As the lights dim and the low rumble of the crowd hushes to a mere whisper, I feel the audience’s excitement as they wait for the first band to walk on stage. I observe a dozen or so off in one corner waiting anxiously to get a pit going. Hanging out back are a few punks (in all the glory of the word) clad in black t-shirts and bearing pink hair. I eye the frontline warriors, immovable at the edge of the stage, staring bug-eyed for a first glimpse of the long awaited idol. At first sight of the band a cry erupts from the front and rapidly progresses to the back, and soon the whole room shakes with the roar of ecstatic fans. As the first note sounds, the roar increases to an unbelievable volume, literally blasting anybody within fifty yards of the building. The sound-master cranks up the volume as the frontman belts with passion the first line of a song that will always be remembered by those present. The room explodes.
The energy contained by the pit’s dozen rises to the strength of an army, eventually boiling over into those nearby. Those in back watch the scene eagerly, loving every second of it. Soon enough they’re into it as well, leaving behind any prior feelings of reserve. Meanwhile, the frontline warriors scream a scream that challenges that of the vocalist’s own. The band feeds off the crowd’s fuel and throws it back to the fans with twice the power. Energy is literally bouncing off the walls and pounding against my chest. The energy empowering this room is felt and shared by all.
This is what it’s all about. Why else come to a live performance?
You don’t go to a live concert purely to watch a band play, because if that’s all you wanted than you wasted your money. Just go online and download a few videos, or if you really want you can buy a DVD at your local supermarket. It’s much cheaper. No, people go to a concert to experience the mutual exchange of passion and energy–something you cannot feel by merely listening to the album. With a CD you can hear the words and feel the music, but you simply cannot experience such an exchange of energy if you’re sitting by yourself.
But too little do we reserve this energy and passion for U2 concerts. God called us to gather together, and He said this for a reason. One of the greatest things that can be experienced when we are gathered together is a certain passion and energy that is usually unique to a crowd setting. But when I go to most churches, everybody’s just sitting around, singing quietly. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time for this too (even in a concert), but whatever happened to true, hard-core rocking out?
So to those about to rock, I salute you.