for KING & COUNTRY rolled through Pittsburgh on their third stop in the You Matter Tour in support of their sophomore effort, RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG. fK&C have become well-known as one of the best live shows in CCM, and this night proved no differently.
The Amplify worship band opened up the night in front of a packed house and proved effective setting the tone for a bombastic, anthemic evening of praise. Standouts among their various covers of contemporary standards were their opener "Alive" by Young & Free, and "The Stand" by Hillsong United.
For KING & COUNTRY then took the stage opening with one of their best songs off the new album, "To The Dreamers." This is the perfect song to open with as it encapsulates much of what the new album is about- perseverance. "Keep on keeping on." The high energy songs continued as we were treated to "Fine Fine Life" and "Light It Up" from fK&C's debut album, Crave. After being given some kind words about the great city of Pittsburgh, the crowd was taught sections to sing for a rendition of "It's Not Over Yet." This was a highlight as this song is arguably one of the most resonant fK&C has penned, and there was definite power behind the crowd shouting "Keep on fighting! Hope is rising!"
Vocalist Joel Smallbone then took the opportunity to address the audience, assuring every person that they matter and are a treasure. He promoted a cause that the band has been championing for a long time in speaking to the ladies about not allowing anyone to treat them as anything less than priceless. "Chivalry is not dead," Joel proclaimed. The band then launched into "Matter," which encompasses the same themes and proclamations that Joel had just spoken about. The first half of the set was rounded out by the mega hit "The Proof Of Your Love."
The band exited and Luke Smallbone took center stage to speak a few words about Compassion International. The band felt so strongly about the cause that they gave away copies of their new CD (only a week old) to anyone who signed up as a sponsor.
After a short intermission, and many, many children finding sponsors, for KING & COUNTRY retook the stage with the opening track from their new album, "Run Wild." Unfortunately, Andy Mineo was not present to perform with the band, so Joel spoke a modified version of his monologue from the end of "Oh God Forgive Us" in place of the missing rap. "No Turning Back" saw the entire band venture out into the audience with their instruments for an intimate performance, with Joel making his way up to the balcony area, simultaneously singing and taking selfies with many fans along the way.
After a few Crave standards, we were treated to Luke's most personal song, "Without You." Vocally, he did a tremendous job with this stripped down gem, being completely backlit, casting a beautiful silhouette while he sang. Brother Joel assisted with the parts that Luke's wife Courtney sings on the album.
The night ended with perhaps the most beautiful performance of the night, "Oh God Forgive Us." It stood out in every way from all other songs (with perhaps the exception of "Without You") in how minimalistic it is in its approach. All band members were spaced out and lit from below, casting an almost "heavenly" visage. It was a gorgeous and warm way to end a percussion-heavy night, and perhaps the performance that is most lasting in my memory.
If for KING & COUNTY rolls near your city on this tour, I implore you to check them out! They have perhaps the most fun and elegant show in Christian music right now, and seem to have everything down to a science. You will leave the show uplifted and inspired; there are far worse ways to spend a few bucks!-- B.J. Smith, 9/26/14
for KING & COUNTRY Set List
01. To The Dreamers
02. Fine Fine Life
03. Light It Up
04. It's Not Over Yet
05. Baby Boy
07. Middle Of Your Heart
08. The Proof Of Your Love
09. Run Wild
10. No Turning Back
11. Busted Heart
13. Without You
15. Fix My Eyes
16. Oh God Forgive Us
Amplify Worship Band
for KING & COUNTRY:
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