Having been founded in the 1990's by the band Newsong, Winter Jam brings wholesome fun for the low price of just $10 per person.
Presented by Holt International, Winter Jam is a traveling Christian music tour. Multiple bands took to the stage of a nearly sold out crowd, along with a speech by Duck Dynasty's Sadie Robertson and a lengthy ordeal from evangelical Tony Nolan. An eclectic host, audience prayer, humanitarian group ads, and vague stories of the church’s good deeds added insightful filler content in between band performances. Let's discuss said band performances, shall we?
The Oswald Brothers Band kicked things off for the night. A bit of indie mixed with catchy pop, these young men had the crowd excited and singing along right away. Between songs were messages of positivity with a focus on forgiveness.
Thousand Foot Krutch (TFK) came on next. Admittedly, TFK was the only band on the bill I had heard of. With arena shaking bass, heavy guitar and bold lyrics, to say this band rocked is an understatement. Even the Chik-Fil-A mascot in attendance couldn't resist joining the band for a song.
What would Winter Jam be without a performance from the founders themselves? Newsong is Contemporary meets folksy. This band had the most "preachy" yet inspirational lyrics. The Ohio State Choir was kind enough to join in for a song as well. Between songs were wonderful stories of various humanitarian endeavors, including working with underprivileged children through organizations like World Vision, child welfare, and adoption with Holt International.
For Colton Dixon, no one genre defines the perfectly coiffed powerhouse. From edgy rock to beautiful piano ballads, this former American Idol contestant's angelic voice and heartwarming persona gave great testimony through powerful performance.
Andy Mineo was hands down the best performer of the night. Call him The Unashamed, but Andy had fast flowin’ rhymes and lyrics that packed a thought provoking punch. Every hand in the arena was bouncing in the air and showing their appreciation for Andy’s diverse creativity.
Tenth Avenue North is the epitome of a Christian rock band, complete with upbeat music and melodic vocals. They are an uplifting band with exceptional musical talent. Audience engagement was at the forefront of this set, including the band singing in the audience.
Britt Nicole has a voice that gives goosebumps and music that revives the soul. She is a true pop icon that happens to be accompanied by incredible backup dancers.
Though Sarah Reeves only played one song, her talent was very much apparent. Armed with only a soul filled voice and incredible piano playing, Sarah was nothing short of memorable.
Crowder was the final act of the night. It was country meets Mumford and Sons. Upright bass, violin and banjo round out this bands folktronica style of worship music, they easily had the biggest crowd reaction of the night. They had, quite literally, almost everyone singing along. Crowder’s performance was more awe inspiring than lead singer David Crowder's beard and the perfect way to end the show.
I would like to give a shout out to the real MVPs of the night: The sign language interpreters for the show. All of them were signing perfectly to the beat of each song and were obviously enjoying the music while doing it. It was a pleasant sight to see.
In conclusion, Winter Jam was a wonderful experience of great music and the prime example of how an event like it should flow. It was a 10/10, and I would definitely recommend it.