Winter Jam was a huge success last night, packing Freedom Hall to its brim, even in the bitter cold. Opening bands, Love and the Outcome, Everfound, and Derek Minor played as the massive crowd filed into the hall from the time the doors opened at 6pm.
Right on time at 7pm, Colton Dixon, of American Idol fame, came to the stage. Full of youthful exuberance, this newcomer performed an exciting rock set to formally begin the show. Founders of Winter Jam, Newsong, performed a few of their hit praise songs next. After that, Plumb, the Alanis Morissette of Christian music, brought her powerful voice to the stage for songs like “I Can’t Do This” and “Don’t Deserve You.”
Speaker Nick Hall delivered a quick message, and it was back to the music with hardcore Thousand Foot Krutch and worship band Tenth Avenue North. Winter Jam can certainly boast that there’s something for everyone!
Lecrae performed next and certainly stole the show. There’s not a lot of rap/hip-hop with a positive message in the music industry altogether, so Lecrae’s performance was a real treat. He is an extremely talented rapper, and the message in his lyrics was even better than the speaker’s. It’s good to see that Christian rap/hip-hop won’t fade away as tobyMac gets older.
Headliner, the Newsboys, performed last and began with their hit song “Born Again” and the title track from their latest album “Restart.” I hadn’t seen the Newsboys live since Michael Tait joined as the lead singer, and the band definitely isn’t what I recall from youth; however, they are still singing pop music, and Christian pop has been lacking since the heyday of bands like Audio Adrenaline, DC Talk, and Jars of Clay. The Newsboys did perform a few of their older songs including “He Reigns” as well as treating the audience to some DC Talk (Tait’s former band) in the form of the song “Jesus Freak.”
Winter Jam comes to Louisville every year around the end of January/beginning of February. It’s a fun night out that the whole family can enjoy, and I highly recommend checking it out next year! For more information about Winter Jam, click here.
Photos by Josh Lee of JyL Photos.