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“Leave it all behind and come to the well.”
That was the line reverberating through the Vines Center as Casting Crowns played a sold out show to an audience of all ages Saturday, Feb. 18.
Students, College for a Weekend (CFAW) guests, families and youth groups filled the Vines Center for the Come to the Well tour, which featured award winning Christian band Casting Crowns.
Lead singer Mark Hall explained how the tour name, which is also the name of their latest CD, comes from personal experience and the Biblical passage of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.
A youth pastor in the Atlanta area, Hall encouraged his audience to always draw from Jesus, not from our own plans or routines.
“When Jesus is not the well for us and people, church and ministry are the well for us, that’s when that (the church) gets beat down and we are just drawing from empty holes,” Hall said.
Hall shared his experiences in ministry, creating a personal connection with the audience. In between songs, he shared personal stories of what God had been teaching him and the meaning behind songs. Dispersing prayer and Scripture throughout the show, the band played songs off their latest CD, as well as older songs that have become classics in churches and on radio stations nationwide.
Emily Greek was visiting Liberty from California and said she’s been listening to Casting Crowns for as long as she can remember.
“I’ve grown up with them and have a couple of CDs and they’re really great in person. I just love how personal they are with the audience and how they put God first and they’re really great to see,” Greek said.
Liberty student Jeremy Morgan said that what appealed to him most about Casting Crowns was their lyrics.
“My church sings a lot of their songs in our worship services, and they’re one of my favorite Christian rock bands,” Morgan said. “They’re really honest. They take life issues and talk about them in a family friendly way so they can still talk about heavy subject matter and it’s still friendly for everyone. They’re all really inspiring.”
The band played an almost two-hour set that was broken up by a 20-minute intermission. Audience members sang along to older songs such as “Praise You in this Storm,” “Voice of Truth” and “Lifesong” and newer songs such as “Spirit Wind,” “Courageous” and “Another Birthday.”
Despite winning numerous GMA Dove awards, Grammys and selling over 8.2 million albums to date, according to their website, the band members stay loyal to their work as youth leaders at their church and use their influence to encourage audiences and change lives.
The band partnered with World Vision for the tour and played a video for the audience about their visit to Rwanda with World Vision, where several band members met children they have sponsored through the non-profit organization.
They encouraged audience members to get involved in child sponsorship, saying that it not only affects the child but the whole village. Hall and band violinist Melodee DeVevo shared their personal experience with World Vision and sponsoring children. Many people were moved to sponsor, including Lauren Meadows, who was visiting Liberty for CFAW.
“I wanted to sponsor because the pictures of the children who didn’t have anything touched me, so I decided to (help) other kids,” Meadows said.
The concert ended with Casting Crowns’ song, “Until the Whole World Hears” and the band invited all the openings acts back on the stage with them.
Also on the tour was Lindsay McCaul, an up and coming singer who opened the show with songs such as “Say My Name.” Royal Tailor, the four piece pop band, took the stage next, engaging the audience with catchy, energetic songs.
“I really enjoyed their stage performance,” CFAW Jenn Kersletter said of Royal Tailor. “They combined the retro pop style to pull in the youth and college students, and they have some really great lyrics to add to that. I think this whole stage performance really pulls the rest of the crowd in.”
Matthew West set the stage up for Casting Crowns, joking with the audience and performing well known songs such as “The Motions” and “My Own Little World.”
West also read an excerpt from his book, “The Story of Your Life,” a compilation of fan stories about the different life experiences they have had and how they have encountered God in the midst of them.
The Come to the Well tour continues until May 5 in states all over the east coast. For more information, visit castingcrowns.com/tour.