I was introduced to a great band when I moved to the US. My friend Sevrin loved them and we played the CD over and over again as we drove up and down I70 to snowboard every weekend. We yelled along to the lyrics and it became the one constant on my CD player. All of the songs were about love and passion and wanting… plus it was in my key so I could yell along without breaking any windows in my truck.
‘I want to fall in love with you..’ the songs were so romantic and yet they still kicked ass. every song was about loving, and wanting to love, and about love being so hard and challenging.. Weird for a rock group, (Metallica never really moved me with their lyrics), but hey.. Yanks were weird.
I’ve always been into music but I’d never really liked this type of moderate rock before.. but it was just so damn catchy and the chorus’s really worked well when you were stuck in a traffic jam and needing to sing at the top of your lungs. Ah well, before I moved the US I’d never driven an automatic, I guessed that I was just adjusting to life in the mid west.
Fast forward to 2000 and the band was coming to Denver to play. I was excited to check them out and despite my casting a wide net for some company, no one was jumping to join me at the show. I figured – ‘lame’ and headed off on a rainy Thursday night.
The hand stamp for ‘over 21’ at the door was a little confusing but since the crowd seemed really young, I figured it was probably necessary. On a second glance, the crowd looked really young. Like 16-17 young. At the age of 28, I wasn’t exactly pushing an AARP membership, but I definitely seemed to be one of the older people in the crowd. I guess the band had a young fan base? They were cute, but not exactly ‘Justin Beiber’ tweendom. Hmm. Strange.Wonder what the appeal was?
The bar was empty which made getting a beer easy and as the lights dimmed and the band came on stage, I was thrilled to hear the first bars of one of my favorite songs. I headed down towards the front of the stage (‘cos that’s how I roll) and joined in singing along. As the song wrapped the lead singer started talking to the audience;
‘Thank you for joining us and God here tonight’
‘Because God is here with us tonight’
‘So before we get going, I want to pause to say thanks to God and Jesus Christ for bringing us together’
I looked around with my mouth hanging open as all of my fellow fans raised their right arms to the ceiling and closed their eyes. Holy shit! I was not only at a christian rock show, but I seemed to be trapped down at the front of the audience with the Hitler Youth. A girl to my left was staring at me as she grabbed her cross from around her neck and held it up,
‘did you lose your cross?’
I gave her a weak grin and looking over her shoulder, noticed that everyone in the crowd was actually holding a cross in their hands. She looked at me piteously and quickly scanned the crowd,
‘ maybe someone has one you can borrow?’
Huh? Finding myself in a christian rock concert prayer meeting was one thing, waving a cross around while a pseudo rocker talked Jesus was a little step too far even for me.
‘I’m ok’ I told her and tried to take off to hide in the toilets until the music started up again. She grabbed my arm and urged,
‘you HAVE been saved, haven’t you?’
Oh lordy. Ever the honest idiot, I told her that I wasn’t really into the whole Jesus thing but that I really liked the band.
‘Oh but you must accept Jesus Christ our savior into your life! You must!!
She grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over to a older looking cute guy in his mid 30s.
‘Dad.. she needs to be saved’
Oh hell no
No amount of catchy tunes was worth a pious introduction to the worth of Lord Jesus Savior Hippy dude. I didn’t need to be saved, I needed to be somewhere else entirely. I resisted the urge to make the devils horns and ran.
Note to self before attending next show…moderate rock, catchy tunes, check the lyrics.Rock and rock is apparently still something to be feared in the US.