I took my students to the Harvest Crusade up in Anaheim yesterday. Just a couple of quick thoughts:

Welcome to the Big Rock Show. I think I tend to be a lot more cynical than my students about this kind of stuff. Maybe it’s just from longer exposure to the strange world of the Christian subculture — or maybe it’s just my cold, dark heart — but I am often reluctant to go to these kinds of events. Plus, I’m getting all old and driving up two hours from SD to Anaheim really puts the hurt on me. That being said, Greg Laurie shared a great message and reached the hearts of many of our students. Although my heart is moving more & more towards the simple living of life together as God’s people, there is still a place for blowout events.

Live music is the best. Some of my students, to my surprise, were pretty stoked to see P.O.D. perform. It’s been a couple of years since they stormed the charts, but the boys from Southtown still put on an energetic, and sincere, show. My four-year old daughter really liked them. However, we were all blown away by the opening act, Leeland. Man, that kid has some pipes! Most of my students had not heard of him before Harvest, so I picked up their CD and we listened to it on the way up. For me, the album has that over-produced, CCM-ified feel to it, though I did appreciate the thoughtful lyrics right off the bat. But everything changed when we saw them perform live — the band is tight, the rhythm section really came to life in the live setting and Leeland really opened up and let loose with the vocals. They managed to segue “How Great Thou Art” and “Agnus Dei” together without being corny. In fact, they ripped it up during the instrumental breakdown of Agnus Dei. I still want to give him a haircut, though.

jc-kills.jpgThe freaks come out at night. Seriously. Check out this guy. Remember what I was saying about nasty street preacher signs? I’m pretty sure this one will be hard to top. (Apologies for the poor quality — I snapped it from my phone while trooping around the parking lot looking for our van).

I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean “Jesus kills” as in — “Dude, Jesus totally killed it on that last song when He jumped off the Marshall stacks and levitated over the crowd.” The other signs read: “Laurie leads to hell” which I can only assume was knock on Greg Laurie — although without more specific direction, it could just be a jilted lover railing against his ex-girlfriend. Maybe it was one of those newfangled emo bands that keeps sprouting up. Who knows? You can see if you have better luck creating your very own emo band name with an emo band name generator. For real, though, if you name your band “Laurie Leads To Hell” and you make it big, I want a cut of the proceeds.