Saturday, April 12, 2008

Relevant Worship

One of the groups I work for as a sound guy is Relevant Worship. They play original, contemporary worship aimed at not being run-of-the-mill, trite material. There's eleven of them and it's quite an effort for them to get anything accomplished for that reason, hence, I believe it's the Lord that accomplishes their feats. This isn't some people who would be at church anyway on a Sunday and play some music at the start. This is a troop of people who dedicate a significant part of their lives to creating new, effective music. All told, the team is comprised of over twenty core members, musicians and support, with who knows how many more contributing here and there as they are able.

They've just completed their second CD and the release party was this weekend. They rented a club. A thousand people came, it was sold out. The hand of God was clearly visible in that: eleven musicians, an opening act with fourteen members, five sound techs, two house techs, a video crew, a projection crew and at least a dozen volunteers pulled the show off on schedule. Well, not really on schedule for a couple reasons. The first being that apparently no one knew what the schedule was and we just went at it until we had things ready. The second reason being that with everything ready to go at the stroke of seven, we delayed the show twenty more minutes because no one told the emcee to go out. We all stood at our posts with the tension mounting. But with that being the worst snag of the day I'd call the whole thing a resounding success.

Within two blocks of the Buffalo party scene, surrounded by revelers on a Friday night, one thousand people gathered to worship, and it was amazing. The album doesn't do the music justice. The opening song, "Anthem for the Redeemed" starts with an ethereal keyboard section, at some point the whole band kicks in with a couple short bursts. The effect is truly stunning. To put it purely in sound guy geek terms, with a dynamic range of over 40 decibels between the background and the hits, combined with twenty kilowatts of sub-bass power, it's a moment that literally blows your hair back and makes your pant legs flap. It's full contact worship folks. Before you know it the song is idling along in fourth gear, two thousand hands are clapping along, and one very meek sound guy is standing at the monitor mix on the side of the stage, trying not to cry in front of the house techs.

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