Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wasted Wednesday: Tenth Avenue North Concert Reflection

Tenth Avenue North is most known for the fact that they are labeled as a Christian band and they don't mind it.  They believe that the band isn't about them but about God and introducing people to Him.  I first heard of the band while I was at camp....well, church camp actually if you must know.  I went to this church camp, Camp Montrose, 4 times and they were some of the best weeks of my life!  They were weeks full of laughter, friends, great good, chapel time with music and sermons, paint ball, soccer, baseball, ultimate ping-pong, scavenger hunts and much much more!  During my last time at the camp, a few guys grabbed their guitars and went to the rec room to sing a few songs.  A group of us gathered around them and almost everyone knew the tunes.  I unfortunately did not.  However, I enjoyed one of the songs so much that I quickly wrote down the lyrics and hoped Google could help me out when I returned home.  The song was called By Your Side and I bet you can guess who sang it!  Tenth Avenue North, a new and upcoming band that was being praised for their raw take on Christianity.  It took me a while before I actually figured out the meaning of the song though.  The song is sung from the point of view of Jesus.  It puts a really creative spin on Christian music in my opinion.  I've been listening to the band ever since and they have introduced me to a lot of concepts and even more great artists, one of the artists being Rend Collective Experiment...a.k.a Christian Mumford & Sons.  When I found out they were touring together I knew I had to see them!  Luckily, they came to a town super close to where I live.

I sort of knew what to expect at the concert.  I have a live DVD from a Tenth Avenue North concert and I've watched plenty of vlogs from lead singer Mike.  I knew the concert would be like an intense, loud church service and I wasn't quite sure how I felt about it.  But I knew the opportunity to see two of my favorite bands perform music about Jesus in a creative way was one I couldn't pass up.  
So now you are probably thinking, this blog is titled The Reader.  Why are you writing about a Christian music concert?  In an interview with William H. Macy about the show Shameless (a great show by the way), he said that the show was unlike anything he had ever seen on TV.  He then stated it was very novel.  I think it is important that in life we look for novel-ness in everything we do.  I think this idea is especially important when speaking about spirituality.  Author Ron Hansen says,
"Essentially fiction shows you how to live a moral life or how to avoid an immoral life, and religion is trying to do that same thing, but fiction provides you models rather than lessons."  This concert was, as William H. Macy would put it, very novel.  Each song flowed with the other and lead singer Mike did a great job of relating his stories and the bands songs with the audiences lives.  It was in the middle of the concert when the band sang a series of songs that made me tear up a bit.  By the end, all of the pieces had come together and I wished it could all be kept in a book for me to read daily because I didn't want to forget that night.  
Now, I didn't go to the concert alone.  My boyfriend Eric graciously came with me!  This was an entirely new experience for him though.  We were both raised Catholic and though I was exposed to many different types of Protestant churches, mostly Nazarene, in my teens, he was not.  When I told him the concert was at a church he immediately though of a Catholic church with wooden pews and a sacred altar where a band would be performing.  After the first act, Moriah Peters (another great performer and singer by the way) and Rend Collective Experiment performed, there was a little break where the band set up their instruments and main singer Mike came up to talk about some stuff.  
Not long after, the band took to the stage and it was great to see them performing!  I knew most of the songs and I had given Eric a few of each band's songs for him to listen to a few weeks before so he knew some of the tunes.  I was enjoying the concert very much but I think the best thing about the entire night was when the band got the audience involved for the first time.  They sang out some minor lyrics for the audience to sing and while I kept my mouth shut, I could hear Eric next to me shouting out the lyrics with the crowd.  Before I knew it, I decided to sing along with.  It was the best feeling seeing Eric get involved with the music and really enjoying himself.  It meant a lot to me and that was by far the best moment of the night.
Toward the end of the concert, I began feeling the same pang in my chest that I used to feel when leaving Camp Montrose.  It is the feeling when you know this amazing spiritual experience is going to end and soon things won't be as easy.  There won't be a band to guide your spiritual life with God, right?  Now you have to do it all on your own!  Scary!  But then I thought about a video put out by Blimey Cow a few months back about Spiritual Highs and how ridiculous they are.  I felt embarrassed with myself because I knew that things would go back to the way they were.  I wanted this feeling to last forever.  But it is silly of me to think this way.  Why?  Well 1. It isn't about me and my feelings, it is about what Jesus did for me when He died on the cross.  And 2. If I didn't want a spiritual high, why not just say no and start identifying myself in Christ?  It isn't easy but no one said finding identity in God was easy and no one is perfect.  As Tenth Avenue North sings, "don't stop the madness."  I hope this idea is reflected in the blogs I previously posted and the ones I will continue to post.
I wanted to share this experience on my blog because this is something that is very important to me.  I'm not looking to change or convert but I do know that it is important to spread the word of God and what Jesus has done for me and Tenth Avenue North is truly a blessing.  Go check out this song by them -->  Worn  <--  and go check out Blimey Cow's video -->  Messy Monday's: My Spiritual High is Higher than Yours. 


  1. I love tenth avenue north and Blimey cow But am Catholic too!

    1. Well I guess I just mean that TAN and BC are integrated into most Protestant churches while the Catholic Church is very strict and traditional...but that is great! I'm glad to see there is another fellow Catholic TAN and BC fan!

  2. +$3,624 PROFIT last week!

    Subscribe For 5 Star verified winning bets on MLB, NHL, NBA and NFL + Anti-Vegas Smart Money Signals!!!