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Kingdom Bound Festival 2013

kb2013_laurastory_thmbHere's a look inside my trip to Kingdom Bound Festival 2013!

Working in radio, I have work to do at these festivals, but I also get some down time. My husband Jason came with me and here's a summary of our trip... (some photos courtesy of Nancy Robertson)

 

 

Day 1:


Travel day, mostly.
I always love the drive through New York. Driving the I-90 is a lot like Canada... lots of trees and farms.
We wanted to be at the park in time to see Matthew West and Lecrae perform so we arrived at our hotel in Batavia by mid-afternoon, ate a late lunch at Applebee's, then headed to the park.

 

We did a couple of rides, then Matthew West hit the PAC (main) stage.

He's funnier than you would expect! He wrote a song about Kingdom Bound, about 4 verses... that rhymed! He performed some of his hits like "In My Own Little" and "The Motions" but then he shared about his "Story of Your Life" album and how a couple of years ago he put a call out to his fans to send in THEIR life story. He expected about 50 but received thousands!
As you may know, the songs from his last two albums (Story of Your Life and Into the Light) were inspired by these stories. He shared a video with the story behind "Hello My Name Is" that featured Jordan Jeffers, who overcame drug addiction with the help of Teen Challenge. Then he played the video for "Forgiveness" and out came René and Eric to tell their story! It was so powerful to see their relationship through forgiveness and to know that as of just a couple weeks ago, Eric is now a free man (René and the other girl who died in the accident's family (11 people) fought to have eric's prison sentence cut in half!)

Hear Matthew share the stories behind each of these songs here: http://ow.ly/nN8E3

 

Lecrae hit the stage next and the crowd went nuts! He has such a hugeplatform and a unique way of inspiring life with purpose.


 

Day 2:


I had a morning interview scheduled with Northern Ireland's Robin Mark.
Robin was leading an early worship service for campers in the Worship Experience (in past years it was a worship "tent", but this year it is inside a theatre). We snuck in to watch before our scheduled interview.
Robin is no stranger to Ottawa and every time I see him, I am reminded of how nice and down to earth he is.
At the end of the song Lion of Judah, he and his flautist went back and forth (dueling) and the song kept speeding up. I couldn't get over how fast that man's fingers could move! It was ridiculous!

 

After our interview (video to come), we drove back to Batavia to meet our dear friend Rose, the owner of Roxy's Music Store. As I keep saying, if you are a musician, you have to stop by and visit her... Rose loves Canadians, her family has been in the accordion business for 80 years (she recently sold one to Jon Bon Jovi over the phone!) and says she has been so blessed so she blesses others. Needless to say, my husband bought a used guitar :)
Our good friends/listeners from Ottawa Nancy, Steve, Brian, Josh and Susi met us there and we had lunch together.

Later that afternoon, we did some more roller coasters (including Ride of Steel) and cought The City Harmonic on the PAC stage. They did some new songs from the next "Heart" album. I love their stage presence! If you missed them at Bluesfest last summer, don't miss Rock the River 2013 (September 28th!)

 

Next up was Audio Adrenaline. I interviewed original member Will McGinnis & new guitarist Dave Ghazarian (originally from Toronto) ... They spoke about the new single "Believer" and how they are involved in the new Beyond Sight film, the story of a blind surfer named Brian Rebelo (learn more and view trailer here: http://beyondsightmovie.com/)
On stage, Kevin Max (new lead singer, formerly of DC Talk) was awesome! So fun... and old school! He pointed out that while the other band members use wireless in-ear monitors, he uses old fashioned speaker monitors infront of him.
They did some old Audio A ("Big House" and "Ocean Floor") and brought a boy from Haiti up on stage for "Kings & Queens" who was pumping up the crowd and doing cartwheels!

 

Then, the President of Kingdom Bound Ministries Rick Cua came on stage to announce that Needtobreathe would no longer be performing on the final night of the festival. Bear got in an accident, he is okay, but needs immediate facial reconstruction surgery. Please be praying for him! 
In the meantime, with only 1 day's notice, Mercy Me is stepping in! Wow, talk about having a good rapport with big artists! Like, is that the best they could do! lol

 

After Bob Lenz spoke (who will also be at Rock the River in September), Hillsong Live wrapped up the evening with an amazing worship time.
It's amazing that their songs have so much impact that it doesn't matter if John Reuben, Joel Houston, or Darlene Zschech are there... it's the songs people want, and they did all the big ones (From the Inside Out, Mighty to Save, The Stand, Cornerstone, Hosanna, Shout to the Lord, etc.).
The highlight of the whole festival was when thousands of worshippers lit a candle for a sea of lights. When they spoke about shining the light of Jesus, you saw people rushing over to each other to "give them light" and pass on the flame. So powerful... and stunning!


 

Day 3:


Laura Story took her turn in the Worship Experience for some story telling, just her and the piano, an update of her husband Martin and the story behind "Blessings". When I interviewed her afterwards, she admitted that her new album "God of Every Story" (out October 1st) is actually her most transparant and personal album yet!
She wore a Banff t-shirt on stage!

 

After more rides, we caught For King & Country. Newly married Joel Smallbone (married only 1 month to Moriah Peters) carried it all with his strong back-up musicians because brother Luke was unable to be there. Luke has a severe digestive disorder and was too unwell to come to New York. You can keep him in your prayers as well.
If you every get a chance to see these guys live, though... do it! Not only did Joel where black tails, but the whole band combined multiple instruments and moved around a lot on stage.

 

Thousand Foot Krutch was next and rocked it (also at Rock the River... man! I'm seeing a theme here LOL) and didn't hesitate to remind the crowd, several times, that they are from Toronto and would come to Kingdom Bound as teenagers.

 

Finally, a KB standard Newsboys closed the night.
I had a chance to chat with Duncan (drummer) briefly backstage first, got a photo with Michael Tait, and even caught up with former Hawk Nelson frontman Jason Dunn for a quick pic after his set.
Newsboys played a lot of their newer post-Peter Furler stuff, including "Restart", the title track from the upcoming record. Of course it wouldn't be right without a bit of "Shine", "Breakfast" and "JesusFreak"! Duncan did his spinnig drum kit trick, Jeff Frankenstein cracked some jokes about hockey, and Jodi's hair is so long he looks like Jesus with some awesome guitar solos!


 

Day 4 & Final Thoughts:


We didn't stick around for Day 4 but it featured American Idol finalist Colton Dixon and Mercy Me on the main stage to close it off (see photos from CHRI listener Nancy of Bart Millard :) )
I loved running in to CHRI listeners, being able to promote the new CHRI app and meeting artists... of course, the biggest perk of the job is spending some down-time with my hubby.

 

My final thoughts and tips for KB...

- It feels like summer camp. You meet new people every day, share memories, and watch people give their lives to Christ,
- If you don't want to camp/trailer stay in Batavia, it has everything.
- Visit Rose at Roxy's if youre a musician
- Plan your concert schedule! Look at artists that are playing more than once and plan ahead so you dont miss anything.
- Catch some speakers
- Wear comfortable shoes :)

 

 

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