Concert for the Ages

I saw Jennifer Knapp, Derek Webb and Amy Courts with 3 of my closest friends the other night. It was awesome! I hadn’t heard Mrs. Courts before but quickly enjoyed her and ended up bankrupting my budget to support her and get some jamming music. I also appreciated her amazing stories in between songs, not to mention a leg that curled up regularly to help her stay in tune!

Derek Webb is quite possibly my favorite Songwriter of recent memory.

There is a lot of music out there but few have lyrics that really make you pick up a Bible to see what was just said while at the same time being prohibited from “Christian Radio” because he said a naughty word. And there are even fewer songwriters that write a 50’s doowop love song to Fred Phelps.

He was also nursing a pretty bad cold/flu/virus thing that made his voice even raspier, but somehow that made the songs better. Possibly the coolest thing was his set list- or lack of one. He has made a habit of coming on stage, taking requests and/ or playing whatever comes to mind from his vast library. He does have a thick binder of his acoustic songs that aid him when he is on a lot of steroids and drugs for said cold.

Jennifer Knapp is up there as well for amazing lyrics. She has a place in my Christian walk because her CDs were on heavy rotation in my Xterra while I drove all around Anchortown and beyond. I sang along and memorized almost all the songs although I rarely was in tune!  Her voice and passion for what she is talking about made me praise God for what He was doing in my life. I had seen her long ago in 2003 at a church in Woodstock, Georgia I believe. It was a good show, but kind of kitschy and that might have been the first time I paid money to go to church.

That tour was also one of her last before she quit music for various reasons. It was cool to see her back on stage, this time in a place comedian Charlie Murphy “played” just a couple weeks ago. She has changed a lot and I think I actually like the new JK more than the 2002 version. It is most likely because I am more comfortable with the new Jeremiah, than the 2002 KAFC listening (and supporting), intentionally evangelistic, “prayin fo ya” Jeremiah.

The thing that struck me most is that all three performers are amazing musicians and songwriters. Not Christian musicians that co-op, impersonate and try to follow the trends of worldly musicians, but artists that hold their own in their musical realms. It is possibly also the first show that I knew the words to like 80% of the songs –with the other 20% being freshly written.

It is strange because my musical tastes are quite diverse and eclectic. I like the oldies of Metallica, Pearl Jam and GNR, but don’t consider paying for many new artists besides folksy song writers. I am sick of the mega venue- the lawnmower bag sounding speakers, the drinking bums falling on my nice new hoodie and scuffing my just cleaned Chuck Taylors, the 14,000 people and kids, the standing room only.

So now I mostly go to concerts that allow me to sit and appreciate music and this show did indeed make me appreciate music.

PS…for the haters in the crowd, you will notice that I don’t mention Jen’s sexuality (which some seem to be unable to separate from her music) simply because I don’t believe it detracts in any way from her music. Also my ability and desire to praise Jesus comes from such varied sources as mountains, TD Jakes, and that crazy meth addict on the bus in the morning.

This post was orginnally titled “Concert for the Ages” published 12 May 2010. No one was able to comment on it then but hopefully they will now.

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