There are certain shows you go to with high expectations because of the popularity of the artists playing in that show. Most of the time, the performance is not as good as the media portrays the artist to be. Rarely does an artist or band exceed the media’s expectations. The artists of the Outcry Tour are an anomaly. Every single one came out, did their thing, and blew me away.
Trip Lee opened the show and played while the venue filled up. It was a hot, humid, sweaty Memphis Summer night, but when the music started, the crowd seemed to forget the heat. The put section jumped & danced along with Trip. The hip-hop artist opened his 4 song set with Insomniac and rhymed through tracks Robot, Manolo, & Sweet Victory.
Lauren Daigle has an awesome story. She tried out for American Idol twice; once in 2010 and once in 2012. In 2010, she got cut from the competition before making it to Hollywood. In 2012 Lauren made it to Hollywood, but was cut during the first round in Las Vegas. After her stints with Idol, Lauren sang background on The Assembile band's EP. The EP hit #1 on iTunes which led to Lauren being invited to label Centricity Music's workshop. During the workshop, the lead vocalist for the main act became ill and Lauren was asked to be her replacement. Her stunning performance led to Centricity Music signing her in 2013.
So, Lauren has an incredible backstory. She currently assists in leading worship at North Point Church in Atlanta. If the audience didn't know her backstory, there would have been no evidence that she was signed only two years ago. Lauren came out and commanded the stage like a pro. She rolled through 3 of her songs and closed with her Christian radio hit, First.
The Passion Band performs at the large Christian conference, Passion. The conference was founded by Louie Giglio and hosts primarily high school and college students. This age target allows for the conference to have a "rock" type feel to their worship. The artists that belong to the record label sixsteprecords make up the primary Passion Band. Artists include Chris Tomlin, David Crowder, Charlie Hall, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill. Last, Kristian Sanfill took the lead for Passion Band. This group is used to playing massive arenas at the Passion Conferences, so it was cool to see them adapt to the BankPlus Amphitheater.
Bethel Music has a similar story to Hillsong United, but on a smaller scale. Formed from the worship ministry of Bethel Church in California, Bethel Music is now a record label and publishing company that houses worship leaders and songwriters out of their church in California. In early 2015, Bethel Music created an Artist Collective that expanded their roster of artists.
Bethel is similar to Hillsong United in the way that they formed out of a church, but now tour from time to time due to the popularity of the songs they write for church worship. Last night, Bethel took the audience through some massive Christian radio hits. Concert goers knew all the lyrics and sang along to their performances of This Is Amazing Grace, We Will Not Be Shaken, No Longer Slaves & For The Cross.
Kari Jobe released her debut-album independently in 2009 and it immediately shot to #1 on the iTunes Christian music chart. It also debuted at number 3 on Billboard's Christian music chart. In 2011, she was signed to EMI CMG Sparrow Records as a result of her independent success. Kari has been nominated for a GRAMMY and has won two Dove Awards. She is Gateway Church's associate worship pastor.
As I was listening to Kari, it seemed clear that she has a Nashville-type sound to her music. She isn't overly country sounding like some Nashville artists, but instrumentally, her music has a country/rock style to it. The Christian worship song, Revelation Song, was recorded by Kari and became popular through her recording of it. Last night in Memphis, Kari sailed through Revelation Song, Let the Heavens Open, I Am Not Alone, and Forever.
After Kari's set, the Amphitheater has to be evacuated because of lightning in the area. The audience was encouraged to wait in their cars and to follow the tour's social media channels to see when to return to their seats. The delay last about an hour.
Hillsong United is one of those bands that just has it down. They know their stuff musically. They can relate to their audience. Their attire matches their vibe, and they do it all while genuinely worshiping God and humbly admitting their success is not because of themselves.
Hillsong United was born from Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. The church has since grown to have campuses across the world. The church has a huge influence with college aged people.
United opened their set with Here Now (Madness) from their newest album, Empires. The song is a synth/piano driven ballad which engaged the crowd to the stage. Everyone was on the edge of their seat wanting more. Joel Houston, lead singer of United, led through this ballad as the crowd worshiped with him. The light show that Hillsong put on was enough to warrant an audience and the lightning surrounding the Amphitheater only increased the impact.
United led the audience through almost an hour of worship as they sang tracks old and new; all from their own albums. The highlight of the night was when Taya Smith, female lead of Hillsong, performed the band's massive hit, Oceans. The boundaries between the stage and audience seemed to break away. Everyone was totally engrossed in the lyrics. It was an incredible moment.
Memphis was the last stop for Outcry Tour, but 901 Music would recommend seeing any of these artists live on their own tours, or on another stint of Outcry Tour. In the meantime, you can experience the show through our photos below.
Photo Credits: Tim Simpson Jr.