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Jars of Clay and Shane & Shane put on a show for Liberty University students and College for a Weekend (CFAW) participants Friday, Sept. 21.
The event, which was held in the auditorium of Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC), was the first of two concerts that Student Activities will host during the fall semester.
“I listened to (Jars of Clay) quite a bit,” Alexander Gearhart, a CFAW participant from Pennsylvania, said. “I like a lot of the older tracks.”
Shane & Shane got the crowd warmed up and on their feet with a few upbeat acoustic worship songs before Jars of Clay took the stage.
The band has made appearances at Liberty before. As they did in their most recent Liberty performance, Jars of Clay played in TRBC instead of the Vines Center.
According to Gearhart, the smaller setting in TRBC provided for a different concert atmosphere than he was used to.
“I feel like for the number of people and the setting, it was good,” Gearhart said. “I actually thought it was going to be a bigger concert, but I liked the smaller setting. It was kind of close to home.”
Jars of Clay took the stage and found their groove, playing some of their classic songs and a few new ones from their most recent album, “The Shelter.” It did not take long for the audience to start singing along, and the band showed their appreciation with a three-song encore at the end of the night.
Liberty creative arts director and worship pastor Justin Kintzel spends a lot of time on the TRBC stage, but he spent this Friday night in the audience. He was only able to stay for Shane & Shane’s performance, but that did not keep him from reminiscing about the special connection he has with the two bands.
“The first CD I ever bought was (Jars of Clay’s) first CD,” Kintzel said. “I wore it out.”
Most nights, the headlining band is the one people come to see, but Kintzel said he enjoyed seeing Shane & Shane for the third time, especially because their music helped impact his career choice.
“They have such a unique gift for bringing people before the throne, and that’s one thing I really love about them,” Kintzel said. “Worshipping with them and just watching them, as a worship leader, I just admire those guys. It’s funny because I have listened to them for a long time, and they are one of the reasons why I wanted to become a worship leader.”
Jars of Clay’s most recent album was released in 2010. Charlie Lowell, the band’s keyboard and piano player, said in an interview with 90.9 FM The Light’s Andrew Claudio that they have been working on a second album. They plan to release it in the spring of 2013, and it will most likely have 13 tracks.
According to Lowell, one of the biggest challenges for a band like Jars of Clay is coordinating the band’s schedule with his family’s schedule.
“It’s tough,” Lowell said. “It’s kind of the one thing that never quite falls into balance smoothly. As soon as it kind of gets easier and you feel like it’s working, some element or factor changes.”
Lowell said he has a wife and three boys, and he estimated that the band members combined have about 11 children.
At the end of the night, Kintzel summed up why Jars of Clay is still a good show to see.
“I think they are great,” Kintzel said. “I think they know who their audience is because they play some of their old hits.”
Student Activities will host one more concert this semester on Nov. 2, when Switchfoot and The Rocket Summer come to campus. Tickets are on sale now.