Sunday, September 03, 2006

Shoutfest 2006 in Jackson, TN

Woohooo! Shoutfest RAWKED!

ShoutfestAlthough, today, I think I've determined I may be too old to "rock out"! I'm feeling a bit stiff and sore and I have a sore throat! LOL

All the bands had excellent well-polished performances and glorified God through their music and through testimonies.

One testimony of note came from the self-proclaimed "tatooed, four-time felon" lead singer Joshua Rojas of Seventh Day Slumber. He shares an amazing testimony of coming from a $400 a day cocaine addiction, stealing from his mother to feed the addiction, memories of his dad beating his mother, his criminal record and a poignant moment of his mother's indignation. He shared that one day he was leaving his home to get his cocaine fix and his "crazy" mother stood in his path shouting "NO! Satan you will NOT have my son!" which brought applause of affirmation from some mothers in the Shoutfest crowd. He continued his story and shared that his addiction continued to consume him to the point he just wanted to end his life and his misery and he told the attentive audience that the mother that continued loving him through all of this walked in on him and witnessed him overdosing on cocaine. She prayed over him as the ambulance came to transport him to the ER and he shared that he chose Christ as His Savior in the back of that ambulance.

Rojas is a gifted evangelist and his testimony of God's love and grace had many eyes welling with tears and some people emotionally breaking down. He cleared the front of the stage to create an "altar" and the Holy Spirit used the words of this young man to speak to troubled and hurting hearts, especially to those people considering suicide. The altar call brought forth Joy Williamshundreds of young people, some adults, and many people actually ran with abandon to reach that altar! It was a powerful moment!

Joy Williams was a delight to listen to perform. The conversation she had with the audience made it up close and personal and gave life and meaning to her catchy pop songs. She is full of life and "Joy" is a perfect name for her because she seems to have one of those personalities that brings joy to this life.

Flatfoot 56There were many great bands that performed on stage headlined by Jars of Clay. We heard from Building 429, By the Tree, Flatfoot 56 which was quite unique...celtic punk? Yes! Imagine it....punk rock with bagpipes! They were really fun and the kids loved it. They had kids dancing and laughing as they ran in a ring outside the crowd of people gathered to hear them play. It was an absolute riot to witness that! Fireflight, Fighting Instinct and Jessie Daniels and others also rocked the house but my favoritie was Decemberadio!

I LOVE Decemberadio! I went up to meet the lead singer Josh and I said "I manage a music store and push your CD like crazy! " to which he replied "I know you do, you sang along to every word!" (which was true, except when they did a cover of Lenny Kravitz' 'Are you Gonna Go My Way') He asked if he could sign a the CDs I had but I told him that was already taken care of (by Justin).Sue and Decemberadio Then as I turned to walk away, he called for me and then gave me a hug and thanked me! Woohoo! He said "my name is Josh" and then he apologized for being so sweaty! LOL It was a neat encounter and Katie was cool enough to capture the moment digitally! (To check out other pics from Shoutfest, click the picture!)

Jars of Clay played some of the songs from their upcoming CD, due out THIS Tuesday...September 5, 2006. One of the benefits of the job I have is that I sometimes get a sneak preview of new CDs and "Good Monsters" is one I was looking forward to. CCM Magazine has named it "Album of the Year". Jars of Clay
I call it in one word: MASTERPIECE This may be Jars' career defining album (at least to this point, 13 years in), full of intelligent lyrics and deep spiritual observations, great, memorable melodies and is an all around excellent concept album. This is good stuff and among the best CCM album in recent years. I kept watching the guys on stage yesterday knowing that on Tuesday, they are releasing a MASTERPIECE and they performed for us totally oblivious that their new CD may have an impact on CCM music as a standard setter. "Good Monsters" raises the bar! And another thing to note is that Coca-Cola has agreed to donate one dollar for every Jars of Clay "Good Monsters" CD sold during the first month of it's release to Jars of Clay cause Blood :Water Mission.

I had a blast at Shoutfest again this year (This was my 3rd Shoutfest) and I'm already looking forward to next year. Hopefully, I'll be recovered by then!

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