CASTING CROWNS SHINES THE LIGHT
The Grammy winning contemporary Christian music group, Casting Crowns, performed for a very receptive crowd Friday, May 15th, at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA. If you are unfamiliar with Casting Crowns, it is comprised of 7 very talented individuals: Mark Hall, lead vocals; Megan Garrett, piano , vocals; Melodee DeVevo, violin, vocals; Juan DeVevo, guitar, vocals; Hector Cervantes, guitar, vocals; Chris Huffman, bass, vocals; and Brian Scoggin, drums.
Performing several songs from their current album “The Altar and the Door” lead vocalist Mark Hall explained, “"When we're at the altar, everything makes sense, we know what we're supposed to do. We know how we're supposed to live. Everything's black and white. But somewhere between the altar and the door, when we leave and go out into our lives, it all leaks out, and everything gets gray again. The Christian life is the journey between the altar and the door, trying to get the things you've got in your head, your hands, your feet, and into your life.”
Mark often referred to himself as “a dork” and someone who is on the journey himself. He has a wonderful gift of communication, making you feel as though he’s the guy next door. Someone you can relate to, someone who understands. And that’s not surprising for when he isn’t touring with Casting Crowns he’s a Youth Pastor in McDonough, Georgia.
Mark kept the audience entertained with stories behind the songs and countries the band has visited. When he shared about their trip to Korea we found ourselves encouraged to sing along in Korean, laughing as we made the attempt.
Many in the crowd joined in singing well known praise songs like “The Voice of Truth,” and “Who Am I?” Megan Garrett gave a masterful performance of “I Know You’re There” and Melodee DeVevo’s violin solo on “Praise You With the Dance” was invigorating! Hector Cervantes rocked the house with his rendition of “My Redeemer Lives.”
Speaking a word of caution before singing “Slow Fade” Mark encouraged us to guard our hearts and minds with what we watch, read, and listen to. "People don't crumble in a day. You don't fall, you fade," Hall explains. "In your mind, there's that pride that says 'I'd never do that'... but you don't just do it, it's a slow series of compromises, little ones that go there, until eventually you're sitting in a place you'd never go, doing something you'd never do... and yet the way you're living totally makes sense to you somehow because you're so numb."
Songs like “If We Are the Body,” and “What If His People Prayed” challenged us to a more responsible walk of faith. Casting Crowns knows just where to shine the light. I came away refreshed, renewed and hopeful for a better tomorrow.