Into The Light Tour: Concert Review

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Alrighty, so on Friday night, November 9th, 2012 I headed out to Matthew West’s ‘Into The Light’ tour concert stop at IPFW’s Auer Hall along with my trusty sidekick, Sarah.  In addition to headliner Matthew West, the tour featured performances by Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul, and Everfound.  Since I’ve been getting some flack via my e-mail for not posting nearly enough about music lately, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about the concert today. I do need to tell you this upfront, however:  if, after reading this, you are pumped up and ready to head out to the Into The Light tour, you should know that the tour actually ended yesterday.

Sorry for your luck!

In good news, though, if you are in Indiana you’ll have several opportunities to see Matthew West in the coming few months.

In not so good news, Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul and Everfound shows are looking rather elusive in our area in the near future.

First up, I’m going to talk a little about Matthew West’s portion of the concert.  This was not the first time I’ve seen Matthew West in concert; Sarah and I saw him back in February when he came to town with Casting Crowns and we really enjoyed his performance.  Come to think of it, Matthew West must like Fort Wayne a lot because he seems to come here on a somewhat regular basis.  Anyway, of all the times I’ve seen Matthew West in concert, I have to say this past weekend’s performance was theshow of shows.  Sarah and I laughed, we cried, danced, and we cheered in our trademark two-part harmony.  (Seriously, when we scream it sounds angelic.  Really, it does!)

While some people count sheep to help them fall asleep, on Friday night after the concert I actually started counting all the Christian music concerts/performances I’ve seen this past year.  I started to lose track when I got into the 90’s range, but essentially I’ve seen a lot of shows this year already with another 15 more to go before 2013.  I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say Matthew West outdid all of them (and the bar was set pretty high coming in to Friday night).

Do you know what impressed me the most about Matthew West, though?  Right off the bat, as everyone was laughing and having a great time while he ran around through the crowd talking and singing with the audience, he stopped the entire show, the music, the light show, everything, and said “Do you want to know where my joy comes?  Make no mistake about it, my joy comes from the Lord.”

That statement right there, in my opinion, set the tone for the rest of the evening.

So, for sure you need to go see Matthew West in concert whenever you get the chance! If you live in the East half of the United States, Matthew West will be a part of the Winter Jam Spectacular along with Mr. TobyMac, Red, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, Newsong, Royal Tailor, Jason Castro, et.al visiting over 40 cities this winter/spring.  If you’re in Fort Wayne, he’ll be here on January 20th (so feel free to get behind me in line!)  Tickets are just $10, and since I have seen every single one of the aforementioned acts, I can say definitively that attending Winter Jam will be the best use of $10 ever!

One last thing, Sarah and I stood in line for a very long time to meet Matthew West and get his latest CD, ‘Into The Light’ autographed.  We were also able to get our pictures taken with him!  Sarah’s expression totally cracks me up in the picture, so of course I have to share it.

Matthew West, Sarah and of course, me!

Moving right along, the next act I want to write about is Mikeschair.  This is probably one of the groups I have most been looking forward to seeing in these last few months of the year.  (Mikeschair is in good company.  The other acts I’m most looking forward to seeing in the next few weeks are TobyMac and Mandisa!)  I really like their current CD, A Beautiful Life, and the song ‘Let the Waters Rise’ and ‘Can’t Take Away’ from their debut self-titled album.  I thought they put on a great show on Friday night, and I have to say I was more than a little disappointed their show was over as quickly as it was.  I’m not sure I’ve ever honestly wished an opening act could do an encore before, but if Mikeschair had done an encore on Friday night I would have been totally fine with it.  Totally.

In addition to being amazingly gifted songwriters and musicians, the guys from Mikeschair are also exceedingly friendly and humble.  After the show, Sarah and I met them and were able to talk with them for a while and we were both really impressed by how down to earth and fun they were.  Mikeschair ranks very high on my list of the nicest bands you’ll ever care to meet, which includes (in no particular order) the Sidewalk Prophets, City Harmonic, For King & Country, and Royal Tailor.  Once again, they are in very good company!

Next up for Mikeschair is the ‘Christ is Come’ Christmas tour with Big Daddy Weave.  Unfortunately, they won’t be anywhere even remotely close to Northern Indiana, but if you are lucky enough to live near Columbus, Ohio or further south in the United States you might be able to go check them out.  (Side note:  I think Big Daddy Weave must have an aversion to Northern Indiana because it has been forever since they have been here!  Maybe we should ask Matthew West to put in a good word for us since he seems to like Fort Wayne?)

Here’s a picture of me with the guys from Mikeschair that Sarah took on Friday.  Don’t I totally look like I belong?  For sure they wouldn’t want me to sing back up or anything, but if Mikeschair is ever in need of someone to play the egg shakers or some other instrument that would be hard mess up, I’d be happy to help out!

Mikeschair (and me!)

Lindsay McCaul was one of the other opening acts of the night on Friday.  I’ve seen Lindsay McCaul in concert before (she was also on tour with Casting Crowns last spring), and she is just a lovely, lovely young woman.  She’s a very gifted singer/songwriter, and I really enjoy listening to her CD, ‘If It Leads Me Back’.  I especially like the song ‘Say My Name’!

Lindsay McCaul

Last but not least, I’ve got to say a few words about the opening opening act of the night, Everfound.  Prior to the concert, I had never heard of Everfound.  I’m guessing you may not have heard of Everfound either, but I’m also going to bet that this is about to change in a big way in the very near future.

Everfound pretty much has all of the elements necessary to be a huge success in any genre of music:  great music, a young, ultra-hip look, and a very interesting back story.  Did I mention that they are also freakishly awesome performers, too?  We’re talking bigger than big energy that proved somewhat difficult to photograph.  I was quite wowed by the pouring water on a drum and playing it thing they did.  (Okay, so I’m easily impressed, but in my defense, it was pretty cool!) I’m predicting big things for these guys in the future!

Everfound

I’m posting some of the pics that I took on Friday night for your enjoyment!  I had fun playing with my new camera and taking some shots in black and white and other non-traditional color schemes.  My “official” critic review will be up sometime later this week on Bryan’s site, and I’ll be sure to post a link when it goes up.  As far as being a critical review, you can probably guess it won’t be very critical!   I loved it, and if you get the chance to go see Matthew West, Mikeschair, Lindsay McCaul or Everfound, don’t miss it!

New Music Monday: Matthew West’s Into The Light

Into The Light–Matthew West

It’s time for another edition of New Music Monday here on Spin: The Blog!  Technically, this week’s musical selection has been out for a few weeks but it is sooo good I’m going to have to go ahead and write a little about it today anyway.  (In my defense, there has been so much good new music released lately that I’m almost to the point that I need to win the lottery to be able to afford my iTunes habit; so, please bear with me if I run a few weeks behind on my New Music Monday entries!)

This week, my selection is the latest project from Matthew West entitled ‘Into The Light’.  As you might expect from any Matthew West project, ‘Into The Light’ is exceptional.  Exceptionally good.  Matthew West is nothing if not consistently one of the best singer/songwriters around, and I’d venture to say that’s true of any genre of music, not just Christian music.

Jason Mraz who?

My top four favorite songs on ‘Into The Light’ are, in no particular order, Do Something, Hello My Name Is, Forgiveness, and Unchangeable.  With that being said, I honestly think anyone would be hard pressed to find a bad song on this album.  Yep, it’s that good.

I want to share one of my favorite moments that happened while I was listening to Do Something.  The opening lyrics to Do Something sound remarkably similar to a conversation I routinely have in my head with God and are as follows:

“I woke up this morning

Saw a world full of trouble now

Thought, how’d we ever get so far down

How’s it ever gonna to turn around?

 

So I turned my eyes to Heaven

I thought, “God, why don’t you do something?”

Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of

People living in poverty

 

Children sold into slavery

The thought disgusted me

So I shook my fist at Heaven

Said “God, why don’t you do something?”

 

This next part of the song, a lyric I never saw coming, really got me:

He said, “I did, I created you.”

Somewhere far, far away, Matthew West smiles and says “Gotcha!” every time someone listens Do Something for the first time and has the same reaction I did.

Now, it’s my turn to encourage you to do something.  Obviously, I think you should go buy a copy of ‘Into The Light’, but if you are in or around my locale of Fort Wayne, Indiana, you have an opportunity to do something a little bit more.

For $15, you can pick up tickets here to Operation: Rock the Boxes on November 9th at IPFW’s Auer Hall and help spread the love of Jesus Christ this Christmas by supporting Operation Christmas Child.  Can you guess who will be appearing at the Operation: Rock the Boxes kick-off concert?  Well, if you guessed Matthew West, Mike’s Chair, Lindsay McCaul, and Everfound, you’re right!  For $15, I’m thinking that this concert is a steal!

I hope to see you there!  In the meantime, here are some other links you might find interesting:

Matthew West’s Website

Operation Christmas Child Info

Operation: Rock The Boxes Kick-Off Concert Information