Winter Jam

by Bingle on Jan.14, 2012, under Richard Bingle Family

Karen, Amber, Alyssa, and I attended Winter Jam on Thursday night a the UCF Arena.

Winter Jam is an annual Christian Rock concert tour that began in 1995 and features Newsong and a different group of artists each year. As one of the goals of the tour is evangelism the hook with Winter Jam is the price – $10 per person at the door.

This year’s tour features a total of 10 bands and solo artists – We As Human, For King and Country, Dara MacLean, Group 1 Crew, Building 429, Newsong, Kari Jobe, Peter Furler, Sanctus Real, and Skillet. The doors opened (and apparently the show started) at 6:00 with We As Human followed by For King and Country. Traffic was a bit worse than we anticipated and we didn’t get there until 6:30 (still supposedly 30 minutes before the advertised start time) and so missed both of those acts. We got some pretty decent seats across the arena floor from stage and settled in for the evening.

Either the acoustics of our seats (or the arena as a whole) weren’t great or most of the bands were mixed way too heavy on the low end. The bass guitar for Group 1 Crew was so overpowering it was kinda hard to make out he vocals and other bands had similar issues with the kick.

Out of the four of us, I probably was the most familiar with the various groups and their songs as I listen to Z88.3 during my commute, mix the praise band and youth bands at church, and have my iPod at work. I recognized at least one song by each group/artist and all of the ones performed by Kari Jobe and Peter Furler. Furler had been a founding member of Newsboys back in the 90′s and has only recently been touring as a solo act, so most of his songs were Newsboys hits.

The headliners of the show was a hard rock band called Skillet. The kids in the audience apparently knew what to expect as when they were announced the number of cell phones held aloft for recording the performance probably quadrupled. They had quite an impressive light/fire/fireworks/smoke show as part of their set, including putting both guitarists up in the air on hydraulic lifts and a wheeled, scissor lifted, spinning drumset one one song.

It turns out that I do own a couple of songs by them (including Stand on the album Veggie Rocks) and have heard a song or two by them elsewhere, but not being familiar with the lyrics it was almost impossible to make out any of the words as they performed.

While definitely loud, Karen and I decided that we’d been to louder concerts back in college as our hearing quickly returned to normal after the concert. Well, possibly they weren’t louder – we used to sit a whole lot closer to the stage back then!

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