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When Amber Tiller first heard that Third Day would be playing at a Student Activities’ concert at Thomas Road Baptist Church (TRBC) Friday, Feb. 22, she could hardly contain
A high school senior and a resident of Roanoke, Tiller made the trip to Liberty University’s College for a Weekend (CFAW) last semester, and even though she did not attend CFAW last weekend, her family gave her tickets to the Third Day show as a birthday present.
As it turns out, concerts are a familiar place for Tiller.
“I have sold T-shirts at country concerts like Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean,” Tiller said. “Pretty much, you can think of any band that’s been around Charlottesville or Roanoke, I have probably sold concert tickets or T-shirts.”
An admitted fan of country music, Tiller said that she has recently fallen in love with Third Day.
“I just love to listen to their music,” Tiller said. “You can tell that they love God because they give their testimonies wherever they go, and they have a lot of fun with it.”
Opening acts Josh Wilson and former American Idol participant Colton Dixon warmed up the crowd before Third Day played songs from their newest album, “Miracle,” and a few classics that kept the crowd on their feet and singing along.
During one of the intermissions, the band’s bassist, Tai Anderson, took time to share his memories of the band’s 2011 trip to Haiti. The band had gone on this trip in order to assist World Help in the organization’s effort to help children in need all over the world. According to Anderson, Third Day has sponsored more than 30,000 children during the band’s 15 years working with World Help.
About halfway through the performance, Third Day lead singer Mac Powell shared a story that a New Jersey couple once told him about their son. According to Powell, the boy had planned to commit suicide before hearing Third Day’s “Cry Out to Jesus” on the radio and changed his mind. According to the band’s website, thirdday.com, the couple’s story became the inspiration for the song “I Need a Miracle.”
Elizabeth Karr, an events supervisor for Student Activities, said that she has worked or attended more than 10 Student Activities concerts, but that Friday’s concert carried a little more excitement than normal.
“It’s a big tour for them, and so it’s been really exciting to get them in here,” Karr said. “This is their second show, so it’s been exciting because the band is all really excited. It’s been fun.”
According to Third Day’s website, the band has won four Grammys. Student Activities will also host Lecrae, the 2013 Grammy winner for best Gospel album, March 22.
“It’s just cool that (that) caliber of bands (is) willing to come to Liberty and excited to come to Liberty,” Karr said. “I think they have big fan bases here, so it’s just exciting to see all that.”
Third Day also joined in on the recent “Harlem Shake” video craze with participants including Colton Dixon, Josh Wilson and the CFAW crowd to create an original version of the dance, which the band posted on YouTube immediately after the concert. The video begins with Wilson dancing in a penguin suit in the aisle of the TRBC sanctuary and ends with Wilson, Dixon, Third Day and the entire audience going crazy with different dance moves.
The audience drew Third Day back for an encore to end the show, but for one member of the audience, one more birthday surprise was waiting to be discovered.
Tiller and her best friend spent most of their time near the stage during the performance, so when guitarist Mark Lee tossed a guitar pick out into the crowd, they were given the perfect keepsake to remember their night. Unfortunately, the dim lighting made catching the pick almost impossible, and they thought it was lost until her friend discovered the small, yellow piece of plastic stuck near her waist in the seam of her shirt after the show.
Tiller said that she expects to attend Liberty this fall, and although she spends much time at concert T-shirt booths, she would not need a T-shirt to remind her of her birthday experience — just a small, yellow piece of plastic.