The story that brings us to the day of the concert is brief: one of the families in our homeschool co-op was getting a group together to go and she was buying the tickets to get a group rate for everyone. She had seen the band 3 times previously and her enthusiasm for them was contagious. Her older children had also been to their concerts and enjoyed them (ages 9 & 10). We had to make a decision by the end of the day, so the kids and I got on youtube and started watching some of their music videos. We decided that they were worth checking out further. From Mike & I's perspective, we felt it would be a great introduction to the world of rock concerts for the boys: good Christian music, attending with a group of their peers in the company of their parents, and wholesome fun.
On the day of the concert there were continuous storm warnings, travel warnings, cancellations and closings all going into effect for that night and the next day. We knew we would be able to make it to St. Cloud fine, but the getting home after would be another story... hmmmm? We checked with the other families - all were still committed to the adventure, so we hung in with the plan too. We dropped our other 5 kiddos off at our friends home and hit the road. Within 20 minutes we encountered bad blowing snow that only worsened the farther we traveled. By the time we arrived at the concert we knew it was going to get really bad... and it was moving that way FAST.
Anyway... we went inside.
Our friends had saved us a spot with our group, which was set up with the boys on a bleacher, the girls on the next one up, then parents behind them (moms together with Dads behind their wife) - all so well thought out for being able to chat and have fun.
First band was Article One from Canada - they were really good. They have this amazing violin player that "completely rocks!" (to quote one of the teens I was with). Next up was a soul style band called New World Son (also from Canada) that was super fun. Mike especially enjoyed these guys. The last warm up band was Rush of Fools from Alabama. Christopher & Elliot really perked up when this band hit the stage. Prior to this they had been standing still with hands over their ears and monkeying around with their ear plugs due to the mind blowing volume they had never in their little lives experienced, or even thought possible. Now, at last they became engaged and I saw them enjoy themselves a bit; I admit I enjoyed this group the most thus far too - they must share their mother's taste in music!
At last the Newsboys made a great entrance and the night took off! All I can say is that they were wayyyy more than I was expecting. It was a completely awesome performance that was fun, pure (no rock band insanity), and inspiring. The youngest concert goer I saw was around 18 months old (that was insane), the oldest had to be in her 80's... everybody having a blast. The concert included various styles of songs from slow and beautiful to loud, fast and fun. The lead singer also shared his testimony which was moving and touched the massive crowd. The grand finale of the show was a drum duo between the lead vocalist and the drummer which was exceptionally entertaining and included revolving, upside down drum sets and more.
Mike and I watched our two sons change from stiff dweebie like fellows into clapping, smiling concert goers who were actually getting into the fun. They didn't go all crazy by any means, but they were animated and enjoying themselves tremendously - the ear plugs even came out of Christopher's ears!
After the concert they were all chatter about how great it was, "could we buy a CD?", and so on. We were all hooked and instantly transformed into Newsboys fans.
The ride home was treacherous, with next to zero visibility and wicked blowing snow which had accumulated several inches while we were at the show. We saw countless vehicles in the ditch and many pulled over to spend the night. You could not see the road in most places and had to rely on the car ahead of you to lead the way (if there was one). The snow continued to pile up as we drove 15-20 mph home, taking 3 hours instead of 1, with Mike grasping the steering wheel with a death grip and both of us leaning forward in our seats trying to see out the windows in the wall of blowing snow. When we finally reached home we were exhausted. We had to leave the other 5 kids at my friends home for the night, it was after 2am and we could not go further to get to her house. They remained there until the following afternoon when our driveway and area roads were finally cleared from the several feet of snow we had received.
Any regrets about going - NOPE. The boys are still talking about the concert, and Christopher has requested a Newsboy CD for his upcoming 12th birthday - happy to oblige... that is if Mom can borrow it?!
Favorites tunes from the concert: