Newsboys' "Houston We Are GO: A Review
Posted September 30, 2008
by C.E. Moore
It’s hard to believe that Newsboys was the first Christian rock band I ever heard. Jesus Music had existed long before the Aussies arrived on the scene, but they were the first group to catch my ear. That was a long, long, long time ago. But, the Newsboys continue to trek forward with there distinctive rock sound that has now endeared two generations of music listeners.
Truth be told, when the album “Houston We Are GO” (recorded live in Houston, Texas during the “GO Tour”) arrived, I was less than enthused. I mean, Newsboys paved the road for so many bands that have come (and gone) who have raised the bar in terms of what listeners ought to expect when listening to Christian music. Could Newsboys hope to deliver anything truly special?
Well, if you’re looking for new and exciting music, you’re not going to get it. This is a live concert experience that features all of the songs that made the Newsboys such a fan favorite in the late 90’s and early part of the new millennium. But, one thing the band has always done well is put on a live show for their fans. The album definitely captures the kinetic energy of the band’s live performance. Covering 10 of the band’s most popular tracks such as “Shine,” “Entertaining Angels,” and “He Reigns.” For good measure, the band throws in a couple of worship numbers to lead the crowd to a deeper place of intimacy with God during the show. The night ends with Peter Furler’s emotional testimony and a plea to audience members to consider the way of Jesus.
A few disappointment’s though. The first disappointment I had with this project was the overall quality of the DVD that comes with the album. I have seen a number of Christian concert videos such as David Crowder’s “Remedy Club Tour Edition” and tobyMac’s “Alive & Transported” and those projects were done with the same professionalism that characterizes their mainstream counterparts. The quality of the DVD that accompanies the live Newsboys album is just plain poor. At times it looks as if someone used a Handycam to simply bootleg the concert. Second, while I am all about artist testimonies, I wish Furler’s testimony had been a bit shorter—it clocked in at just over 11 minutes—and I also wish that the album had ended with a song, rather than with the testimony portion of the concert. It felt as if something were missing.
After all these years the Newsboys still know how to put on an electrifying show. I oftentimes had to remind myself that I wasn’t actually at the concert itself. The sound quality is clear and crisp. Some might frown on the fact that their music essentially preaches to the converted. I don’t think the band would deny that fact. The fact is, this band still knows how to rock and they do so with the fervor of a band half their age. The Newsboys still have it people.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
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