Sunday Summary: Music – Nov. 16, 2008

Y’know when something’s just “off”. You can’t put your finger on it, and there’s certainly no one, individual guilty party. There’s no “if only we had so-and-so instead of whats-his-name…”, but at the same time, the glue that is often there, and should be there – at least on paper – isn’t.

The Patriots lost the Super Bowl. The Rays lost the World Series. USC lost to Stanford.

Why? Were they out played? Maybe… Or maybe they were just “off”. I don’t know.

That’s kinda how we felt about some stuff in both the East and West Auditoriums yesterday. Nothing was bad, or not worth repeating. It just seemed like some of the spark was missing.

Most of that kind of stuff can be fixed for next time – analyzed, discussed, and ultimately tweaked, or sometimes even avoided altogether in the future.

We often have those easy insights – “Their voices do not blend well” or “their playing styles don’t compliment each other”, or even “that song went over like a lead balloon”. We all have those obvious observations.

The tough ones come after days like yesterday. Something, somewhere, even small and minute, was off. So what was it, and how do we fix it for next time?

NOW DON’T GET ME WRONG – the 4 songs we did yesterday were great, and were executed well, with passion, and the average Joe in the crowd probably didn’t know the difference… In fact, there were some really incredible moments!

But there’s still those little, nagging, thoughts…

– Were those worship tunes the best combination?

– Are they in the right keys for the WL to be set up for success but still be comfortable for the crowd?

– Are they tunes that are truly approachable for the audience to sing, and ultimately worship through?

– Did we choose the proper instrumentation for the Opener on West?

– We had 2 WL’s in East – did we pick the right tunes for each one to sing?

– Did I book players that complimented each other or hindered the end product?

– Did I spend enough time working with the F.O.H. engineer to purvey what we wanted from the PA mix?

– Did we set up the people on stage for success, or did we hand them stuff that just didn’t “spark” them?

– Did someone switch our coffee for decaf?

Those are some of the questions we’ll ask ourselves today…

Anyhoo – it wasn’t a bad or regretful Sunday by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there was some stuff that was down right incredible:

– The Opener in East, second and third service

– The Worship Set in West, second service

– The closer in East, second and third service

There was lots of good stuff – but those were just a few of my personal highlights…

So what, exactly, did we do yesterday???


“The Remedy (I Won’t Worry)” by Jason Mraz

– East: Eddie Kirkland

– West: Ryan Stuart (now Ryan did do an amazing job, but in hindsight, we botched the instrumentation choice to accompany him. Nothing major, but we had Todd on acoustic instead of electric, which thinned out the tune and didn’t carry the punch that song required…)


“Wonderful The Love”

“Breathe On Me”


“It Is Well” – Todd’s new version of the classic hymn. Really cool, but if it become a staple of our worship repertoire we’ll probably tweak some of the verse verbage. Some of it is lovely, but some could be modernized just a tad to make it a little more singable for the modern human…

OK, I’ve vented… But I still love and believe in all the people involved yesterday and I do love the songs we sang. But, through analysis and discussion, we’re a tiny bit wiser for next time…

– – – – –

East Band – Mike Gleason, Chrystina Fincher, Brad Long, Jeremy Moyers, Richard Meeder, Scott Meeder, Randy Harper, Eddie Kirkland

West Band – Todd Fields, Ashley Appling, Danny Grady, Pat Malone, Jared Hamilton, Ryan Stuart, Karyn List

Pic of West from rehearsal…


– – – – –

By the way, I’m glad we have an awesome gang of tech folks to fix this problem we experienced in rehearsal:


Big kudos to the guys for troubleshooting that before service began!

– – – – –

So what musical elements did YOU feel you could improve upon for the future?

– – – – –


1 thought on “Sunday Summary: Music – Nov. 16, 2008

  1. I’d say the one thing I could improve on more is use of variety and creativity. This week, we changed things up with an acoustic set. We had three acoustic players, a violin and a djembe. The three guitar players blended perfectly, with one (me) playing rhythm in an open D tuning and the others playing some other parts in different octaves. We put the lyrics on the center screen make the room feel less imposing and used soft backlighting to give an intimate effect. The whole service took on a different feel, and it made some songs simply come alive.

    On an upcoming week, I think we’re going to take the entire band wireless and play from the crowd as a visual reminder that this is not a concert by a band singing to a crowd, but a single group of people (some on stage, some off) all singing together to God.

    We, as worship leaders, need to be creative more often instead of resting in the ease of doing songs the way the band already knows and everyone is comfortable with. I’m always looking for ways to break out of the box! It’s not only good for corporate worship, it’s great for my personal worship too. This week was the most meaningful musical worship I’ve had in a long time!

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