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Photo by John DiBiase

Third Day, David Crowder*Band, TFK, Spoken, John Reuben, Group 1 Crew, House Of Heroes
6/26/09, Mt. Union, PA at the Agape Farm

To change things up a bit (and to carry the reviewing load a bit), here's Creation East 2009 partner in crime, Kevin Chamberlin...

As John mentioned, staying at a hotel either makes or breaks your time at Creation. Fortunately this year it made our Creation and so when we hit the sack shortly before sunrise on Friday morning. Our six or so hours of sleep would prove to be just enough to get us through Friday. Anyone familiar with Creation knows that Friday night is the candle lighting ceremony. It is a sight to be seen, to say the least, but it also makes for a later night. Friday would prove to be a highlight of the week and it all started with House of Heroes.

We arrived on the festival grounds in time to get some much needed coffee in our tired bodies and made our way to the Fringe Stage for HOH at noon. Having never seen them live, I was super excited to hear them play tracks off of The End is Not the End and, hopefully, their recent House of Heroes Meets the Beatles EP. Sadly, though not many people showed up to watch them at first, by the end of their 45 minute set their audience had considerably grown. They opened with “Lose Control” and a few tracks off Say No More before getting into the meat of their set. “If” was featured shortly before a Ramones cover and “By Your Side.” “Can't Buy Me Love” made its way into the set, and HOH pulled off the Beatles tune like a carbon copy of their EP version. They closed out their set with “Field of Daggers” and an explanation of forgiveness before their first single off The End..., ”In the Valley of the Dying Sun.” It was a great set and ended in just enough time for us to run over and see Group 1 Crew.

For those not familiar with Group 1 Crew they are a trio on Fervent Records. Their unique style of hip-hop, dance and power vocals is most recognizable with mainstream counterparts The Black Eyed Peas. Their set was entertaining and encouraging, but the lack of musicians that typically play with them at festivals wasn't present, which limited their set. They made up for this however, by interacting with the audience with “No Plan B” and “Movin,” which flowed well into Bianca's story about American Idol failures, but God's presence being felt in “Can't Go On.” Manuel spoke on forgiveness and the pressure to be “super-Christians,” then went into “Forgive Me.” At one point, Manuel made his way into the crowd near the VIP area for some audience participation. They closed out their set with “Keys to the Kingdom” before exiting. They were entertaining and fun to watch, but could have been more so with a full band.

After Group 1 Crew, we had several hours of downtime. Pillar missed their flight and so the schedule had been altered. At 6pm, instead of John Reuben closing out the Fringe Stage as the last act (having gone on at 5), Pillar would close. Reilly would play again at 2 on the Main Stage. We caught some of Reilly before making our way to get some food and take a rest from the sun and the heat. We spent a few hours talking with some friends, including Reuben about his upcoming record and his new single, “Town Folk,” before he would take the stage at 5. John Reuben has one of the best “fun” shows to watch. Even if you aren't a fan of hip-hop, it's enjoyable as evidenced by the crowd he drew. Having been a longtime fan of John's since Are We There Yet released in 2000, I was looking forward to see some new tricks. He teased the audience with chocolate Skittles before his set and at the outset, all while singing “Focus,” off of Word of Mouth, and “Move,” from Professional Rapper, to get the crowd into it. It flowed well into “Thank You” and “I John Reu.” His hilarious intro to “Make Money Money” featured a short story of a conversation with TobyMac made his chugging of two bottles of water after “Word of Mouth” all the more entertaining. The chants of the audience to “chug” gave Reuben the energy to throw out some t-shirts before hitting on “Nuisance,” “Doin,” and his new single “Town Folk” - a lighthearted story of a show gone awry in Pennsylvania. He closed out with “Do Not” after having drawn quite a large audience even backstage.

Since the schedule had been re-arranged, we had a tough decision to see either some of Pillar or the last part of Thousand Foot Krutch's set, who started at 5:40. TFK's new album, Welcome to the Masquerade, hits stores in September, so we opted to see some new songs from them. However, they started early and by the time we arrived at their set we had enough time to hear the tail end of a new song called "Fire It Up," as well as “Falls Apart” and “Puppet” before they were finished.

We took a break during Lincoln Brewster, not due to musical tastes, but mostly because of the torrential downpours that would arrive during his set. Lincoln made the most of it though by adding some guitar solos and turning the moment into a personal moment of worship and praise. The rain wouldn't last too long, but ended shortly before Greg Laurie would speak about a “Down to Earth Talk About Heaven.” We got caught up on some much needed rest from running around while listening to him from the side of the stage and waited for the final closing bands of the night, David Crowder*Band and Third Day, which would prove to be a good tandem act for that night.

Crowder's set started at 8:45 as the sun started to go down. The timing of that would be great as the lights could highlight his keytar on “There is No One Like You,” the second song of his set. Inbetween “Here is Our King” and “...Like You” David broke out a neon green keytar for a few songs. Their set was fantastic. He seemed effortless and offered a relief from some of the worship bands we saw earlier in the week. For the first few songs, the technical difficulties would appear to take them over, but they were brushed aside and the sincere joy they emitted made a casual fan of his simply like him all the more. “Foreverandever etc.” and “You Are My Joy” were a few highlights. The most interactive moment of the night was when David asked the hearing disabled communicator in the audience to sign out the Super Mario Bros. “ching-ching” sound from the video games. Through it all, he explained how one of the band members turned a Guitar Hero guitar into a guitar programmed with actual chord samples. He would use that during “Neverending” right into “I Saw the Light,” a ho-down song off of A Collision. The crowd was jumping up and down and it was really quite a sight. The audience was having a lot of fun worshipping God and that is what worship should be. They closed with “O Praise Him” and “Sing Like the Saved.” They would prove to be all Third Day would need to get the audience loosened up for the evening.

Third Day came on stage next and went right into “I Got A Feeling” and invited the audience to join the band for the night and sing along. “Rockstar” appropriately followed, making way for “Slow Down” and a spectacular laser light show during the revamped version of “Thief.” “Call My Name” followed along with the lasers lighting up the mountain in front of the stage (the backdrop of the Agape Farm valley). They would play several more songs like “Run to You” and “Revelation” before Mac would introduce the boys from Atlanta for “The Otherside.” This ended their set and they would come back on stage for “Tunnel” before the staff and some volunteers from the festival would join them for the candle lighting ceremony. Third Day then fittingly played “Your Love Oh Lord” and “Nothing But the Blood." “God of Wonders” led into “Step by Step” and the single candle that was lit led into a vast array of lights filling up the field in Mt. Union, PA. As the staff on stage was ushered off, “Creed” was the closing song of the night, to reflect the vows made in people's hearts during the day.

After Third Day finished, we found our way back to our vehicle and proceeded to leave for the evening. It had been a long, hot day and it was about that time to call it a night.

On to Saturday...

-- Kevin Chamberlin, 7/29/09


Creation 2009: Friday Photo Gallery
click on an image for a bigger size
**vertical images cropped for thumbnails**

House Of Heroes -- 12:00pm Fringe Stage

Group 1 Crew -- 1:00pm Main Stage

Bob Lenz -- 3:00pm Fringe Stage

Spoken -- 4:00pm Fringe Stage

John Reuben -- 5:00pm Fringe Stage

Thousand Foot Krutch -- 5:40pm Main Stage

Greg Laurie -- 7:20pm Main Stage

David Crowder*Band -- 8:55pm Main Stage

Third Day -- 10:20pm Main Stage

Candlelighting W/ Third Day -- 11:35pm Main Stage

*all photos by John DiBiase and are the property of

Creation 2009 Review: MAIN | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday


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