Casting Crowns – Reviews by Allan Anderton & Lauren Morgan

Review by Allan:

On the 26th of June 2014, I  went to watch the Christian Band called ‘Casting Crowns’ who were performing live at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town.  I remember watching them six years earlier and I was really excited to see them again.  Mark Hall, their lead singer, joked that it had been a while since they were last in South Africa and that they were now a ‘rap’ band.

The Arena was packed out with young and old singing along to songs from their latest album, ‘Thrive’ and some of their older songs like ‘Who Am I’, ‘If We Are The Body’, ‘Praise You In This Storm’ and ‘Voice of Truth’.

The words to the song ‘Voice of Truth’ really stood out for me.  There are so many voices in our lives which claim to be the truth, telling us what to do and think, especially when we are going through difficult times.  But, as the song says, we should choose to listen to and believe the voice of truth, and that voice of truth is Jesus.  The song called ‘Thrive’ encouraged us to dig deep into God’s word so that we can know Him and live to make Him known.

Mark Hall prayed and told stories between some of the songs and it was interesting to hear how the Band had started : they had a Demo CD which a friend had played to the Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman.  He heard it and thought ‘these are the songs that the Church needs to be hearing right now.’  Mark also spoke about his own ADD and dyslexia and how God has used him despite these struggles, because God can use anyone for His glory. With the last song they sang called ‘Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)’, the Band  left the stage, leaving the audience singing these words about Jesus:

“Living, He loved me.  Dying, He saved me.   Buried, He carried my sins far away.  Rising, He justified freely forever.  One day He’s coming, oh glorious day!”

You see at the end of the day, it is not about the Band or the music, it is all about Jesus : what He has done for us and that He will return again.

Written by Allan Anderton (Bursar at George Whitefield College).

Review by Lauren:

On Thursday night I went to see one of my favorite bands of all time, Casting Crowns. The show blew my expectations, as not only were the band excellent live, they also spoke us through the meaning of their songs, and encouraged us to sing along.

The band are all involved in their local churches, with their lead singer Mark being the youth pastor. Mark told us they started writing songs to encourage their youth members in their walks with the Lord, through dealing with different issues that may arise in the church or in one’s own life.  The band made a strong emphasis that we all stay involved in each of our local churches, which was very encouraging to hear from a world famous band.

The concert as a whole was a mixture of singing and short encouraging messages around inspirations behind various songs. The one short talk being the story of Peter in John 21. They have a beautiful song about Peter’s life, and Jesus’s acceptance of him, even after his denial called “This is now”.

Another great thing about the concert was that they made a concerted effort to keep away the ability for ones emotions to override God’s Word (which is something that can usually arise during Christian concerts.) They did this by taking breaks during songs to explain something from Gods Word, or tell a story about the band. Mark said that the reason for doing this is they have seen in the past how someone can get overcome with emotions after a Christian concert, and get on this high for God, and then as soon as they leave something will happen, like they check a message on their phone and suddenly all those emotions are gone. They want us to understand that our feelings are up and down, and we should never base our relationship with God around them. We MUST be rooted in His Word.

Their new album, Thrive, shows a picture of a big tree with deep roots. The focus of this album being the importance of us staying deeply rooted in God’s Word, as this will enable us to stand through the storms of life, and produce fruit.

Overall the show was amazing, and I left feeling encouraged to read my Bible. All of the songs have beautiful lyrics, some dealing with various issues we as Christians face, and others just simple songs of praise to God.

Written by Lauren Morgan (student at GWC)