Christian bands kick it up at City Fest

Andrea Abbott, Staff Writer

Creating music does not come easy for many artists. Well, good music anyway. Attempting to tie in motivating messages about love and Christianity along with the lyrics seems even more complicated.

A few artists hit home with new hits (as well as some classics) about God and positive choices at San Diego’s annual City Fest on September 11 in Mission Bay. Others did not quite get there, but seemed to enjoy themselves despite their performance.

The show started out with Phil Wickham, a graduate of Calvary Christian School in Vista . Wickham’s upbeat, alternative rock sound woke up the crowd with his catchy tunes and easy lyrics to sing along to. His originality with songs like “Heaven and Earth” and “Cielo” made Wickham one to remember. The majority of the music came from the album “Heaven and Earth” and judging from the audience, most of them probably made plans to go out and buy the CD once the concert ended.

Wickham started off the festivities on a powerful note and the crowd seemed excited to see what the next performer had in store.

A few moments later, singer, songwriter, Kirk Franklin made an appearance. Walking on stage with a smile on his face and his head held high, Franklin did not reveal any nerves. The only emotion that did show: passion. Taking on songs like Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World,” Franklin did a pretty decent job. The songs became his own by adding soul. What really complimented his performance were the background singers’ high pitched notes and perfect harmonizing. Judging by the loud applause for the medley of songs he chose to perform Franklin, touched many hearts.

Later, Dave Luddin (who used to be a youth pastor), took the stage with only an acoustic guitar and a few band mates. They had the look of a modern, new rock band, but after playing classic songs that contained no originality, it became a little boring. From songs like “Hosanna” and “Your Grace is Enough,” it comes off as relatively easy to put a different spin on these classics, but Dave Lubbin kept it simple and took no risks.

Saving the night from going downhill, an alternative rock band, the Newsboys, took the stage just in time and got the crowd cheering and waving their hands again. Some of the songs came from their album “Born Again” which was released July 13. Along with Wickham, they too had a good beat and catchy lyrics to sing along to. They left the audience wanting more and helped spread the word about God in such a moving way.

What really made the experience unforgettable was the passion in every single artists’ performance. Really, it did not matter to them who sounded better. They focused on praising and honoring Jesus. Looking back at all of the performances from a different point of view they all deserve a round of applause for working towards something they believe in.