As we arrived at the Toronto Airport venue, a sea of cars in the church parking lot directed us to overflow parking were we were met with even more cars. For those not on the scene, it’s always amazing when a rock concert that honors Christ sells out in Canada. From the Passion 2005 Conference to Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline in more recent years, there is starting to be a scene where Christians and those hungry to know God are coming together to worship Jesus and celebrate outside of Sunday service, which is beautiful to see.
19 year old Sparrow Recording artist Bethany Dillon was up first singing about three songs off her latest CD The Kingdom, and was followed by her husband’s Texas duo Shane & Shane playing a great set of melodic country fusion tunes. Speaker David Nasser then came on and encouraged the crowd to sponsor a child via World Vision. This is a normal occurrence at a Christ honoring concert because we’re called to care for the poor, and Nasser made that call even more evident when he said that we need to look past the statistics we’re constantly given and into the faces of these children, children who could be sitting right next to us on the bus, who don’t have clean water, food, education or the knowledge that they’re loved and that we’re all able to do something about the situation of our neighbours. Thankfully, hundreds of people rushed to the World Vision tables at the back of the venue to sign up to sponsor a child, some even teaming up with their teenage friends in the sponsorship– proving that if you actually try to make it work, things get possible.
Starfield came on and spoke of the great ethnic diversity of the crowd, “where are all my Asian brothers and sisters?” frontman Tim Neufeld screamed. A huge roar came from the crowd of 2,000 people, Neufeld continued, “and where is everyone else?” more screaming ensued as the set began without any lead up to full rock volume. The message of the evening was the realization that everyone was united in the room, one faith, one body, one God – something the people of Toronto were longing for was realized in that moment – unity in Christ and concerts like this have enabled that church unity through the next generation.
Starfield played a variety of music from their discography including the popular “Son of God” from Beauty in the Broken to their latest title track from their new CD I Will Go. A hilarious moment was when Tim and Jon showed how their dad liked to play music, in traditional hymn sychopation, so both of them gave a little sample of what their music sounded like with that old school vibe, brilliant! Lighting continued to dance across the bouncing crowd who were reaching out to God in spirit and in truth and as the words hit the screen with funky visual effects, people were even joining arms with their friends further showing the unity we all shared in our Creator.
A great venue, excellent bands, and a kickin’ Canadian promotional team – hopefully we’ll see a lot more of these concerts in the future…from what we've seen, we now know anything is possible.
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Writer: Lindsay Whitfield