Thinking Out Loud

October 25, 2019

Rediscovering Christian Concerts

Filed under: Christianity — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:57 am

It was fun being a big fish in a small pond, though Toronto, Canada isn’t exactly small. The pond in particular was the world of Jesus Music, later called Contemporary Christian Music or CCM, and one of the thing that being involved with the concert promoters afforded me was continual free access to the concerts. I simply needed to show up and walk in.

After that period of my life ended and we moved out of the city, I did not have contact with the new generation of concert promoters. I was able to wrangle some free tickets to a show about seven years ago, and I didn’t begrudge paying the ticket price for someone doing a small concert, but those prices for major artists started to grow astronomical, and it was money that we simply didn’t have.

We were in ministry ourselves, and we weren’t receiving a salary. We went to a few, but…

Recently I noticed a stand-up comedian who is better known in the U.S. would be playing Toronto later this year. It was $40. For one guy. With no guitar. Seems a tad high, don’t you think?

But Wednesday night’s concert by Brian Doerksen was “love offering” thing, and I don’t know if the $30 my wife I put in the offering for the both of us was high or low compared to the average, but it’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do even a few years back…

…You get something extra from live concerts that you don’t get from CDs, downloads or streaming playlists.

You get the artist’s heart.

Brian Doerksen

Brian Doerksen — known for songs like “You Shine” and “Come, Now is the Time to Worship” — was very transparent including some things he said he never shared publicly before about the struggles he had in former years. Sure, it’s time taken away from doing a larger number of songs, but in this trade-off, I believe that concert audiences come out ahead.

He covered material from both early and recent albums, his work with Shiyr Poets (setting the Psalms to music), and three songs from a forthcoming Christmas album. His one nod to other composers — he said he tries to include works by others on every album and in every concert — was the hymn, “We Cannot Measure How You Heal.” I wouldn’t describe this as a worship event entirely, but there were words to all the songs on the screen for those who wished to sing along…

…It was a surprisingly older audience. Have I entered my pre-Gaither years?

I realized what I’ve been missing not going to live concerts all these years. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

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