Saturday, April 11th, we attended the Hawk Nelson & The Afters concert at Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle.
When we arrived and took in the view in the sanctuary with its stained glass windows, it was hard to believe that shortly this place will be rocking with The After and Hawk Nelson.
A select group of VIPs were able to attend a Q&A session where they interacted with members of both Hawk Nelson and The Afters. The bands explained how difficult it is to come up with a name that hasn’t been used before. Yet it was a child’s question that was a fist for the bands. Her question, relayed via her dad was, asking The Afters “What is your favorite Hawk Nelson song?” and to Hawk Nelson “What is your favorite Afters song?” The band members each expressed that this was a first for them and really had them thinking before answering. Got to love a child’s simple questions.
Before rocking with the headliners, Justin McRoberts warmed up the crowd with his performance. Since 1999, McRoberts gaining ground in the independent music scene. Besides being a musician, he is also a published author and public speaker.
McRoberts performed various songs from his current CD release. He was well received by the crowd and he thanks them for attending so he wouldn’t be playing for practice.
After a short transition the stage was dark as figures took positions and music began. It was Hawk Nelson that was up next. With muted lights at their feet they began their performance, added by a large video screen behind the stage. Fans crowded to the front of the stage and screamed with excitement as the band performed.
After a good number of songs performed the lead singer thanked the fans for attending and spoke about how the band had a time of uncertainty in 2012 when then lead singer Jason Dunn left the band. But with encouragement Bart Millard of MercyMe, Jonathan Steingard took the lead vocals position.
After a brief intermission the stage transformed and prepped for The Afters. When they took the stage I noticed that the Hawk Nelson drums were still on the stage. Hawk Nelsons drummer David Niacaris took that position and prepared to accompany The After. It was a bit confusing, but then a stage hang came out with a large piece of paper and covered the name on the drums so it no longer said Hawk Nelson. Shortly after beginning, lead vocals, Joshua Haven explained that there drummer is in Nashville doing some studio recording and Courtney agreed to fill in.
With a mix of video screen, colored LED lights and theater haze, The Afters rocked the crowd to their delight; they crowded the stage front, danced in the aisles and rocked with the band.
Haven came down into the crowd and walked along on the seats as he sang and high-fived with the crowd as he worked his way out and back to the stage.
This was a well-attended concert and we will give these performances a five guitar rating. They did a fantastic job and used the lights, smoke and sound to bring the audience the full experience. Great job guys!
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