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Photos by John


Casting Crowns, Kutless, Family Force 5, Red, NEEDTOBREATHE
6/27/09, Mt. Union, PA at the Agape Farm

Saturday at Creation East is the last hoorah - the grand finale. Most of the time, it's a pretty bittersweet day because, on the one hand, you're probably ready for a good night's rest in your own bed and a nice soothing shower (which isn't immediately followed by intense humidity that makes you feel all nasty all over again). However, it's the final day of what is usually a pretty incredible week of music, friends, and spiritual encounters.

Once again, we missed the morning festivities due to a late night the night before and the decision to try to opt for some much needed rest instead. We arrived shortly before one of my most anticipated performances of the week -- NEEDTOBREATHE. Their 1:00PM slot was a good way to jumpstart our afternoon, while Gotee Records' B.Reith had just wrapped up over at Fringe Stage and Children 18:3 was about to perform during NTB. This, of course, once again brings to mind the difficult decision making process of when you have to choose one fantastic set over another. We knew Children were playing at Purple Door Fest later in August, so we decided that NEEDTOBREATHE was the best choice, especially with a new album on the horizon. The southern rock band, featuring relatively new comer David Leonard, former frontman of the late Jackson Waters, on keys, opened their set with the title track from their upcoming album, The Outsiders. The quintet was off to a great start (already winning over my Creation '09 partner in crime, Kevin), and they continued with another new track before breaking out the single from their debut, Daylight, "Shine On." The fantastic worship original, "Signature Of Divine," from their stellar sophomore record The Heat preceded another new song, the dancey "Girl Named Tennessee." "More Time" and "Streets Of Gold" from The Heat were next, with the first single from The Outsiders, "Lay 'Em Down," close behind. To wrap up their standout Creation East performance, a cover of "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" flowed nicely into the delightful, soulful piano ballad, "Washed By The Water."

For a stark contrast, Essential Records rock band Red was up next on Main Stage. We caught part of their set - which included "Lost," "Hide," and "Shadows," before we trekked over to the Fringe Stage to check out a little bit of Tooth & Nail Records rock band Ivoryline. Red's live show seems to get better and better every time we see them, so it probably won't be long (at the rate they're going) until they're one of the main co-headliners at Creation Fest.

At 3:00PM, the "Breakout Seminars" took place, featuring Matt Pitt speaking over at Fringe, Dr. Ergun Caner in Woods 1, artist Eric Timm in Woods 2, Jarrod Jones in Woods 3, and Duffy Robbins at the Youth Leaders Tent. Although both of us are married fellas, we decided to check out Jarrod Jones' talk, titled "How Far Is Too Far? The Freedom Of Dating Boundaries." Despite what the title suggests, Jones (also a family man) delivered a strong message about sex and lust and what the Bible has to say about both. Jones did a great job, and it was great to finally put a face to all of the blogs he has written specifically for JFH readers.

The music resumed at Fringe Stage at 4:00PM with The Showdown, but we took it easy before the 5PM Fringe finale with The Classic Crime. Opening with "The Way That You Are," the five piece rock band was off to a strong start with new material from their most recent release, The Silver Cord. Right after the song, lead vocalist Matt MacDonald began to share a story about how they had gotten lost on the way to the Fest, but were helped by a random person who happened to be a fan of the band's music. Whether the story was simply a set up or actually true was never revealed, but MacDonald used it perfectly to introduce the next track, "Abracadavers." From there, a string of older tracks unraveled, including "Say The Word," "Who Needs Air," and "The Coldest Heart." Although I was anxious to hear more of their new stuff live, we decided to not risk missing the start of the next Main Stage act, and made our way over there at this point.

Now, sadly, the next band was not the evening's headliner - not even one of the two main headliners - but for me were more or less the evening's grand finale. After an overlong break for announcements and sponsorship plugs, Atlanta crunk/dance band Family Force 5 emerged on stage donning matching golden football attire. They opened with the title track from their latest record, "Dance Or Die," and proceeded to tear up the stage, wowing most of the audience present. The fun and funky "Kountry Gentlemen" followed, along with the dance anthem "Fever" and the fan favorites "Drama Queen" and "Numb." After the catchy "Party Foul," frontman Soul Glow Activatur dedicated "Supersonic" to Michael Jackson who had just passed away two days earlier, and then continued into "Radiator." While these guys put party and fun first on their list for a show that is one of the most entertaining around, Soul Glow (AKA Solomon) took a moment to tell the audience that they do what they do because they do it for Jesus (of course, he said it in his own comical way, but it was nevertheless genuine). Solomon then slipped on his signature painted HULK movie gloves for "Love Addict," moved on into "Get Your Back Off The Wall," and then once again dedicated the finale, "Earthquake," to Jackson. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and the band exited for Relevant Worship to follow-up.

The beauty of the festival is that there are so many things you can do throughout the day besides listening to the live artists. With neither of the night's headliners being our cup of tea, we took the time to hang out with friends and say goodbye to others as the night began to wind down. BEC Recordings pop-hard rock band Kutless jumpstarted the headlining spot at around 8:50, with lead vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall stepping out on stage with sunglasses (despite the sun being down) and a leather jacket. Their mix of rock and worship would mostly be a fitting intro for the 10:15PM set of contemporary pop / worship phenomenon Casting Crowns. It wasn't the strongest Saturday send-off we've experienced for Creation, but it brought the fest to a close on a worshipful note.

It was nice to be back at Creation Festival this year and I hope to be back in the near future. If you're a music fan and have the means for getting to Creation Fest some year if even just for a day, we highly recommend it. So, until then... peace!

- John DiBiase, 8/5/09


Creation 2009: Saturday Photo Gallery
click on an image for a bigger size
**vertical images cropped for thumbnails**

NEEDTOBREATHE -- 1:00pm Main Stage

RED -- 2:00pm Main Stage

Ivoryline -- 2:00pm Fringe Stage

Jarrod Jones -- 3:00pm Woods 3

The Classic Crime -- 5:00pm Fringe Stage

Family Force 5 -- 5:40pm Main Stage

Kutless -- 8:50pm Main Stage

Casting Crowns -- 10:15pm Main Stage

*all photos by John DiBiase and are the property of

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