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Category: SA Previews: Concerts

SA Previews: Jonathan McReynolds

January 23, 2020

At just 30 years old, Jonathan McReynolds has accumulated more critical acclaim musically than some artists do in their entire careers, and for good reason. The Chicago-raised singer’s angelic voice has raised the eyebrows of recent stars such as Tori Kelly and Justin Bieber as well as legends like Stevie Wonder and Kirk Franklin. Franklin went so far as to say that Jonathan is “the future of gospel music”. Considering Franklin’s mountain of influence, that compliment is high praise.

Critics evidently agree with Kelly, Wonder, and Franklin, as McReynolds’ work has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards. Jonathan is no stranger to the Dove awards either, taking home a GMA Dove Award for his second album, Life Music: Stage Two, as well as numerous Stellar Gospel Music Awards for other projects. While musically intelligent and talented, McReynolds is also intellectually genius, being recently named a member of Mensa, a high IQ society. Other honors include being named to Apple Music’s “The A-List: Gospel” playlist, McReynolds was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. It seems like whatever McReynolds touches turns to gold.

Those who are wise enough to purchase tickets to Jonathan McReynolds’ February 21st concert in the LaHaye Event Space will be able to brag for years that they saw him for a cheap price before he is selling out arenas all over the country and world. McReynolds’ musings promise to leave you astounded at his songwriting, blown away by his voice, and in awe of the God he proudly sings about. From fan-favorite song “Cycles” to the show-stopping hit “Make Room”, those in attendance are in for a great night of worship music and vocal talent. Make Room on your schedule for this night that promises to be worth the price of admission.



Written by: Landen Swain

Landen believes the human experience longs to be expressed; through our art, our labor, our songs, our storytelling. As a published playwright, author, and poet, he enjoys expressing his little chapter of the human experience through his writings and is thankful that the SA blog allows him to do that. He is published in numerous magazines, literary journals, and has several plays published by Off the Wall Plays, an online play publishing house.

SA Previews: Rend Collective

October 10, 2019

On November 9th, Liberty University will be welcoming a performance from Rend Collective. Originally from Bangor, Ireland, the band has influenced the lives of many with their clear message of the Gospel woven into their music. Originally playing in churches and homes, Rend Collective’s folk-Gospel music quickly started to spread its encouragement around the world and still does to this day.

Rend Collective’s talent did not go unnoticed for long. Their first single, Build Your Kingdom Here, rose to the 12th spot on the National Christian Audience Chart, and their album The Art of Celebration climbed to the Top 15 of the Billboard 200 in 2014. Other notable Christian artists such as Christ Tomlin, Lecrae, and Kari Jobe have brought the band on tours as well.

The band is rooted in principles that reflect the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. They portray messages of hope to people that struggle in their faith, finding joy in Christ, and dealing with the weight of the world. Their latest album release, Good News, is a response to all the bad news that is going on in this world, according to lead singer Gareth Gilkeson. One of the songs in the album, Counting Every Blessing, was a response to a low point that the entire band went through. Rend Collective’s music is raw and full of truth, greatly reflecting the life of a struggling Christian. Their encouragement has and will continue to impact the lives of many. Make sure to purchase your tickets to see them in concert on our Concerts page!





Written by: Mike Tammaro

Mike is a Junior double majoring in Finance and Economics and writes for the blog in order to expand my skills as a student. As a business major, the curriculum does not allow for a lot of creative writing, so being able to publish written work is freeing from my normal educational routine.

SA Previews: David Leonard

September 12, 2019

David Leonard, formerly from Christian band All Sons & Daughters, will be performing with Evan Egerer on October 25 in the LaHaye Event Space. Leonard released his first solo project, “The Wait”, on March 15, 2019.

David Leonard and Leslie Jordan (the counterpart of All Sons & Daughters as well as Leonard’s wife) decided to end the musical group in February 2018. Since then, Leonard has delved into making and producing solo projects. “The Wait” was his first solo album, and a live recording of the album was released at the end of this August. In this album, Leonard embraces some of the challenges faced by a believer. He doesn’t shy away from tackling subjects like loneliness, heartache, and other struggles of a person’s heart. Leonard, through all of these songs, explores the struggles of being human, but he always makes it clear that there is a solution through Jesus.

“The Wait” is an incredible album that believers are able to easily relate with. We are so excited to have him perform here at LU!





Written by: Andrew Reynolds

Andrew is a Senior Project Management Major, and enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity it gives him to grow as a writer and to challenge himself to see current topics and discussions from a view point he may not have otherwise thought about.

SA Previews: Tenth Avenue North

September 2, 2019

Tenth Avenue North, a Christian contemporary band, will be performing at Liberty on September 27 at 7:30 p.m. The band got their start in the early 2000’s in West Palm Beach, Florida. In their beginning days, they played cafes and local student conventions and opened for rising Christian singer, Katy Hudson (now known as pop icon Katy Perry).

After making three independent albums, they released their first record label album in 2008, Over and Underneath. In 2009, they won “New Artist of the Year” at the Christian Music Dove Awards, and in 2010, “By Your Side” was named song of the year. With the release of their next two albums, The Light Meets the Dark and The Struggle, the band gained even more momentum.

Their blend of a rock and pop styles seek to bring light to unpopular and not-often-talked-about issues within the church, such as addiction, abuse, lust, and other many other topics. Lead singer Mike Donehey has been in the band since its conception, with other members joining and leaving through the years. They recently came out with their ninth album, “No Shame,” and will begin their No Shame Tour this October. Purchase your tickets to see them in concert here!





Written by: Jonah Sheridan

Jonah is a Junior Forensic Science Major with a minor in Psychology and enjoys the opportunity to be creative with his writing on the blog.


SA Previews: Andy Mineo

August 22, 2019

Andy Mineo, an American hip hop artist who displays self-reflection and vulnerability to connect with his listeners, will be performing at Liberty on September 13 at 7:30pm. The 31-year-old Christian rapper has been making music since 2009 when he dropped Sin Is Wack Vol. 1. Ever since, Andy Mineo has produced a multitude of records making it to the Billboard charts as well as selling out on tours in the United States and Europe.

After moving to New York City, he accepted and began following Jesus Christ and restarted his career, going a new direction. Andy Mineo has used his platform to reach others and empathize with them using his musical gifts. This can be evidently seen in his two-part series I: The Arrow and 2: The Sword. In “Anxiety” from I: The Arrow, he discusses the effects of anxiety and uses imagery that listeners can clearly understand. Andy Mineo’s music is more than just a catchy beat with fun and exciting choruses and hooks. He uses his music to spread God’s truth and the Gospel.

Work In Progress, his newest album, is expected to release on August 23, 2019. And from the couple songs that have been released, “I DON’T NEED YOU (DEMO.)wav” and “Anything But Country (break beat_no trap version).mp3”, we can expect more songs that have unique beats and thought-provoking lyrics. Purchase your tickets for Andy Mineo now!





Written by: Andrew Reynolds

Andrew is a Senior Project Management Major, and enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity it gives him to grow as a writer and to challenge himself to see current topics and discussions from a view point he may not have otherwise thought about.

SA Previews: Tori Kelly

March 22, 2019

Tori Kelly, recognized off stage as Victoria Loren Kelly, has been singing her own songs since she can remember. Kelly grew up in a music-driven home in Southern California with the dream of one day “making it” in the music industry. While her parents inspired her style, her career ultimately launched as a result of her self-driven efforts. Kelly is generally recognized for her many viral Vine and YouTube covers in which she gained recognition from artists like Justin Bieber. However, her independent EP Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly was an experiment that led to the onset of her music career.

Kelly’s most recent album, Hiding Place, was a collaborative piece in which she was afforded the opportunity to work alongside one of her very own music inspirations, Kirk Franklin. This album showcases Kelly’s gospel roots with a variety of songs centered around the Christian values that she continues to carry with her through the fame of today. In turn, this album has received two Grammy Awards for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song.

We are so excited to host Tori Kelly in Vines on April 6th! Join us then as we sing our hearts out to some of her greatest hits. You don’t want to miss it!





Written by: Naomi Bower

Naomi is an avid coffee drinker and google calendar enthusiast from Arizona who spends most of her time outside, exploring new places. She enjoys writing for the blog because it forces her to remain educated on current events happening in our culture today. Naomi is especially passionate about bringing awareness to issues such as women’s rights and diet culture.

SA Previews: Josh Garrels

February 14, 2019

Josh Garrels is a multi-genre, self-produced musical artist who, through only seven albums and a few EPs, has developed a respectable and musically significant career. The Indiana native has scores of fans from all across the country and globe. With close to 850,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and a myriad of songs reaching the seven digit listen total (with “Born Again” from his album Home being his sole song that has reached the mark of eight digits in total listens on Spotify), Garrels’ passionate sound has developed him a faithful music-loving fanbase. The Small Voice Records founder has been seen across many genres as he has dabbled in not only indie music, but hip-hop, rap, folk, and Christian music as well. Appearing in songs by John Mark McMillan, Andy Mineo, Mason Jar Music, Beautiful Eulogy and more, Garrels has been a well-sought after featured voice for years.

Garrels has one of the most distinguishable and recognizable voices in not only the Christian music world, but even in the mainstream music world as well. The only artist that comes to mind as having a similar deep, raspy nature to their voice is George Ezra, but Garrels displays a wider range of vocals, with his soulful falsetto being the main weapon in his repertoire. Pairing his unique voice with his strong but peace-of-mind guitar playing makes listeners feel like their headphones have turned into Heaven’s outer radio frequencies.

Few artists have the ability to make you feel like you have just read a really good book like Garrels does; his music is not only a muse but a journey. In his song “Ulysses”, Garrels takes listeners into Homer’s The Odyssey and Herbert James Draper’s portrait “Ulysses and the Sirens” as he describes fighting pretty temptations that the world offers that will ultimately leave him hurting as he strives to return home to the one he loves. Adding to the variety of his music, Garrels took the lyrics of the 1911 Southern Gospel hit partially written by Reverent W. A. Fletcher “Farther Along” and modernized them, adding a whole new theatrical flair to the tune, which, thanks to the revitalization by Garrels, has become the anthem for many in a generation much different from the one found in the 1910s. “Farther Along” proves all the more that Garrels possesses a timeless sound that is sure to be appreciated for years and generations to come. Josh Garrels offers concert-goers an adventure through love, human struggle, faith and more with a variety of sounds that are pleasing to both the ear and the soul.

Don’t let anything, not Love or War or the Sea in Between or anything else keep you from getting to the School of Music’s Concert Hall on March 22. We’ll see you there!

Written by: Landen Swain

Landen believes the human experience longs to be expressed; through our art, our labor, our songs, our storytelling. As a published playwright, author, and poet, he enjoys expressing his little chapter of the human experience through his writings and is thankful that the SA blog allows him to do that. He is published in numerous magazines, literary journals, and has several plays published by Off the Wall Plays, an online play publishing house.

SA Previews: Oceanic & Rhineland

February 1, 2019

We’re so excited for our first Student Concert of the spring semester! We interviewed the openers Oceanic and Rhineland to learn more about them. Each band has a distinct indie sound ranging from dreamy to alternative. Below, we asked each band some questions to help you get to know them better.

When did your band start out making music? 

Oceanic: Our band started when Jacob and I first met on our dorm in 2016. We recorded horrible demos and wrote songs together for quite a while! Our first show was a Liberty SA Open Mic.

Rhineland: We started making music at the beginning of 2018 when we all came together to play at a fundraiser show.

What does your band name signify?

Oceanic: “Oceanic” is a word we love, and we love the metaphoric significance of the ocean in general. We love our music to be expansive, deep, and full of surprises.

What has been the most exciting project for you?

Oceanic: The most exciting project we’ve completed is our song called Party Song. It was our first single, so spirits were high when we were in the studio recording it. The most exciting project we have NOT yet completed is our full length debut album that comes out later this year.

Rhineland: The most exciting project has been traveling to Nashville in October with the band to record our first single “We Go Down” with producer Kyle Cummings. We learned so much about the recording process and had the opportunity to get creative in the studio to make the song really special.

What are you looking forward to in the future when it comes to the direction of your band?

Oceanic: I’m most looking forward to improving as a band. We work hard at making better and better music, and performing more and more passionately at shows. It’s exciting to think about how that’ll play out in the future.

Rhineland: Right now, our goal is to go on tour as a supporting act for a bigger band and to release an EP in the near future. It’s hard to say for sure where Rhineland will go but we all dream of doing this full time someday.

When you’re not performing or writing, what are you doing?

Oceanic: For me personally, my pastime is songwriting. I’m constantly creating something new, or refining our existing projects. I love that so much more than Netflix so that’s my main muse. If I’m not writing, though, I’m spending time with people. I love people.

Rhineland: We like to hang out with our friends and grab food, as much as we can afford to!

What is the best show experience you’ve ever had?

Oceanic: The best show experience we’ve had is a toss up between a house show last year (that we actually played with Rhineland and ANX), and Lynchstock Music Festival 2018. Both were incredible shows for different reasons.

Rhineland: Our best show experience was definitely opening for The WLDLFE at Speakertree a few months ago. So many people came out to the show and it was really high-energy. We were also fans of The WLDLFE before the show so it was a cool opportunity to meet the band and play with them.

If your band could open for any artist/band, who would it be?

Oceanic: I would open for Coldplay, The 1975, or WALK THE MOON. I would die if I met them.

Rhineland: We all would like to open for a band like Hippocampus or COIN someday, but if we’re talking big dreams, then a band like The 1975 or Coldplay would be insane.


We can’t wait for you to experience the energy of Oceanic and Rhineland on February 5th at 8pm in the LaHaye Event Space with ANX! This is a free show – see you there!

Written by: Kay Torres

Kay believes the Student Activities blog is an awesome way to engage the student body beyond events. She feels lucky to get to be a part of a team that cares about engaging different perspectives and the world we live in!

SA Previews: Bethel Music

January 31, 2019

From Bethel Church in Redding, California, Bethel Music is an American worship group, record label, and publishing company that has been producing music since 2001. They are composed of a core 16 artist collective that feature popular Christian artists such as Brian Johnson, Jenn Johnson, Cory Asbury, and many more. With such a diversity of artists, Bethel Music has been able to reach millions of lives by spreading the Gospel and uniting people in worship.

We are excited to welcome Brian and Jenn Johnson, co-founders of Bethel Music, to Liberty for a night of worship. They have been an integral part to building not only Bethel Music but also a culture of worship that has globally united people in faith in Jesus Christ. Brian and Jenn have been creating solo music since 2006. Their latest album “After All These Years,” which released in January 2017, features a powerful symphony orchestra alongside Brian and Jenn. Brian has cultivated a worship atmosphere with songs like “Have It All” and “One Thing Remains.” Jenn’s powerful voice can be heard in songs she has written, such as “In Over My Head” and “God I Look To You.” Together, Brian and Jenn’s faith and remarkable talent have created beautiful songs of worship that glorify God.

Brian and Jenn’s genuine spirit, vulnerability, and passion for Christ are evident when they lead worship, whether in their home, community, or around the globe. On February 23, you will have the chance to experience the worship Brian and Jenn cultivate as vessels for others to see the glory of God.

Written by: Andrew Reynolds

Andrew is a Junior studying Project Management. He enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity it gives him to grow as a writer, and to challenge himself to see current topics and discussions from a view point he may not have otherwise thought about.

Americana Meets Worship: Preview of Drew and Ellie Holcomb

January 23, 2019

Based out of East Nashville, duo Drew and Ellie Holcomb are two artists known for their solo music (Drew being the Americana half and Ellie focusing more on worship), but many people may not know how beautiful their music is together. The married couple creates roots-inspired music that will make you want to kick off your shoes and dance to the rhythmic sounds. Both Drew and Ellie have performed at Liberty University, but for the first time, we get to experience them together.

The duo released their You + Me album in 2018 and just released their Electricity album on January 11th. Drew and Ellie were inspired to create new music after touring together last year, and you won’t be disappointed listening to their soulful new tunes. The album has three songs written about love, pain and living on the road. Each song was created with an intentional story that reflects an aspect of their lives. Love Anyway, the first song on the Electricity album, shares experiences about one of their friends that works in the war zones of Iraq and Syria.[1] Next on the album is Electricity, a smooth love song that describes the love Drew and Ellie share with each other. My personal favorite is Drew and Ellie’s rendition of On the Road Again by Willie Nelson.1 This album will give you a glimpse into their life as two traveling musicians in love.

Drew and Ellie’s music will make you want to dance to their folk-inspired sound while also feeling like you are sitting in their living room. On February 8th, you will have the chance to experience the duo in one of the most intimate music venues on campus. Also, make sure you check out Drew’s vinyl subscription called Magnolia Record Club where you get a hand-picked vinyl every month.


[1] https://www.drewholcomb.com/news/2019/1/11/electricity-new-music-from-drew-amp-ellie-holcomb

[2] https://www.magnoliarecord.club/ 

Written By: Marissa Kusayanagi

Marissa is a Southern California girl that loves spending time in the sun and talking about the injustices in the world. Her passions include: fighting for women’s rights, serving people in underdeveloped countries and travelling the world. She hopes that the blogs she writes will teach you something new or open your mind to a world that you have never experienced.