The lovely Lady Jane and I attended the Jars of Clay and NeedtoBreathe concert at the Three Rivers Festival in downtown Fort Wayne last night. It was a very warm night with a mix of both good and no-so-good surprises.
The show kicked off at 5:30 with Jonny Diaz and apparently just the singer from Plumb. We didn't catch either one of them, as we were tempted into food alley by the deep-fried smells of just about everything imaginable. We actually saw some of the members of the two headlining bands while there. Boy, I don't think I could perform on stage in this kind of heat after eating fair food. But since I wasn't performing, I got myself a giant tenderloin from a young girl who gave me a hard time for wearing my Fighting Illini t-shirt. Jane had one too, and Drew Carrie opted for the steak tips and onions (which looked good, btw).
After eating we made our way into the main stage area at Headwaters Park, and I was kinda blown away by the crowd. Holy cow, there were lots of people at this concert. We couldn't find a seat anywhere, so I walked back to the car (free parking at a Wayne St. meter again) and grabbed the blanket out of the trunk. We stood in the back for quite awhile, then sat on the blanket in the back and off to the side until some chairs opened up later in the evening. We also saw some people from church there, and they gave us a big bag of popcorn they had brought from home. It was actually kind of good.
I didn't think I had ever heard NeedtoBreathe before, but once they started playing I soon realized I had and just didn't know it. I don't know if it was on the radio or songs of theirs that have been used on tv shows. At any rate, I really liked them. Kind of had a Kings of Leon sound. I think they played about an hour, and I would say most of the audience must have been there to hear them. Very nice alt/rock sound.
Jars of Clay came on around 8:30. I had been looking forward to hearing them, because it's been a looong time since the last time I'd seen them. And they seemed kind of... different. Almost like they were trying to be more "pop-ey" or something. They played several of their classics, but they didn't play them the same as I'm used to hearing them, and it was weird. Not that they were bad, but it was just weird. I suppose, though, that they are free to do with their music what they want, so I'm not criticizing them. It just wasn't the Jars of Clay I was expecting. They only did one acoustic song, and that was the encore. Which was a little odd in and of itself. I mean, honestly, people started leaving when Jars of Clay first took the stage. Usually more people ARRIVE as the headliner gets ready to play, but tonight the crowd was at it's peak early and it thinned out as the night wore on. Then, when Jars of Clay got done at a surprisingly early 9:20 (or thereabouts)... everyone just started leaving. No one even asked for an encore. Finally the emcee came out and asked if we wanted to hear more, so the few that were left cheered for more. I suppose the band felt a little odd when they walked out to play an encore to less than half the crowd they had before. At any rate, I took this as an opportunity to go up front, and I actually got about 5 people back from the stage, so it was a great spot to watch their one acoustic song from. Then they were done.
Again, it's not like it was a bad show; just not what I was expecting. And NeedtoBreathe was much better than expected. I will say too, I was happy to see such a big crowd for a Christian concert. I hope the festival will continue to bring in big name Christians acts. And, it was also nice being at a Christian concert and not being bombarded with stupid Jesus novelties or being guilted into shelling out money to support their latest cause. It really is okay for them to just come and sing (at least in my opinion).
Anyway, it ended up being a beautiful night once it cooled down a bit; and we were actually home at a decent hour too. A very nice way to spend a Sunday night - with the woman I love and two of the kids along as well. Now I'm pumped for the David Crowder Band this coming Saturday!
Peace out; and in.