Sunday Summary – Music: June 21, 2009

OK, you’ve heard me drone on and on about having something ENGAGING at the top of the service. Sometimes it’s a peppy Opener, or at least a semi-captivating individual doing a welcome. Followed by some great worship featuring some kickin’ tunes. Of course 🙂

This week was no exception. To celebrate Father’s Day we did something that we first did at DRIVE, and that we stole from the show “Ellen”.

Yep – Blindfolded Musical Chairs, hosted by the always funny, engaging, and occasionally pleasantly irreverent Clay “Scrog Dog” Scroggins.

We had pre-selected 4 fathers out of the audience – not plants or ringers, just guys that we asked to play about 10 minutes before each service.

The best part were the pictures of funny eyes on the blindfolds!

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You can’t NOT laugh. Good times…

WORSHIP:

So once everyone’s had their funny bone tickled, it’s a whole lot easier to sing. It seems like crowds come alive after something in the opening slot has really caught their fancy and helped them let their hair down. That’s another great reason to have something light, fun and engaging right at the top of the service – it actually HELPS worship!

However, Blindfolded Musical Chairs and a video welcome by Andy, streamed from Browns Bridge, ate up a lot of time, so we only did two songs. But every once in a while, that okie dokey.

So we did:

All Because of Jesus

Everything

It was a great mix of energy and passion, old and new. A song that’s getting a little old in the tooth and another that’s caught on over the last couple months. And strong songs for each worship leader – always a plus!

EAST BAND – Mike Gleason, Brad Long, Danny Grady, Scott Meeder, Pat Malone, Jared Hamilton, Ryan Stuart

WEST BAND – Todd Fields, Brad Avery, Brad Gage, Brad Bretz, Chris Arias, Karyn List

So yeah, we had 4 Brads – 1 on East and 3 on West. Next time we’ll shoot for all on one stage 😉

Sunday Summary – Music: June 7, 2009

This past week was a BLAST! I had a GT (good time) all morning long – and I wasn’t even on stage. So that’s sayin’ somethin’!

First, some back story…

As we’ve looked at the summer as a whole, we realized that Andy’s not speaking here (or any of the campuses) for nearly 3 months, starting 2 weeks ago. He’ll be back in August.

(FYI – he’s enjoying some vacation time, as well as giving a bunch of the other communicators and speakers in our organization some opportunities to speak, along with a couple special guests).

So that leaves us with 2 things:

#1 – Shorter services (AKA time to fill…). Speakers other than Andy are alloted 35 minutes, and so that gives us an extra 5 minutes to either fill in content or get out a few minutes early – we’ll be doing some of both over the summer.

#2 – No Andy. Duh! It’s no secret that attendance dips a bit when it’s publicly known that he’s not speaking, so we’re going to do our best to help make the services this summer fantastic – at least as much as we can from a music and programming perspective.

So will we do a few more fun openers this summer? Oh, you betcha!

And we started this week with a great “Summer” song – Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69”.

Sam Tesh came and sang it for us – and dude, he’s amazing! He’s a great, charismatic performer with a voice perfect for Journey, Bryan Adams, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi – you get the picture. Oh, and all in the same keys as the originals! Yep – that’s high.

Oh, and giant kudos to our good buddy Steve Thomason, who, of course, covered the tones and solos to perfection. That boy has mastered the art of being faithful to the originals when it comes to classic rock. Love him!

Here’s Sam and the gang making the 80’s proud…

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We, spearheaded by Eddie, have a real passion for this summer for our bands, singers and worship leaders to HAVE FUN! To enjoy themselves on stage. To bring a smile and encouragement to the congregations and attenders. To embrace what they’re singing and playing and have a RGT (really good time).

And our prayer is that will help soften the hearts and let down the guard of the stoics and skeptics. And anyone bummed about no Andy 😉

WORSHIP:

Man, we kept the blood pumpin’ with worship, too!

God Is Alive

Glorious (off of Todd’s new CD)

Everlasting God

Yep – not one tune under 105 bpm’s. In review some thought it was a little much. I could see their point, but I think the majority didn’t mind it. I thought it worked, especially going into the funny Title Package for the current series.

So we’ve got a few more things up our sleeves for this summer – should be fun!

– – – – –

East Band – Eddie Kirkland, Rachael Gillis, Steve Thomason, Danny Grady, Scott Meeder, Richard Meeder, John Carrozza, Sam Tesh

West Band – Ryan Stuart, Rebecca Iraheta, Mike Hines, Matt Melton, Wayne Viar, Earl South, Keith Thomas

Sunday Summary – Music: May 24, 2009

Ugghhh…. Holidays are great and all, but they sure do get you off your schedule. Seems like Tuesday and Wednesday are just for playing catch-up for what you couldn’t do on Monday.

Are you with me, people??

OK, well, here’s a look at this past Sunday….

– – – – –

Every once in a while one of my hair-brained, off the cuff comments actually becomes a reality. Y’know when you say something expecting a laugh, but are delighted when people actually say “Yeah – that’d be fun!” That’s what happened this past week.

As we looked at Andy’s 4-part series “Staying In Love”, we had margin to put in specials 3 of the 4 weeks. So two of them were love songs (“Faithfully” week 1, “L-O-V-E” week 2). Week 3 was consumed by celebrating the graduating High School seniors, and we wanted something special for the final week.

So I threw out the idea of a cheesy lounge/wedding singer doing some schtick and some wonderfully classic/horrible love songs – complete with the powder blue tux.

Well, that idea stuck – as long as the right person was available. And, by God’s mercy and grace, he was!!

Brandon O’Dell is an unbelievable talent – actor, comedian, writer. He writes for The Re:Think Group, acts professionally around town, and is one of our KidStuf hosts.

Imagine a taller, lankier Steve Buscemi who loves Jesus, and you’ve got Brandon…

As the concept progressed, it turned into Brandon – as wedding singer Chet Maxwell – rolling out his “audio cart” to the middle of the stage. A rolling audio rack, complete with mixer, CD player, and the coveted tape deck all the way at the bottom.

“Chet” introduces himself and the series, “They’ve asked me here today…” Then proceeds to do the verse and chorus of 4 of the greatest (cheesiest but recognizable) 80’s love songs.

The Power of Love – Huey Lewis

I Just Called to Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder

Hello – Lionel Richie

I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (oh, yeah – he did the big key change into the out chorus!!)

BUT!!!!!

What sent the whole thing over the top was the idea to use wretched MIDI tracks, easily found for free on the Internet. They end up sounding like a child programmed them on their Casio. Wonderful. Horrible, but wonderful…. 😉

The whole thing was a big hit!

– – – – –

WORSHIP:

God is Alive

Glory to God Forever

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)


East Band Steve Fee, Matt Adkins, Heath Baltzglier, Brandon Coker, Jared Hamilton


West Band – Chrystina Fincher, Steve Thomason, Jayce Fincher, Danny Grady, Doug “Slug” Mitchell, Trammell Starks

Sunday Summary – Music: May 17, 2008

It’s amazing how your physical body can affect your experience of, well, anything!

Between pulling something in my lower back on Thursday, then totally overexerting myself Friday and Saturday, I was a wreck come Sunday morning. Literally – like a Mack truck hit me. I felt 90 years old. At one point that morning I didn’t even think I’d be able to put my socks on. Lame, I know…

So playing in East ended up being more of a chore than a pleasure. Which stinks, because it was an absolutely amazing band doing fantastic songs.

So there I was, doing one of my absolute favorite things to do in the whole world, with some of my favorite people to do worship and music with, in one of the most desirable situations and locations to do it – and all I could think of was how much I couldn’t wait to get back to the Green Room and lie on the floor!

So that brings up a thought…

No matter how perfect a scenario we create for those on stage or in the audience – sound, music, monitors, gear, lights, quality, content, professionalism, etc. – there will almost always be something in each person’s life that acts as an obstacle for enjoying their experience and ultimately connecting with God on a deeper level.

I’d say that it’s up to us to address those obstacles – give them a name. Then we can carefully enhance a scenario when possible or eliminate as many of those obstacles as we humanly can.

But obviously we, in our human strength and flawed minds, can’t do it all, or even always do what we do properly, so we always need to pray hard that God blesses our efforts, that they would be honoring to Him, and that He would take care of the rest.

– – – – –

WORSHIP:

How Great Thou Art

Glorious (new Todd Fields tune)

It Is Well (new Todd Fields arrangement)

The second two tunes are on Todd’s new CD!

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– – – – –

East Band – Todd Fields, Brad Avery, Jason Hoard, Ashley Appling, Pat Malone, Rosie Pinkerman, Me

West Band – Ryan Stuart, Jen Carrozza, Mike Bielenberg, Mike Hines, Ben Snider, Scott Meeder, Earl South