Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Recap: Hillsong United's Empires Tour 2016

Hillsong United's Empires 2016 Tour stopped in Memphis last night and the experience was remarkable !  Thousands of people braced the cold weather just to hear the sounds of Australia's most iconic Praise & Worship Band. Admittedly I was a little nervous before last night's show. The lore behind Hillsong United is quite impeccable and I had been told that the atmosphere of each of their concerts is just out of this world !

I am so glad that the rumors and lore are true ! This concert was so many things and more. I know that the genre of Praise & Worship is not for everyone and that the mere mention of it may cause many to shy away from concerts and media of it's kind, however I will just say that no matter what you are into, you owe it to yourself just to push beyond your boundaries and see this band at least once.
Photo credits: Tim Simpson Jr. + 901 Music

A few feelings that really engulfed me at this concert were acceptance, love, peace and joy. It sounds cliche I know but I also felt this striking feeling of catharsis. I know that there is real power in music, I mean Jimmy Hendrix said it best when he said "Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music." One thing that really stuck with me last night despite this wave of emotions overtaking me, was what Guitarist Joel Houston said. Houston spoke briefly on fear and anxiety, he urged those in attendance to release their worries and fear to God and he also said that these things come to all of us no matter who we are; so "be encouraged."
Hillsong United are masters of the current worship music model of the slow build, with verse after verse echoing the chorus until the very end, and then only after a protracted bridge. I had previously heard Hillsong crowds were loud, and this one was no exception. It was interesting, though, to witness how much of the volume was not cheers and applause. I mean there was singing, very loud singing. There were even frenzy's and shouts of praise. But it was as if the songs did not need that much applause when they ended. You could really say that The songs were the applause, directed towards God. The blend of voices was strong and stirring. It’s a cliche, but maybe that’s a hint of what Heaven will sound like.

Overall this show was pure brilliance! Another thing that I like about Hillsong United is their crossover appeal. Aftermath. Their previous album debuted at No. 1 on multiple international retail charts and came out of the gate as the band’s biggest release yet. Notably, the album landed at number 17 on the Billboard Top 200, a chart that includes all mainstream genres, not just Christian music. During their last tour a stop in Chicago outdrew the likes of Billy Joel, Elton John and the Eagles.
EMPIRES TOUR 2016

FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY - DALLAS, TX - AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA
SATURDAY 20 FEBRUARY - LUBBOCK, TX - UNITED SUPERMARKETS ARENA
MONDAY 22 FEBRUARY - PHOENIX, AZ - GILA RIVER ARENA
TUESDAY 23 FEBRUARY - ONTARIO, CA - CITIZENS BUSINESS BANK ARENA
FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY - HONOLULU, HI - NBC ARENA