Friday, February 22, 2008, my family and I went to the Winter Jam concert in Columbia, South Carolina. Winter Jam was great. We didn’t know what we were in for though. This was our first Christian concert. We left home around 3:30 and got to Columbia about 5:30. The traffic was awful. My two boys had been waiting to see the BMX and Skateboarding team. They were going to be doing tricks during the preshow.
Gates opened at 5:45. We arrived at 5:30 and did not find a park until 6:00. Traffic was so bad that we just weren’t moving. We finally got a parking space and then we had to walk a good little ways to the building. When we got to the building the lines were unbelievable. I have never seen so many people. We finally got in about 6:45. My children got to watch about 10 minutes of the BMX and Skateboarding team. I was really upset because they had been looking forward to that for over a month. It was only $10 to get in. For anyone who has ever been to a concert you know that is a great price. I was checking out the up coming Casting Crowns concert and tickets are really high.
So at 7:00 we get a countdown screen. The entire building is counting down. Mandisa was the first to perform. She did a really good job. She talked about her experience on American Idol and how everyone is beautiful to God no matter their weight and looks. She made very good points. Mandisa sang three songs.
Next up was Newsong. This is a wonderful group. They have beautiful voices and you can feel the power of God coming through them. Some of Newsong’s songs include “Arise, My Love”, “Christmas Shoes”, and “Blessed Be Your Name”. The concert was hosted by Newsong.
Next up was Skillet. I was not prepared for this group. They came out and flames were shooting everywhere. Fireworks were going off and the music was heavy. For those of you who are not familiar with Skillet, they are a heavy Christian band. I do not care for that type of music but I enjoyed watching the young ones worship and get into it the way that they did. They were jumping and head banging and just worshiping. Some people say that is not God’s music. Well, I’m here to say, those youth may have been head banging and jumping but they were doing it for God. Anyone who is against this type of music should really go to a concert and watch these youth and how they react.
Well it was now time for a break. We didn’t go get anything to drink because the lines were just too long. So we sat there for 15 minutes waiting for the show to start again. Next up was Barlow Girl. I had heard one of Barlow Girl’s songs on the radio. Apparently that was there one and only slow song. They were also a heavy band. This group consisted of all girls. And the drummer was something else. She could really play.
Finally, it was time for Mercy Me. I had been waiting on this group all night. They were great. They sang about six songs. One of the songs I had never heard, so I was a little lost with that song. Mercy Me sings “I Can Only Imagine”, “Bring The Rain”, “God With Us”, and “Holdfast”.
Overall this was a great concert. I did learn a lesson though, next year we will leave a lot earlier so we can get in line and get a better seat. I look forward to next year. By the way, over 1,500 people were saved at the concert. God was moving in that place. Winter Jam 2008 is making its way across the country so if they come to your area you should check them out. To find out more about Winter Jam 2008, go to jamtour.com.