Last night we ventured into uncharted waters, we joined more than 700 other folks who filled up the Barre VT Auditorium to hear a concert by David Phelps. The band was tight, there was a fiddle, keyboards, guitar, bass and a big drum set, and the music was all about God and Jesus. He also made an eloquent pitch for World Vision, a group that helps children in Africa.
When I told men friends in Massachusetts that I was heading up to VT to attend a Christian rock concert, the reactions were predicatable. “I wouldn’t go,” said one old pal, “hey come up to our house Friday and we can hang out.” Another chum said he felt sorry for me having to sit through that. It must be damn tough being a born-again in this day and age, with the venom and vitriol the believers have to face. Even now, it’s a big evolution that Wal-Mart now has banners that proclaim “Merry Christmas.”
The show began with a trio called ‘Anthem Avenue,’ who sang about Jesus. The man wore a red tie with a red shirt and the two women were decked out in red and black skirts. Then a comedian bounded on stage, this gent, a tall man with a funny cowlick and a quick wit, did a clean routine and had many of the crowd guffawing.
But the main event was David Phelps–a guy with penetrating blue eyes, a curly blond mane and a six-o’clock shadow. His vocals were indeed impressive, his range soaring, and he sang passionately about God and Jesus and spoke between sets about the joy he gets from sponsoring an African child, and from giving back.
I told Cindy why I joined her at this concert, that was produced by her brother-in-law, and attended by various other family members. It was because it was important to them, and because she asked me to. While Christian rock isn’t really my thing, the musicians’ talent and passion was inspiring, and we all had a good time. I’d be just as willing to attend a Buddhist or a Muslim concert, if the music was as good as this was.