When it comes to Contemporary Christian music, few names are bigger than that of Crowder. So as you can imagine, Prestonsburg was buzzing with excitement that such an amazingly talented individual was visiting the Mountain Arts Center.
Crowder is the last name and moniker used by Mr. David Crowder. He rose to prominence as the frontman of the David Crowder Band. A position he held until 2012 when the band decided it was time to move on. David then pursued a solo career and Crowder is the end result. The Texas native is well known for his energetic performances and wonderful message as a fellowship leader, so I was excited to finally get to experience Crowder in one of my favorite venues.
If you’re a reader of this site, you’ll know that, in my humble opinion, the Mountain Arts Center, or MAC as it’s often referred to, has the best lighting and sound in Kentucky. The folks that run the MAC are also top-notch, so as an Eastern Kentuckian, I love to catch a show there and I knew Crowder would enjoy themselves at the MAC.
Traveling with Crowder was a young band of brothers and sisters from California called, The Young Escape (TYE). I was unfamiliar with the band outside of a few spins on Spotify, but after witnessing them live, I can see the appeal. Super poppy vocals, great harmonies and danceable rhythms filled the MAC as the teenagers had folks on their feet, raising their hands to the Heavens. They even managed to get most everyone in the building to turn on their camera flashlights for a really cool scene.
These kids have an incredibly bright future. Drummer Luke Johns is a wild man and he alone is worth the price of admission. Keep your eyes on these kids, they’re going to blow up eventually.
Next up was the man that packed the place. Crowder took the stage to his high-energy foot-stomping “Run Devil Run”. You could see it in his eyes, he knew this was going to be a good night and the MAC crowd did not disappoint. By the fourth song, no one was seated and most everyone was singing along. The room just had an incredible energy to it. Add in the beautiful lights and fantastic sound that MAC provides and you’ve got a night worth every single penny.
At one point, the band gathered around one microphone, much like an old-school bluegrass radio show. Think “O’ Brother Where Art Thou?” and you’ll get the idea. Crowder even sat down at the piano for what was possibly my favorite song on the night, “All My Hope”. “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner” was a performance that I don’t think I’ll ever forget either. With the swampy beat, the constant rhythmic chains, the rap, the chorus…it was all just so perfect.
Crowder stated many times, that all they sing is a bunch of Church songs, but these Church sure have an awful lot of rock ‘n’ roll baked into ’em!
As I write this article, I just keep thinking that no amount of words can accurately describe a Crowder show. The singing, the hand claps, the Praise, it was simply indescribable. So here’s a short video of one of my favorite moments during “How He Loves Us”.
See!! The entire show was nothing but love and I came away as a huge fan. I’ve seen Skillet, I’ve seen RED. I’ve seen Jeremy Camp, but none have ever come close to the tremendous performance of Crowder and his band.
And don’t even get me started on the Hank Williams cover of “I Saw The Light”, which rolled right into “I’ll Fly Away”. Oh my goodness! Such great energy! Here, see for yourself. This performance was from 2016, but my goodness! Enjoy!
I’ll wrap this up nice and neat, I’ve seen roughly 1500 acts in my lifetime, Crowder earned a Top 10 spot. Crowder may have a home Church, but tonight he took us all to Church and it was incredibly refreshing to see such an interactive crowd. Maybe it was the lyrics being projected behind the band, maybe it was the fact that folks were truly there to worship and give Praise, maybe it was just respect, whatever it was, it’s lacking in so many shows nowadays. So kudos to Crowder and the Eastern Kentucky crowd!