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Category: SA Concerts

SA Previews: Knives Out & Dark Waters

January 30, 2020

In an era of sequels, prequels, and book adaptations, it is a rare occurrence for a single story to claim such high praise. Knives Out and Dark Waters both fall into such a category as they have received major success at the box office, as well as extremely positive reviews from critics. Student Activities is going to treat you guys to a double-feature of these incredible films at the Vines Center on February 8th! With that being said, here is a preview of what to expect before seeing these movies.

From director Rian Johnson, Knives Out tells a mind-bending mystery that leaves audiences completely speechless with how the story unfolds. With a star-studded cast including Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, and Jamie Lee Curtis, the audience is able to see this modern “whodunit” elevate the mystery-thriller genre. This film tells the story of how a wealthy crime novelist, Harlan Thrombey, invites the characters to his luxurious mansion for his 85th birthday. Shockingly, Thrombey is found dead in his study. Thus, a classic whodunit story is carried out and will leave you, the audience, stunned at the conclusion and the truth behind the death of Thrombey. This film has been nominated for “Best Original Screenplay” at the Oscars this year, and it was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Actress (Ana de Armas), Best Actor (Daniel Craig) and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy (this film being the latter).

Todd Haynes, director behind Dark Waters, tells the true story of detective Robert Billot and his discovery of a dark truth that connects a growing number of unexplainable deaths to one of the largest corporations in the world, the DuPont chemical corporation. Billot, played by Mark Ruffalo, finds himself risking his career and the relationships with his family to bring justice to this dark case. Also starring Anne Hathaway, Dark Waters expertly displays the very real-world effects of deception, crime, and injustice and puts the audience in the shoes of an exhausted yet righteous detective.

Grab some blankets and your friends and come out to the Vines Center on February 8th for some free popcorn and to see how these brilliantly crafted stories play out!






Written by: Alex Quan

Alex is a Junior Business Communications Major and enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity to express his thoughts and interests through the medium of a blog! It’s a healthy way to share his opinions with others and hopefully start a dialogue with them.


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 Spring Concert Recap

May 8, 2019

Spring 2019. A semester that seems to have flown by twice as fast as it did in the fall. This semester was especially loaded with multiple concerts that already seem like they took place a year ago! Student Activities offers such a wide variety of concerts, and there is always something for everybody to be looking forward to.

Shortly after the start of this semester, we were treated to Drew and Ellie Holcomb on February 8. The husband and wife duo took turns sharing the stage before uniting near the end to bring their show home. Coming off of a Christmas break where many were at home with their families, this show was the perfect way to kick off the semester simply because of the feelings of unity and family that Drew and Ellie communicated. They made us feel comfortable and at home just by watching them do what they love together. This warm blend of indie, folk, and worship was the perfect way to kick off the spring concerts.

On February 23, Bethel Music came and brought in yet another husband and wife duo. Except this time, it was a little bit different. Brian and Jenn Johnson came and performed a night full of worship. There was no opener for the concert; it was simply these two co-founders of Bethel Music who led us in praise to our God, while still showing their love for what they do. It was a wonderful experience because in addition to the music, we got to hear from Brian and Jenn directly as they spoke about their testimonies and how Bethel has come about. This was a beautiful night where we were not only entertained, but were able to spend time in worship as well.

Moving into March, the Gray Havens performed as a part of our Every Square Inch Conference. The Conference was a weekend of learning from Trevin Wax about culture, identity and Christianity, and there was no better way to wrap it up than having the Gray Havens perform. The duo was preceded by openers Gray, a Liberty student, and Chris Renzema, an important name in singer/songwriter music. The couple even stayed after the show to answer a Q&A on stage, where the audience learned more about their story.

Josh Garrels wrapped up the March lineup of concerts, and his was definitely one to remember. Ask anybody who was at the March 22nd concert and they will all agree that Josh has one of the most unique voices around. In order to match his unique voice, he showed off a personality that is also unique to the music industry. This was made evident when he chose to stay after and talk with anybody who desired to meet him. In a time when big name artists are charging hundreds of dollars for meet-and-greet passes, Josh elected to take the time to meet everybody, which says a lot about his character and is reflective of his wide variety of music.

The most recent big-name concert of the semester was Tori Kelly on April 6. She has one of the purest voices in the industry right now and that was made evident during her concert. Those who came really got their money’s worth of entertainment as well as the length of the show. On her acoustic tour, it was just Tori and her guitarist up on stage. The two of them made the arena sound like it was filled with 20 people on stage. This experience was surely one to remember.

Our final show of the spring was Tyson Motsenbocker, opened by Cole Loomis. This free show in the LaHaye Event Space was intimate and special for those who came and love Tyson and Cole. It was Tyson’s birthday, and he said to the audience that they made his birthday great. We were so glad we could be a part of his special day. Tyson and Cole were such a great way to close out an awesome semester!

Check out our social media for concerts that will be happening this fall – see you there!

Written by: Josiah Frisbie

Josiah enjoys writing for the blog because he believes in the power of discussing relevant topics. He wants to be challenged in his writing and research style while still growing and striving for knowledge.

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!