The Healer and the Pirate

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Media/Music Monday - Skillet/Luis Palau/Tempe - March 20, 2011

So a week ago Sunday, my friends from Tucson (!) drove up to Phoenix after church, pretty much to see Skillet at Tempe Town Lake for the Luis Palau Cityfest.  We arrived about 5 PM, and providentially just about stumbled across a couple of my church friends, who I thought would have arrived much earlier and would have already been on their way out.  I'm still stunned over that!

The festival had extreme sports (seemed to be bikes/skateboards) and a kids' area, both of which were winding down when we arrived.  From everything I'd heard, I half-expected the crowds to be totally oppressive, but they were just brisk.

Setup Friday before the event.

Crowd Sunday.

There were a lot of tents for organizations, and also a lot of vendors selling food, invariably for TICKETS.  $1 = 1 ticket. I think the booths were generally run by churches and other organizations. I heard the food could be of mixed quality (as in, a friend said HIS friend had gotten a raw hamburger Saturday!).  So despite the fact that they had some interesting culinary items (like pomme frites!) we just walked down Mill Avenue and ate sandwiches at Jimmy John's.

We came back over to catch much of Luis Palau's sermon from a distance.  Just about every sermon I've attended at this kind of event has been Evangelical (about half the time, including this one, they preach on the prodigal son).  More than half the time there seems to be reminders about sexual purity, too (and with Palau's statistics about children born to single mothers, that's probably necessary!)

Since the bands had some secular appeal and the event was free, an Evangelical message was definitely the way to go, and hopefully a lot of people who raised their hand that they had prayed the sinner's prayer will grow in their faith.  (I read someone on YouTube who was there on Saturday said he saw "thousands" raise their hand!)  
After the preaching we did some more wandering and I picked up some cotton candy (the last one I saw in the whole festival on a stick!).  My friend said I should give it a face.

It turned out surprisingly like a Jack-o-Lantern.

Then we got up a bit closer for Skillet. So everyone I told I was going to see Skillet, asked, "Who are they?" I asked them if they watched TV, then sang "I need a heee-ro" and then they said, "Oh, yeah."  I assume because they recognized the song, not to get me to shut up.

Skillet opened with "Hero"--I've noticed some bands lately are doing one of their biggest songs right off.  Is that to get the crowd fired up?  And/or to remind those who haven't heard much of their music that oh yeah, this band plays the song I like?  I don't know.  Regardless, I love that song.  They did some pyro a bit like the music video but thankfully, no rain.

Here it is live (not my footage).  Song still gives me chills listening to it a week later.

The Last Night (with explanation of the song):


And a few photos while we're at it (they ARE from me, but between me forgetting to set my camera's settings other than "auto" and the motion on stage, not so great :) ).

Would've been cool if the people with kids on their shoulders would have stood in front of the random Luis Palau flags that also blocked people's views. Fortunately, we weren't packed like sardines so there was room to move for a better view.

I was most impressed by the fact that yes, they brought a violinist and cellist--some of their best songs have heavy strings sections, and both men seemed quite talented during their random solos.

Having mostly gone to RAGE and other smaller events, I was surprised at the amount of pyrotechnics.


Did I mention there was a lot of pyro?

There was a lot of pyro.

Anyway, it was a good night with good company.  Hope you've got a Hero living in you!

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