Friday the 20th of February was one of the the best, most worrying nights of my life.
When we got the notification of a Third day and Needtobreathe concert hosting all around Australia, I was ecstatic. Anyone who knows me knows Needtobreathe is my favourite band. I listen to a LOT of music, but I’ve never enjoyed any artist more than I have enjoyed Needtobreathe’s albums. And Third day were the second Christian band I was introduced to as a kid (with Newsboys being number one) and they hold a lot of great memories, so they’re a very special band for me. So these two together in one night? It was my most anticipated day of this year so far, let’s just say that. But it wasn’t all easy.
Those who live in Australia, and especially Queensland, know that at that time we were in the middle of a cyclone. It had been on the news all day, pulling apart houses and reaching winds of nearly 300km/h. It began up north, but was heading south…. straight for Brisbane, the city where the concert was being held. The forecast said it would hit Brisbane by that night.
The show had originally been planned at an outside venue, but because of the heavy rains, they had to move it to an indoor venue, which was further, but better.
In the end we decided to trust God and go. Just Dad, my younger brother, and I.
We eventually arrived at the suburb with the rain at a bare minimum, and with the venue just five minutes away, the main road was closed off. In that particular area, it was the only way to get to the venue, so we checked the GPS and searched around for twenty minutes to no avail. Eventually we searched out another route altogether. Thankfully there was another exit back down the highway which took us around the closed road, so we got to the venue by 6:30 where the show began at seven. We snagged fifth row from the front, so we got a clear view of the stage.
There were three artists to be exact that night, and the first supporting artist was singer/songwriter Levi McGrath. I’ll admit I didn’t have much knowledge of his work prior to the show, but after his four songs, I really wanted to discover his music further. He lit up the stage with his acoustic and it was an amazing start to the night.
Then came Needtobreathe! When Bear and Co. walked on stage, I screamed out at with least two hundred people (you know, the tough man shout). There’s just something special seeing your favourite band, people whose music you’ve invested hours of your time into, walk on stage. They had the place in their hands with the first song, The Devil’s Been Talking, from their album, the Reckoning. Bear’s voice was as good as ever, and the whole band was just amazing. They already sound amazing in studio, but live they’re even better. Next came State I’m In, from their newest masterpiece, River’s in the Wasteland. After that they slowed it down for Difference Maker and Multiplied, both off Rivers…. The band then brought out an old classic with Something Beautiful from their third album, The Outsiders. Chills were in abundance now, and Bo’s guitar skills just blew the crowd away. After that it was back to the rock with Oh, Carolina, where Bo engaged the crowd with a blistering solo, before finishing with the Outsiders and an acoustic version of Brother. The song began with just Bear and his brother, Bo, before bringing the entire band into it for the final chorus.
After a twenty minute intermission where they brought out a World Vision sponsored child who gave her touching testimony on how she was saved, Third Day walked on and opened up the show with their rocker, Kicking and Screaming, from their album, Miracle. They brought the worship next with their song, Sing a Song, before bringing the rock a good deal heavier and louder with Otherside, from Revelation. They played a lot of songs, and I can’t remember them all, but the set included classics such as, Creed, You Are So Good To Me, I’ve Always Loved You, and my favourite, Born Again. In the middle they asked us (the audience in general, not us personally) what songs we’d like to hear. The audience picked Love song and Consuming Fire, from Third Day, and These Thousand Hills and King of Glory, from Offerings Vol. 1. before jumping right into the chorus of Cry Out to Jesus. Mac then shared a testimony behind their song, I Need a Miracle, about a man who was about to commit suicide before he heard the chorus to Cry Out to Jesus on the radio. The lyrics, There is hope for the hopeless, rest for the weary, and love for the broken heart. There is grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing, He’ll meet you wherever you are. Cry out to Jesus, saved his life. After I Need A Miracle, the band then brought Needtobreathe on stage to sing along with their new song, Soul On Fire, from their new worship album, Lead Us Home. This was truly a magical moment as they both belted out this southern rock tune, before closing with Revelation.
The room then remained dark for five minutes with the crowd shouting “One more song!” They walked back on stage and played, not one, but two more songs. They opened the encore with Tunnel, from Wherever You Are, before closing out in brilliant worship with God of Wonders.
When we walked out, we had the biggest smiles on our faces. The rain had stopped, it was 11:00, God’s presence was amazing, and I couldn’t have been happier.
Here’s a few snippets of the night.