I had only really heard a couple of songs by Casting Crowns before I bought the tickets so I decided to download some songs...legally of course. And then I was given their new album, "The Altar and the Door." The more I listened the more I liked what I heard. Actually, while not really liking all I was hearing I was suprised by what I heard. So many Christian musicians have gone the route of being so vague in their lyrics you really have no idea what they are singing about....God? Girlfriend? Lost Dog? Not Casting Crowns, the lyrics may not be "cool" but you have no question where they stand. The lyrics from the first song off the new album are indicative of what I have heard from their other albums...
What this world needs is not another one hit wonder with an axe to grind
Another two bit politician peddling lies
Another three ring circus society
What this world needs is not another sign waving super saint that's better than you
Another ear pleasing candy man afraid of the truth
Another prophet in an Armani suit
What this world needs is a Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love
That's what this world needs
What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt
What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance
Blending in so well that people can't see the difference
And it's the difference that sets the world free
Intense, specific, culturally aware and Trintarian; this is my kind of music. And by the way, they are so uncool I could not help but begin to love them.
Anyway, back to the concert. Leeland was good...not as good as before, we all thought. But Casting Crowns, well, I was blown away. Following are the reasons why:
1. Humilty. When we walked in some guy was talking about the bands coming up (John Waller and Leeland) and some other things. Who was it? Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns. He is decidedly not interested in being a rock star or making a cool entrance. There was a concerted (pun intended) effort at pointing people to Jesus and away from the band. It has got to be hard to look at a sell-out crowd while in the spotlight literally, and point people away from your self.
2. Lyrics. All the lyrics for all the songs were put on a screen for all to read and sing along with. Seeing the lyrics not only helped with the enjoyment of singing along but I was blown away with some of the lines I had never heard or noticed before. I hope this will be a trend in all of CCM concerts.
3. Visual. The whole thing was visually stunning. Great Lights and a huge screen, tailor-made for those of us sitting in the back. There was also an artist working during a particular song...I don't want to say too much for those who have not seen the show yet but are planning to see it in Jackson or elsewhere.