Not your traditional Praise Band

Posted by: Richenda at Tuesday July 1, 2008 in

Well, it was a great day for Steve.

My teen son’s band, formerly called Bad Week for Steve, now called Focus on the Skyline, played a gig tonight in Portland and I actually managed to make the show!

Christian Death Metal anyone? Hardcore-sies? My son and his group play Christian ‘Screamo’ (which is strange enough for my generation, who associate metal with Ozzie and bats) but the band that followed was Christian Death Metal. Wait— Christian Death Metal? Um… how does that even make sense? It’s about the intensity, though. Christian hardcore music absorbed the intensity of metal and has created a movement that is more ecstatic than aesthetic. But I get it. These kids want to feel it, and the more overwhelming the experience, the better.

On the drive to the Portland venue I was privileged enough to listen in on the conversation (I’m a roadie, like these other moms. lol. Most of the band doesn’t drive yet.)

But the conversation was really insightful. The kids were talking about the genre and the different Christian and/or Inspirational bands they liked. They talked about today’s Christian bands—the metal, screamo kind. Some they put in the Praise Band category, these were bands that focused primarily on celebrating God in praise, not too deep, just the Love the Lord stuff. They liked this kind of band, but overwhelmingly, the kids appreciated the ‘deeper’ bands more.

They didn’t have a name for the ‘other kind’ of today’s hardcore Christian music, but I might call them philosophical. What the kids appreciated was that these bands were asking questions. In their lyrics, it was okay to ask questions, to explore ambiguity, and to poke around the mystery and the hypocrisy equally.

You know, listening to them, I was proud to be a band mom. These kids are asking really intensive questions—no wonder they need intense music. I wonder if some of this questioning comes about because many young people aren’t connected to “religion” or “church” and so as they explore the metaphysical and spiritual, they naturally have questions about their faith.

And as for making joyful noise, it was a noisy, joyful evening in every sense of the word!

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