Let me start by saying this will probably have very little to do with the actual concert, and more to do with my youth leaders’ reactions, because that’s really what I remember from that concert.
I went to youth group at the church where I grew up, and it was super lame. I kind of hated going. The husband and wife (especially the wife) that led the group were stuck in the 70’s and their friends, a couple who helped them out sometimes, were just as hopelessly out of touch with kids of our day. Add to that the fact that the wife leader was overly sensitive and was prone to cry if we didn’t participate properly. And when you’re 14 years old and being coerced to play cheesy games, of course you’re not going to participate. So there was also a lot of tears shed during youth group.
The leaders, for some odd reason, decided it would be really cool to take us to Philadelphia to see some Christian bands. I think it might have been if we’d had any other chaperones on the face of the earth. But as it is, it might have been a nice thought but not cool at all. It’s a little muddled in my brain whether we saw Petra or Geoff Moore and the Distance, or Geoff Moore opening for Petra or what. But I know they took us to see Petra and I know they took us to see Geoff Moore and I’m pretty sure it was the same concert. So I will just go on the assumption it was. We may have even stayed there in Philly overnight. I don’t remember for sure.
I’m gonna interrupt right here to explain why we went all the way to Philly. It is because Christian bands, with some awesome exceptions like David Crowder, very rarely come to NYC. You’d think they’d all want to come here. Because who wouldn’t? It’s the greatest city on planet earth! But maybe because the venues are more expensive here, or maybe because this area is not really associated with Christianity (most of the time I’m actually fine with that) and they fear not having enough of an audience, Christian bands don’t come here. Which gives us the opportunity to pretend we’re from the boondocks and have to actually travel to another city to see a concert. This usually never happens to New Yorkers.
All I remember about the concert was that Geoff Moore sang a song called, “Rescue Me” (a cover of the song by the Alarm), and Petra was loud. So loud in fact that the youth leaders all felt the need to leave the auditorium because of the noise — both the volume and what was being generated on stage. They sounded like my dad. This is why I tell you, my youth leaders were LAME!!
Despite my upbringing, I didn’t have that same feeling of distaste for loudness. I enjoyed that atmosphere. And it was at that concert I discovered that I fall in love with bands after I see them live. Yes, even Petra. Nowadays I couldn’t tell you any of their songs or even recognize one if it was played for me. But back then, it was the coolest thing ever.
For quite awhile after that concert, I had a dream of being a back-up singer or a roadie for a band. Who am I kidding? I STILL have that fantasy. It just sounds like such a cool thing to do, travel all over the country, hang with cool people, etc etc. The closest I’ve gotten to that life is running the sound board at church. I’m very adept at winding cables. But hey, if Brandon Heath or Chris August ever need a roadie, I have some experience!
Not long after that trip, the teenage population at my church fizzled out and I ended up going to a youth group at a different church which was a lot less lame. Except for the fact that they never took us to concerts.