2004 reunites Creation East Festival goers with the homeland it was birthed on -- the Agape Farm near Mt. Union, Pennsylvania. At the same time, it also sees the return of me to the farm as well. In 2003 I couldn't attend due to my wedding (except Amy and I made an exception by attending the last day), and due to flooding at the farm, the festival was relocated to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA. So last year was an all-around different approach for a Creation experience for me and it's nice to be back!
The rain had held out over the Agape Farm for Wednesday evening, the first night of Creation '04. The masses were pouring in, mostly setting up camp all across the grounds as far as two miles from the main stage. The food court was already busy with business in the early afternoon with anxious festival goers flooding the merchandise and tents and festival stores before the event had really even begun. And there's something to say about Creation Festival for it's variety of things for people to do for people of all ages, backgrounds, and tastes. With that said, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the first artist to open the fest was BEC rock band Kutless. The young group, offering up a popular modern rock sound similar to artists like Creed and Nickelback, moved the crowd quite impressively and played cuts from their two recordings. If rock isn't the audience's thing, Paul Baloche followed with his brand of modern worship and set the audience up for speaker Rob Bell to present his message on "The Holy Here and Now".
Despite taking a short break from music right now, Stacie Orrico made an impacting appearance as the opening act for the evening headliner. Her set started at least fifteen minutes early on the main stage which was a surprise, but Orrico delivered her power pop in commanding form, proving she can rival the mainstream acts just fine. Among many of fan favorites, Stacie also offered her hit songs "Stuck" and "More To Life".
For the first time in several years, Jars Of Clay returned to Creation East. It was the first time in the five years I'd attended that the band had made an appearance and it was nearly surreal to see them as the main act. I still remember what their shows were like nine years ago when they started. But the folk rock quartet held their own just fine and performed a hit-filled set. Their bluegrass pop rock gem "Trouble Is" opened the evening followed by the upbeat "Sunny Days" and the undying delectable hit "Love Song For a Savior". Frontman Dan Haseltine used his charming childhood story of his experience with bluegrass music to introduce their gospel hit "Amazing Grace" followed by the tender worship ballad "Jealous Kind". More recent hits like "Fly" and "Show You Love" were followed by one of the oldest Jars songs around, the classic "Frail". The band also treated the audience to a little history about guitarist Steve Mason penning the song and winning a contest with it. "Disappear", a U2 cover of "All I Want", and the rousing "I'm Alright" and "Revolution" rounded out the set list to end the night. However, as expected following brief crowd hysterics and cheer, Jars Of Clay resumed center stage to perform the worshipful "Lesser Things" followed by a gospel song made popular by Johnny Cash entitled "Bound For the Promised Land".
An extensive fireworks show signaled the end of the first night of Creation 2004, but we could all rest assured an all-star lineup awaited every attendee in the morning...
Stacie Orrico -- 8:30pm Main Stage
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