Week #3 of our Elemental series. A couple of interesting things about about this Sunday. First off, we were doing our first service with our “new” stage lights. They worked out great. We made a few adjustments after first service to bring down a little of the brightness on the band, but I liked it…..always have loved the spotlight.
Secondly, we didn’t have rehearsal this past week, so we were hustling to get everything ready with just our morning run-through. On Saturday night, our bass player had to pull out of the set, so I asked one of guys, Charles, to step in on bass.
It was a great day and everybody did a great job. I don’t blog much about the tech side of our Sunday services, but I our sound, lighting and projection guys do such a good job every week.
MADE US ALIVE (A)
We’ve been doing this one for about six months. It might be time to pull it from the rotation for a bit. Don’t think it’s reached that annoying “Todd, stop singing that song” phase yet, but we might be close. Band did a great job on this one. Up until today, we’ve always done the full intro after Chorus 1 instead of the shorter intro on the CD. I’ve never understood why worship songs open with huge riff intros and then don’t play them again until the last 20 seconds of the song. However, the last time we played this tune, I felt like the full intro after the first chorus felt a little long. So this week, we did the shorter, album version. We also did the crowd vocal thing where they sing the bridge line underneath my vocal.
If you read these posts often, you know that this song is one we play to a click to keep us from rushing the bridge. However, during first service, Dale dropped a stick (it happens). As he grabbed the stick, he simultaneously killed the click, knowing that the mishap had pushed us off the beat. It didn’t mess the tempo up terribly, but I thought it was wise of Dale to make that call. And for what it’s worth, the bridge felt just fine!
As soon as we ended the song, I read Psalm 98:
“1Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has donemarvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
2The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
3He has remembered hissteadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.”
On the last verse, I started playing the intro of the next tune.
REDEEMED, RESTORED, FORGIVEN (A)
Any song that features slide guitar, I’m in. Smitty’s always done the slide intro on this tune, but because we don’t have two electrics on stage, we had to skip the guitar-picking riff underneath that slide. This week, though, I ask our keyboard player, Karen to learn that guitar part and she had it note-for-note. It’s interesting, because I rarely think of using keyboard to cover those “2nd electric” parts. Naturally, keys can pull off big, overdriven power chords, but for busy note riffs, it works great!
Ross jumped up to welcome folks and read from 2 Corinthians 5:21.
“21For our sake he made him to be sinwho knew no sin, so that in him we might becomethe righteousness of God.”
This is the scriptural basis for the first song we played and Ross instructed us to celebrate our righteousness in Christ.
O HELP MY UNBELIEF (D)
This one is normally pretty close to the original, but we have Smitty play mandolin instead of electric. It gives the song a folky vibe and it works. However, a few weeks ago, I did the tune with an electric player and I was impressed at how bluesy and strong the song came across. We also did the long roll to the outro. We normally simplify the version a bit, but we figured it would be fun to add some variety to it. Charles did a great job on bass on this tune. Bass has to be much more funk than rock and Charles did it.
Talked a bit about St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticles Of The Sun”, which was the inspiration of our next song. St. Francis wrote the poem a year before his death. It’s believed that he was very ill at the time and losing his vision. I talked for a bit about the power of creation that these wonderful images were still with him, even as his eyesight was leaving him. Then I read Romans 1:19-20.
“19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature,have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Before we started singing, I talk for just a second about how God reveals himself in so many ways, all around us…every day!
ALL CREATURES OF OUR GOD AND KING (D)
I’m a big fan of John Martin and Enfield. Their hymn versions are both orchestral and “arranged” but also rocking. I don’t think the band’s recorded this version on a record, but I found a decent video of them performing on YouTube and ripped the audio. It’s not great for a band to practice to, but the essentials are there.
The song went great. The melody is pretty broad and the low stuff is a bit of stretch for me, but there’s no denying that closing refrain’s power!
THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION (E)
We taught this not too long ago. I wrote a closing chorus for the tune and the songs been a nice addition to our set. It’s a slow-burn, but I like the payoff. I was especially impressed with our organ player. As the song got bigger, he began doubling the melody with each verse and getting stronger as he did it. It gave the song a nice choral vibe, which I thought was awesome.