Saturday, January 5, 2013

January 6, 2013: Jam and Beans

Friday night we attended the first of 40+ Winter Jam concerts in Charleston, West Virginia. As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to share a bit more about the concert in today’s blog. Winter Jam is a 17-year-old annual tour hosted by New Song and even though New Song has been around in some incarnation since 1988, they keep the tour current with an assortment of current artists and, new members in New Song.
This year’s incarnation includes: OBB, Royal Tailor, Jason Castro, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, RED, Matthew West and Toby Mac. The admission is $10.00 at the door; there are no advance tickets and no reserved seats. Note: No reserved seats, in fact, last night there were no seats left at all, a sell out. The arena even filled all the seats behind the stage and there was sound and video directed to the backstage area for those seats.
Allison really liked Jason Castro.
 Royal Tailor made a good first impression.
Drum line? Conga line? Fun!
Winter Jam has turned into one of the largest concert events in America and it has something for everyone. Sure, there may be a group or performer that you’re not a big fan of but that is an opportunity to go out to the concourse and do a bit of shopping.
Of the opening acts, Royal Tailor was the most pleasant surprise. These guys are good and their front man is energetic to the point of being acrobatic and you need that kind of energy to entertain 13,000+. Sidewalk Prophets did a condensed set where they did a medley-like string of their earlier songs to get as many a possible into the show and then the amusing, “Love, Love, Love,” complete with Lego video where even Darth Vader succumbs to the power of love.
RED killed it. They are a powerhouse and the short set format serves them perfectly. Tear on stage, tear up the stage, and tear off the stage. And, oh, what a stage! Steam Punk all the way. Giant gears grinding, flames and smoke, explosions, like a concert in an insane 19th century factory and the band dressed like mad mechanics. Don’t miss RED if you like it hard, loud, fast and Christian.
This was our first chance to see Matthew West and he is spot on. A singer-songwriter with a rocking backing band, and great stories, many submitted by fans who want to share their stories of God’s grace. We bought his new album, “Into The Light,” as well as Newsong’s, “Swallow the Ocean.”
The night was closed out by tobyMac and, he has freshened up his show. We have seen Toby and the Diverse City Band many times between tours and three years at Camp Electric and they really bring it on this tour. There were still elements of past shows but they have added some nice, high-energy touches to the performance while still keeping it focused on Christ. I was not crazy about Toby’s latest album but the songs were great live and this would not be the first time that I find myself liking a group of songs much better after I have heard them live.
There’s much more to this story and you can find out more for yourself. Visit Winter Jam on Facebook, Premier Productions on the web or better yet, go to one of the 40+ remaining shows and find out for yourself. And don’t forget, Premier Productions is putting on a vacation at the Swan and Dolphin at Walt Disney World at the end of July 2013.

Today is National Bean Day. In honor of National Bean Day, get to Walt Disney World and celebrate the birthday of Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson, born on this day in 1956. Why would you want to celebrate Rowan Atkinson? Mr. Atkinson has a prominent Disney connection as the voice of Zazu in The Lion King. Now, at one time I could have recommended a visit to the Tiki Room, Under New Management, but it is no longer under new management (Iago and Zazu have been booted in a reboot), so we’ll opt for the Lion King show at Animal Kingdom. We like Animal Kingdom any way.
National Shortbread Day, who doesn’t love sugar, butter and flour. In Scotland, they have a tradition of breaking shortbread over a bride’s head as she enters her new home (thank goodness, it’s not overly solid). At WDW, look up Merida from Brave. She can usually be found in the Magic Kingdom and we have found some Brave related fun at EPCOT as well.
Remember, your best excuse is always: waiting for your dreams to come true.

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