ICHTHUS: Day 2

Ichthus, Day 2 was the first day that Ross and I got into the real meat of precisely what makes up the heart of the Ichthus Festival. We arrived shortly before 1, in time to catch the up and coming Centricity Records band Me in Motion, who have toured with the likes of Newsboys, Pillar, Red, and The Wedding on recent tours. They played a decent mix of dancey pop-rock tunes, offering

Phil Keaggy in the Galleria Tent

nothing too innovative but nonetheless solid songs.

Ross and I then embarked over to the Mainstage where DecembeRadio was wrapping up their set. I didn’t really know any of their songs but what we heard was southern rock tinged CCM fare. The set included a lot of cowbell though, so you know it can’t have been too bad! Following the afternoon speaker, Stellar Kart took the stage, sans one of their guitar players (whom I later found out had left the band to join Paramore). After hearing some rather mediocre pop punk I decided to head over to the Edge Stage to catch a bit of Grits. Unfortunately, the only tune I recognized was “High”, music video that I had seen along the time I was first introduced to TVU Music Television back in early high school. At that point I walked over to the Galleria Stage, where the legendary Phil Keaggy was playing. My timing couldn’t have been better I walked in to the opening notes of “Salvation Army Band.” Unfortunately, I missed the celtic-tinged “Shades of Green” that has become a favorite of Wheaton students after his multiple appearances there.

We headed back over to the Deep End to catch Children 18:3.  For a trio, they put on a heck of a live show. They kicked things off with the title track from their new record “Rain’s a Comin'” with plenty of headbanging in unison.  Their show included a fairly balanced mix of the old and new, including radio singles “Mock the Music”, “Homemade Valentine”, and “Lost So Long”.  The only downside was their choosing to neglect “All My Balloons” in favor of the reprise of that song from the first record. TFK followed on the mainstage, and this marked the first time I saw them with their new touring guitarist.  He definitely has stage presence that better suits the TFK sound. They played most cuts from Welcome to the Masquerade, including “E For Extinction” and “Scream” which I had not heard live before. Overall, a solid live show but TFK really is a band better suited for a club or even arena rock setting than an outdoor festival. I wasn’t

TFK on the mainstage

as into it as I was when they played Edman Chapel at my own Wheaton College last fall.

The speaker that night was Matt Pitt, a young charismatic guy full of lots of passion for Christ and armed with a powerful testimony. He style at times seemed a bit melodramatic but overall he seemed to connect well with the audience.

Relient K was the first headliner of the night. Surprisingly, they opened with perhaps their biggest hit, “Be My Escape” before playing “Forget and Not Slow Down” and “Candlelight” off their current album. The band as a whole sounded really good, and though they didn’t exhibit a whole lot of stage presence the quality of their live sound make up for it. A highlight of the evening was their cover of the 80s hit “Africa” by Toto, a song they said they had never played live before. “Africa” rather appropriately preceded “Sahara”, and they ended their set with “Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been” and “Devastation and Reform”,

Relient K

among others.

Switchfoot went on around 9:30, playing a set that would become of the highlights of the day. Their set was nearly identical to the set I saw back in February at the House of Blues Chicago. Jon Foreman was as much himself as ever, pausing the show briefly after the playing of “Stars” to ask that all the house lights be turned off so that the audience could take in the intergalactic light show taking place over our heads. Another highlight was Foreman’s acoustic version of “Only Hope” during the first part of their encore. Other than that, they split up the set pretty evenly between songs from “The Beautiful Letdown” and “Hello Hurricane”, with 2 songs each from Nothing Is Sound and Oh! Gravity.

During “Dare You To Move”, Ross and I made our way back to the Deep End for Haste the Day. A large crowd had already gathered was getting more and more excited, and finally the MC for the night emerged to lay down some rules, but reassured the crowd that we would be getting the rules from “a hardcore kid”. He had 3: No cheap shots; If someone falls, everything stops and you help him/her up.; and keep the moshing and hardcore dancing separate. Haste the Day then took the stage, opening with “Haunting” and “Mad Man” and playing a mix of mostly cuts from their 3 most recent albums. Their set concluded with the oldies “When Everything Falls” and “American Love”, both of which garnered huge reactions from the crowd. At any hardcore show, the crowd can make or break an atmosphere, and it was definitely interesting to be at a Christian event where so much movement in the crowd was tolerated. So overall, it was a solid 2nd day at the festival!

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