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JFH Concert Review

Photos by John

The Benjamin Gate, Pillar, The O.C. Supertones, Third Day
6/27/02, Mt. Union, PA. at the Agape Farm.

Ah, Thursday, the first full day of Creation Festival. Usually you have such a good time on Wednesday, you can't fathom being able to experience it for three more full days. But that's the beauty of it. 9am marked worship on the main stage with Ten Shekel Shirt, but of course I was probably just getting up at the hotel (*sheepish grin*). Mike Silva gave his morning message of "How to Get the Passion Back" before Ten Shekel returned for their own set at 9:55. At 10:35 Ceili Rain played before Joshua Harris gave his talk on "Half a Poison Pill."

At Noon, as the first act on the Fringe Stage, the South African quintet The Benjamin Gate opened with the hard rocking and energetic "Scream," from their debut album untitled. The female-fronted rock band offered up their Christ-centered hard rock to the hungry masses at the Fringe stage. Adrienne Liesching's mature and passionate vocals drove the pounding songs as they followed up with "How Long," new songs "The Calling" and "This Is Not" from their sophomore effort Contact and their hit "All Over Me." They kept the mood alive with "Lay It Down" and new single "Do What You Say" before closing it with "Rush." On the main stage, at 1pm, Phil Keaggy wowed the crowds with his world renowned guitar playing while Pillar was taking the spotlight at the Fringe Stage. Pillar opened up with "Open Your Eyes" from their debut album Above before playing new song "Hindsight" from their sophomore album Fireproof. Pillar continued on the high energy from the Benjamin Gate with their hard rocking rapcore performance. I was able to catch "Unity" and "Behind Closed Doors" before having to leave the Fringe area to tend to other duties.

At 6:15pm, following a performance by sugary power pop solo artist Stacie Orrico, another high energetic show provided by The O.C. Supertones heated up the main stage as it began to rain on the Creation grounds. Umbrellas, hats, and parkas began to spring up in attempts to stay dry during the show as diehard fans and curious onlookers braved the weather for the Californian band. They opened with the fan favorite "Strike Back" and went right into the classic tune from their debut project "Who Can Be Against Me?" Sporting jumpsuit coveralls, the guys were all over the stage, especially guitarist Ethan Luck who used the rain to his advantage by sliding on his knees from one end of the stage to the other. The upbeat crowd pleaser "What It Comes To" followed, before introducing a brand new song entitled "Superfly," a retro-flavored danceable tune that dares to take the Tones in a new direction outside of ska. The hard hitters "Grounded" and "Unite" kept the adrenaline pumping while the worshipful "Away from You" brought about some eager crowd participation. After trombone player Dan Spencer delivered a short message and lead the crowd in a few worship choruses, the band ended with fan favorite "Little Man."

Due to the sour weather and the need for some sustenance, we exited the Creation grounds for a local Wal-Mart approximately 40-45 minutes from the festival. Due to our exodus, we proceeded to miss worship at 7pm, Buster Soaries' message "Don't Fold Too Soon," and Gospel giant Kirk Franklin at 8:40pm. Thankfully, we did make it back just in the knick of time for Third Day's 10:05 performance on Main Stage. As we made our way to mingle into the crowd, we caught the end of Third Day's end-of-the-world ditty "Sky Falls Down." The Atlanta quintet featured an impressive backdrop with their "Come Together" logo lit up as the centerpiece. They wasted little time before playing new music from their latest album for the crowd. "40 Days," one of the band's many singles was followed up by the classic Conspiracy No. 5 worship song "My Hope Is You," and single, "Alien." "Show Me Your Glory," another new custom worship song was followed by the City On a Hill smash hit "God of Wonders," and Offerings' "King of Glory." As a treat for the crowd, the band performed a rare and impressive cover of Rich Mullins' famous "I Believe." Following the Mullins cover, and a modest apology for their (successful) attempt at the cover song, lead singer Mac Powell decided to shamelessly endorse labelmates and tour companions Paul Colman Trio for several minutes before the band slammed out the fan favorite "Consuming Fire." They closed their impressive set with the worshipful "Your Love Oh Lord" from their Time album. After exiting the stage leaving a massive crowd of fans hungry for more 3D goodness, the band came back to perform the catchy "Come Together" as the lights in the logo backdrop began flashing and chasing. Third Day ended their set with the wonderful worship song from their latest album, "Nothing Compares." As they began clearing the stage, the Creation folks came out to announce the Communion service that was to be held next (around 11:20). A man came out to give a short message as they passed out the tiny Communion cups. And once everyone had a cup, her performed the ceremony. Each cup contains a wafer and juice separated by layers of cellophane. After the bried Communion service, everyone departed as the first full day came to an end...


Creation 2002: Thursday Photo Gallery
click on an image for a bigger size

The Benjamin Gate -- 12pm Fringe Stage

Pillar -- 1pm Fringe Stage

The O.C. Supertones -- 6:15pm Main Stage

Third Day -- 10:05pm Main Stage

*all photos by John, and are the property of

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