Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Glory days

Two nights ago I got free tickets to a Christian concert. There were four different acts that performed that night, but Avalon and Michael English were the main ones, with Michael English being the main one I didn't mind seeing. The first act was not that bad, and I thought that maybe this night would not be that bad. However, after hearing the second act, my initial optimism was premature at best. The second act consisted of 2 girls. One of them played the piano and sang, and the other played the guitar and sang. I use the term "played" very loosely. While they did technically play their instruments, they did not play them well, or very often. Usually they just played a few cords sporadically throughout the song. They also did some sharing between their songs, which I wish they would not have. It just seemed like I was listening to a couple of high school girls that were doing a talent show. They would have been the hit of their school, but that's as far as their act should have gotten. The next to perform was Avalon. While I have never owned one of their albums, I have herd a few of their songs on the radio over the years. I can say that every member of the group has a great voice, and can really sing. But that is where my appreciation for their group ends. Watching Avalon in concert was like watching a really cheesy variety show from the 80's. I actually hate to even call them cheesy, because I really like cheese, and associating them together might give cheese a bad name. Avalon's pretense for going out on tour, is that they are coming out with a new album, and they want to promote it. It seems they are redoing some old Christian songs the "Avalon" way. I guess the "Avalon" way really means the over sung, way to dramatic, cheesy, fake enthusiastic way, because that is what it felt like to me.
The biggest disappointment of the night was that Michael English only sang 3 songs, and that he was sick. He gave his testimony between 2 of the songs, and that was powerful. I only wish he could have performed better. His voice was really hampered by his head cold . He may not have had a hit since 94, but he has a great testimony, and I think he can still really sing.
I guess my real reason for writing this is that it got me thinking about how we love to hang on to stuff in the Christian world, even if it is outdated and does not really work anymore. We love to sit back and remember the glory days, and how it used to be. I am all for remembering the past and how great it was, but when we try to apply it to the present it does not always work. I felt bad for Avalon that night. They did not sell enough tickets, so they actually ended giving a bunch of them away to local Churches to give out to their members. Even with all of the free tickets given out, probably less then 400 people showed up. The auditorium looked empty. So I did feel bad for Avalon, but I felt worse for the few people that actually showed up for the concert. The whole night was a glaring example of a group of people that have held on to something that does not work anymore. We should never be afraid to let go of the past and embrace the present.