Tenth Avenue North is currently on tour with Audrey Assad and The Rend Collective Experiment, for The Struggle Tour. I was able to attend this tour a few weeks ago in Holland, MI.
Arriving at the venue there was already a line forming to get into the concert. However rather than having us wait outside, we were allowed to come in and look at the merchandise. We just weren't able to go into the sanctuary quite yet. When the doors opened they all opened at the same time allowing people to enter fairly. It was a big church so the sanctuary wasn't full, there was still quite a bit of room.
When the first band, The Rend Collective Experiment took the stage every one got excited and stood up, the show was about to start! I had seen The Rend Collective once before and I had really enjoyed the performance, so I was very excited to watch them play. When they came out they brought a bunch of energy and excitement to the room. They have a very unique sound, since the band originates from Ireland. They also had a lot of crazy instruments, most of which I don't even know the names of. The entire band is made up of very talented musicians, who all play at least 2 or 3 different instruments. So everyone up there is always changing what instrument they are playing and changing vocalists even the drummers changed! Their music is what I would describe a beautiful mess. Somehow with all the craziness of the instruments and all of the bands energy, they just sound amazing. Although their music is really good on CD nothing compares to their live show. It is amazing!
After The Rend collective played a couple songs there was a break in music to set the stage up for the next artist. During that time Jason Jamison the drummer in Tenth Avenue North came out to talk for a bit about the college he and Mike Donehey (lead singer) went to. Then he introduced the next artist Audrey Assad. I had never seen or even really heard any of Audrey's music prior to this concert, so I was anxious to see her perform. Audrey started playing and it was just her singing and also playing the piano. I thought to myself, that must be quite nerve wracking be up on that big stage all by yourself. It didn't even phase her though, she seemed quite comfortable on that stage. I really enjoyed Audrey's music, mainly her voice! Wow can she sing! Her voice is so beautiful! Another thing that I liked about Audrey was how down to earth she seemed. She even gave us the background history on why she wrote different songs. I was pleasantly surprised by her performance.
Here I would like to take a moment and applaud the entire tour crew. They did a great job at keeping things flowing smoothly, no awkward pauses or long drawn out waiting. There wasn't much down time at all and if there was it was filled by someone talking. For example after Audrey was finished Mike Donehey the lead singer of Tenth Avenue North came out to talk about Compassion International. If you aren't familiar with Compassion, they help to provide the basic needs for children in impoverished countries. I am familiar with compassion and I think it is great what they are doing, but it seems like at every Christian concert someone is there trying to pressure you to sponsor a child. Honestly, most of the time they seem to just be guilting you into it. Mike (from Tenth Avenue North) however came from a different angle. He talked about how in Matthew 25:40 it says "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me". Mike didn't try to guilt anyone into anything he just laid the facts out there and said if you can't sponsor a child that's okay, just find "the least of these" at school, at your job or even in church.
When it was Tenth Avenue North's turn to play they came out and everyone started cheering. I have seen Tenth Avenue North before but they just never get old. They have a great worship sound but they also have some more fun and energetic songs. They played a lot of songs off their new album "The Struggle", which I expected considering it is called The Struggle tour. They also played some of there more powerful songs off the older albums, like "Your Are More" and "By Your Side". The lead singer Mike also shared his testimony with the audience and how he got started in music. After playing a couple more songs Mike took off to sing out in the audience, then he hopped up on a small stage towards the back of the sanctuary. Before you know it the entire band is out there somehow! It was like music and magic! (haha) They played some more acoustic type songs out there including a very random remix of the "Fresh Prince Of Belaire" theme song, which featured an accordion! Tenth Avenue North pulled out all the stops with cool lighting, some random-ness and they even had an awesome looking background that lit up. All in all it was a great show with a lot of great musicians! If this tour comes anywhere near you I highly recommend that you go! Trust me you won't want to miss it!
For more info on tour dates and prices you can go to thestruggletour.com.