

It's happening, people. dc Talk is coming back. Even MRS MORGAN approves. This isn't an April's Fools joke. (Who does that, anyway?). It's THE TRUTH! And BETWEEN YOU AND ME, I am really excited about this news because it's bringing our boys back together at last! The news might not be for everyone, and while you may not LIKE IT, LOVE IT, NEED IT, in the back of your mind, you definitely WANT IT. 

One final thought. If the team follows this news with the announcement of a JESUS FREAK ISRAEL TOUR in 2018, SO HELP ME GOD, my head might explode. In the meantime, I'll be spending time at the gym getting cruise ready, because (*turns to camera*) SINCE I MET YOU, dc Talk, some twenty odd years ago, you've been nothing but good to me. MY FRIEND SO LONG. And I'm always excited when my friends come back together and have good news to share. Even if I don't directly benefit from it. See you guys soon!

Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.

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