I've been to many concerts throughout my life. I've seen Def Leppard, Foreigner, and Styx all twice, I've seen Journey, Bon Jovi, Night Ranger, Lita Ford, Heart, Imagine Dragons, Phillip Phillips, Halsey, Weird Al, Almost Queen, Poison, and I've seen KISS twice (I even met them one of those times)! Those are just the ones I can remember. However, let me say this, the One Life Tour that I went to the other night in Billings, MT was the most impactful concert I've ever been to. I didn't go with anybody, I didn't know anyone there, but I went looking forward to seeing Disciple and I came out the other end with so much more.
Normally at concerts I am somewhere near the front of the stage, that's just how I usually go (because my Dad buys the tickets not me...), but this time I sat in the back. It was held at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Billings and I had never actually been there before. Honestly, I felt very out of place, which was probably just due to the fact that I was there alone and drove two hours to get there after having been at work and in class earlier that day here in Bozeman; but let me say this, when the first band came on, man, I immediately felt a shift in the way that the night was going to go!
The Protest was awesome! I had never heard of them before and when I asked my brother (who is into heavier metal/rock) he didn't know of the either. But it didn't matter. They started playing and I was immediately hooked! They were only able to be on stage for a really short period of time (like a half hour or something crazy like that) so they only got to play three of their songs (I think it was three). "Welcome to the Freakshow" was the only song I 100% remember them playing and that's because they had us raise our hands if we felt like, or have ever felt like a, "freaks". So that was good!
Actually I've been listening to their "Great Lengths" album literally all weekend so I kinda forgot what songs they actually played and which ones I have just been constantly listening to... "Haunted" and "Rebel Static" are really good off of that album by the way if anyone is interested, though the first of those two is probably my favorite ("We Walk the Streets at Night" is also great).
But what really hit me during their performance was that they stopped at one point during the three songs they were actually able to play and shared the Gospel. SERIOUSLY! They not only talked about Jesus but they shared the Gospel in like 30 seconds! I've literally never seen a concert where that happens. Granted, I've never been to a "Christian concert", but even so! I actually got to meet these guys at the end of the concert, they were really awesome! I ended up with one of their "Great Lengths" album, which was sweet. I want to see them again really bad...
So then the next band came up after them named Loftland. Now, Loftland is not rock, metal, or anything like that. Their genre is pop, specifically EDM or CCM. It was a very abrupt transition, but certainly a welcomed one! They immediately got into their music (they got more time than The Protest did) and one of their first songs, if not their first I honestly don't remember it's been two days, has now become a prayer of mine... It's "Girl Like That" which is essentially saying, "this is the girl I'm looking for". It was awesome and I can't tell you how many times I've listened to it since... Like Proverbs 31, if other guys like me are looking for a specific prayer to the Lord about bringing you a wife, this is a good one!
But back to the concert, they were great, they really got everyone excited and into their sound! They even brought people up on stage for their "I Don't Want to Dance" song. But before they went off stage, they also made it a point to tell the audience that they loved us and that, more importantly, Jesus does as well. Again, how many concerts have you been to where they do that? Literally none besides this one in my case.
After Loftland, the concert stuff took a backseat. This is where it got really cool. There was actually a speaker, his name was Sean G. Park, who talked about what is wrong with the Church. Now, we know that there are a few big things, but the biggest thing he talked about was that Christians act like Christians, they're not being Christians. In layman's terms, what he was saying was that so many people "play church" or "play christian" but it's all surface! He referenced Luke 11:39 in which Jesus tells the Pharisees that they've cleaned the outside of their cup, but inside their wicked. Sean warned us of the dangers of playing Christian but not actually having a heart change for the Lord. It was extremely convicting and actually ended up bringing me to tears. He also talked about us being IN the world but NOT OF the world (John 17:16) and that those who love the world are not the Father's (1 John 2:15). But that's not all, Sean went on to give the Gospel message and 45 PEOPLE GOT SAVED!!! AT A ROCK CONCERT!!! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?!
Really I could end this post here and just leave you in awe of how GOOD God actually is, but there's actually more...
Finally, after waiting the whole night (not really that long though, it started at 7 and ended at 10, this was around 8:30 maybe...), Disciple got on stage and rocked the house! Playing a good amount of music from "Attack" (their latest album) and their latest "Vultures" EP (which they said was basically the songs that didn't make it onto "Attack") along with some of the old favorites. After "Radical", "Dead Militia", "Angels and Demons", and some others, the band played "The Name", and that's the song that really hit me. He was singing about Jesus, not being ashamed of Jesus, standing up against evil in the name of Jesus, and loving Jesus all at a rock concert. I had to send it to my Mother, so I took video of the last chorus. It's a fantastic song, check it out when you have the time!
As time, and a few more songs, went on though, Kevin Young, the lead singer of Disciple, just about stopped the concert to share a story about how he finally realized that he NEEDS God in order to learn, do, or overcome ANYTHING. He shared two more stories, one about a boy who was cutting himself and another about a girl who was going to commit suicide. The first story ended with them playing the song "Invisible" (which they wrote after meeting that boy) and the second ended with the girl telling Kevin that four weeks earlier she planned her suicide and in one last ditch effort called about to God and told Him that she would give her life to Him if He told her that He loved her. After turning on the radio, she heard the Disciple song "After the World" and then gave her life to Christ. They played that song too and then ended this portion of the concert with "Lay My Burdens Down" where everyone raised their hands and surrendered anything they were carrying to the Lord. I was once again in tears.
Then our victory song. Immediately after surrendering to the Lord, Disciple played their hit song "Dear X, You Don't Own Me", a declaration of our conquest over our demons, both literal and figuratively. It was awesome. The band played a few more songs, then left, and like every concert I've been to came back out for an encore of three songs, ending the night with "O God Save Us All". It was an amazing night!
Afterwards is when I met The Protest, got their CD, went to the Disciple booth, picked up a shirt and a vinyl copy of "Attack" (signed by the entire band!), then finished off at the Loftland booth and got their album "I Don't Want to Dance". I've been listening to these albums all weekend, along with Demon Hunter because the Deluxe Edition of "Extremist" came out yesterday and it's awesome.
Later, I talked with my brother for a couple hours on my way back home to Bozeman that night and besides having one of the best phone calls I've ever had, he reminded me that the way these bands make money and are supported is by the merchandise at the concerts. They don't make all that much on tickets, especially this one where tickets were only $15! So, I felt accomplished walking out of that concert with all that gear!
But in all seriousness, the One Life Tour was not only one of the best concerts I have ever been to, no actually, it probably was the best period, but it was also one of the best nights I've had with the Lord, just experiencing his presence and honestly just wanting to be with Him. The concert did that, the phone call with my brother did that, and at the end of the day the Holy Spirit did that through everyone involved. Thank you Jesus for this amazing experience! If One Life is coming to a city near you in the next month before the tour is over, THEN GO! Seriously, you won't regret it!
Also just a note, KJ-52 was not there despite him being on the banner up top... I have no idea why!