Christian bands stand up to rock standards

Dave Terry of This Is Me performs during the concert March 31. This Is Me used to be known as Lifesite.

Dave Terry of This Is Me performs during the concert March 31. This Is Me used to be known as Lifesite.

Who ever said rock music is from the devil? Southern students sure rocked out when Campus Crusade invited some Christian bands Overflow (from South Carolina), and local bands Saving Corinth, Man Down, and Lifesite (now called This is Me) to Southern March 31. It threatened to rain on the show as electric guitar sound checks carried across campus all afternoon.

Saving Corinth opened the show. I had seen the band play at Dioko Coffee Co. before and remember being intrigued by its unique acoustic sound. It’s somewhere in between acoustic rock and folk. All too often I find myself listening to the generic rock sound with a slight twist where the only twist in the song is a change in progression or tempo. I love rock music. A little heavy, a little acoustic and even once in a while, some screamo … but as a whole, the mainstream songs I hear aren’t very unique but instead just a combination of styles heard before. Saving Corinth is actually fun to listen to. I actually find myself paying attention to the individual instruments and how it all blends together. Other bands sound so generic in sound it’s like you’ve heard all their songs before even though you haven’t. Saving Corinth definitely has its own style and it good.

This is Me was fairly good. There were a few songs that I liked, but some drug on forever. At first the band’s stage performance was awkward, which usually comes with younger bands. However toward the end, its music and its performance meshed better. It seemed like the band felt the music more instead of an occasional movement here from one person, or some swaying for 30 seconds from another person. I couldn’t understand the lyrics very well with This is Me or with Man Down, but they both had good sounds.

I saw Man Down at Rock the Light in Kansas City in September, and I liked them. It might be my imagination, but they seemed to have a softer sound than it had in September. I liked the buildups a lot in its music. The songs were a lot more varied in style and dynamics, which was nice and shows how its style has progressed since I’d seen the band last.

Both of these bands are younger bands that had faithful fans. A lot of the students at Southern didn’t go to the concert. I had some friends from Joplin High School there who came to watch the show. So advertising had to have been great.

Overflow, the main attraction, actually has some songs on the radio, like “Cry on My Shoulder.” Only a light mist fell during the show and that was during a song about rain. The band played its own music but then covered some secular songs like “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “I Don’t Wanna Be” (Gavin DeGraw). My friends and I were so surprised at how well the band did “I Don’t Wanna Be” we actually thought it was one of Overflow’s original songs.

I really liked Overflow’s stage presence. It was clean-cut, nothing sloppy or out of sync.

I appreciated when the band didn’t focus on themselves but on God. This was obvious because at the end of the show the members asked everyone to really focus on worship and then when we opened our eyes when the song was over they had left the stage. I have a lot of respect for the group because not all the bands I’ve seen perform can set aside fame or popularity very easily.

There was a love offering taken, but the bands decided to give it to Ashley Anderson from Campus Crusade.

She put a lot of hard work into organizing the entire event and then had car problems, so the bands gave it to her. There’s some love, right there.

Many thanks go to her for setting up the show and for the businesses that helped sponsor it: Care-A-Lot Auto Sales and Sonic Drive-In (Joplin); and Edward Jones and State Farms (Webb City). Thanks to the people who helped set up the show and put up the equipment.

Thank you to the bands who came and played and for their loving generosity toward Ashley.

Thanks for giving the glory to God, who definitely orchestrated the whole event and answered our prayers for it not to rain during the concert.

Whoever said Jesus doesn’t like rock music?