So here on Spin: The Blog it is not a very well-kept secret that I am a mega-fan of the Sidewalk Prophets. It is sort of a joke (but not seriously) that when the Sidewalk Prophets come to New Haven in June for Canal Days to play at our Faith & Family Night that the biggest threat to security will be me, and I’m the one who signed the contract for them to come and is in charge of the entire festival’s entertainment stage. (I promise to be on my best, most professional behavior on June 8th, Girl Scout’s honor; and if not, I’m sure the police will have their tasers charged up and ready to go!)
Anyhow, my BFF Sarah and I were excited to see the Sidewalk Prophets at Winter Jam, and we were curious to see how they would adapt the longer show we are used to seeing to a shorter format. (Sarah and I were guessing they would have maybe 15-20 minutes on stage.) The Sidewalk Prophets pretty much stuck to a montage of crowd-pleasing favorites: my all-time favorite song of favorite songs, You Love Me Anyway, The Words I Would Say, and Live Like That. In a surprising twist, they bypassed completely their newest single, Help Me Find It, and instead closed out the show with the rollicking good Love Love Love that is accompanied by an appropriately awesome Lego-esque video.
Honestly, I thought that was a pretty sound move; I really like the song Help Me Find It and thought it was a good choice for the follow-up single to Live Like That. In concert, however, Help Me Find It is one of the longer songs because of the way they work the intro to give lead singer Dave Frey the opportunity to showcase some of his vocal chops. Winter Jam isn’t really the format for that kind of thing, though; it’s more like speed dating, where you’ve got the equivalent of 30 seconds to bring out your razzle dazzle before moving along to make room for the next big thing. With that being said, you probably can’t go wrong with a song that features a Legos video and lyrics that incorporate Chuck Norris and Star Wars. Everybody likes Legos, Chuck Norris, and Star Wars; plus, it’s decidedly unique for a video/song lyric combo.
Enough about that, though. I’m going to tell you the most important point that I want to make in this review, and I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, even before Winter Jam when Sarah and I were discussing how we thought the Sidewalk Prophets would adjust their show to fit in the allotted time. At some point last year, when I was in the midst of attending the 100+ concerts I saw in 2012, it occurred to me that only one group/band/artist/whatever you want to call it always made a point of always physically bringing the word of God out onto the stage in the middle of a concert.
Only one group. Always. Every time.
If you guessed that group was the Sidewalk Prophets, you would be correct.
I found that I really looked forward to that portion of a Sidewalk Prophets concert, and that it really added something special and meaningful to each and every show.
I can’t begin to tell you all how glad I was at Winter Jam when Dave brought the trusty old Bible out and started in with the words that are now almost familiar to me. That part of the concert could have very easily been scrapped to squeeze in another song, but instead it almost felt like the whole show was revamped to be built around that moment with the Bible.
Really, isn’t the truths contained in the Bible what Winter Jam’s ultimately all about anyway?
I’m pretty sure it is, which is why I think this alone speaks very highly of the integrity and genuineness of the Sidewalk Prophets.
Of course, I should probably confess that as soon as I saw the Bible start to come out, I looked at Sarah and said, “Told you so!” Perhaps that wasn’t one of my finer moments, but who doesn’t like to be proven right every once in a while? Okay, so maybe just me. My bad.
It certainly goes without saying that the quality of the Sidewalk Prophets musicianship at Winter Jam was stellar (as usual!), so I won’t drag this review on for any longer than necessary. This is how I see it: Royal Tailor may have more flair in the fashion department, TobyMac may well be kind of an icon, and Red quite literally set the stage on fire, but my favorite performance of the night by a considerable margin was the Sidewalk Prophets. I think you’ll agree with me that once you’ve seen them in concert, there is something very special about this group of guys. If you haven’t seen them in concert and don’t have either of their CD’s, then I have to ask…what are you waiting for?! Christmas was last month! (Preview their latest album, Live Like That, below on Spotify!)