Posted by: worshipguitarguy | January 7, 2007

A Crazy Weekend: Day 2, Sunday

8:10  Wake up…  A little brief on playing this morning.  We’ve been invited to lead an entire morning of worship at a church here in town.  But there is one issue.  I know the church we’re playing at, and the whole “contemporary vs. traditional” worship debate’s been a big one there in the past six months.  I know there’s a ton of tension there over volume levels and music styles, so we’re going in really sensitive this morning. 

8:40  Driving through at Tim Horton’s (a Canadian based donut and sandwich shop) for a bagel.  Breakfast this morning consists of that toasted bagel and two bags of peanuts.  Hmm… eating before playing is always good.

9:05  Pulled into the church… I’m about five minutes late, but when I get inside I realize Zac’s still not there, so I think I’m alright…

9:10  Last night, we felt led to start with a little surprise.  We’ve been told to feel free to go ahead full speed, playing the stuff we normally play… but we felt it would be better to use this service as a time to unify and lift up the two different groups in the church.  So we’re going to start with an acoustic set, with a little “Southern Gospel” feel to it.  (Which is the music of choice in Michigan among more traditional people in church.)  Here’s the set list:

Acoustic Set:
1.  Come Thou Fount
2.  I Saw the Light (Yeah, the Hank Williams/Crowder version 😉  )

Full Electric Set
3.  Holy is the Lord
4.  We Will Worship  (An awesome song written by Lilia)
5.  Fire Fall Down (Hillsong United)

— Break for Offering  —
— Lilia Shares her story, does two original songs —

6.  Better Than Life (Lilia Original)
7.  How Great is Our God/How Great Thou Art
8.  Forever

9:30  Slight predicament.  We began by practicing the acoustic stuff, went through… sounded good… no problem.  Then I switch over to my electric rig,  I grab my Les Paul and start hitting my parts… but nothing’s there!  It was funny, things were working fine fifteen minutes ago… Hmm.  So I check my pedalboard, everything seems ok.  Then I go to the small room offstage where my amp is located.  When I walk in I have a surprise.  Apparently the room is a photocopy and organization office for the church’s Sunday School ministry.  Heading in I notice the mic in front of my amp is moved away, there there were two shell shocked ladies.  We were practicing the acoustic stuff when they walked in, so they were a little confused by the guitar amp in their office.  Then, right in the middle of  photocopying, they heard this explosive electric guitar sound rip through the office.  (I can only imagine what they felt like!)  Apparently they came to the door saying… IT’S WORKING, IT’S WORKING!!! to me, but there’s no way we heard them over the rest of the group!

10:20  Discovering my “amp room” is an office threw me a big curve ball.  I couldn’t run through the set with the band, nor could I set up my tones.  I’ll be playing some of the songs for the first time live…  Right now I’m trying to rush through (while people are entering the sanctuary.) and set up my tones.

10:25  I’m really strugging to get a solid tone out of my amp/mic/sound system eq.  I’m keeping my OD’s mild today, but I don’t have that warm saturation to them like I’m used to.  My guitars both sound very thin.

10:35  As a band, we head back to pray.  We talk about how important it is to be sensitive to the people here.  Lilia brought up that our calling this morning is to serve these people by removing roadblocks so God can connect this morning with them.  I’d be lying though if I didn’t say that my tone struggles weren’t still in the back of my mind.

10:40  We pray with the church staff

10:45  Here we go!

12:15  Service is over.  And honestly I feel like it was a wonderful experience.  Lilia did a phenomenal job of really sensing where people were and being transparent with them.  Playing wise, with the acoustic set I was really comfortable, but the minute I grabbed my electrics, I felt alot of tension.  I was a little tentative with my playing since I knew I’d stick out the most.  I was constantly riding my volume pedal, and unfortunately, I couldn’t let my picking and strumming intensity control my dynamics.  I felt like a Ferrari stuck in rush hour traffic.  But the thing that was in my mind the entire set was that it was not about how i felt, instead it was about removing many of the roadblocks these people were struggling with particularly those related to “contemporary” style worship.  In the end, we had quite a few senior adults coming up to us sharing how much they enjoyed the service. 

And on the final song, Forever, I did cut it loose and let the electric go.  All of a sudden I felt like I’d kicked the accelerator on that Ferrari!

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A pair of shocked (and deaf) ladies in the S.S. office

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Chema being… well… Chema!

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Emily, the worlds greatest drum roadie.

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Hmm, wonder where she learned her drum expertise from?

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Lilia and Em eating lunch at a Flint, Michigan classic… Paliani’s Italian restaurant.
(If you ever visit Flint town, check it out!)

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Responses

  1. I thought it was HILARIOUS about those women! I’m so sorry it put you in a tough spot, but, it was really funny! At least it made a great story! And, I think you guys really inspired the youth. They were so excited to see all those guitars and acoustic drum set on stage. And, yes, you really rocked out on Forever. It was great!

  2. OMG that is a CLASSIC gig story. I can just see the office ladies chilling over their coffee and Panera bagels and KABOOM, 100 db of guitar in their eye. Nice!

  3. Im glad it went well for you. As a member of a small church worship band, I was really glad to see and hear how the “big dogs” do it. I understand the volume issue. We have a small congregation around 100 in a sanctuary that seats around 200. Ive got a Hot Rod Deluxe on an amp stand. My volume never gets louder than monitor levels (clean channel around 3). Imagine how loud the person delivering the sermon that day gets…well if our house mix gets louder than that, a few of our members *literally* cover their ears. Last week, our soundguy not only turned down, but muted our worship leaders acoustic because of the complaints, rendering most our monitors useless.

  4. That was truly a great weekend. Those older women were probably scared to death of your amp! lol Great article.

  5. Ahem… never underestimate the power of a pirate gypsy ninja superhero nun… or your sister. No pictures for you! 😛

  6. She is the worlds greatest drum roadie…

  7. Man, I need a roadie! lol It was an amazing feeling having someone load up my gear for me. If you are reading this… THANK YOU SO MUCH! You saved my back.

  8. I’m in my 20’s and very thankful for muscians like you. So many people would have trouble without powerful and moving modern worship music. You help bring alot of younger people to the church. I would love to hear your music! I can’t believe there is still any debate over the “contemporary vs. tradional” music thing any more. God bless you for the good work you do!

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