Review: Revive Night 2015
By Sarah Komisky
With a desire to see God’s healing pour out to the community in a night of worship, Crossroads Christian Church in Corona, California hosted Revive Night 2015 Friday July 31st. Melding artists and various genres for one purpose, the event held in an intimate venue, was all about hope. With stories and songs, the event focused on worshiping God, reflecting on His goodness, and allowing Him to transform us – a night that left me encouraged.
Beginning with a Q&A for VIP ticket holders, artist Chris August answered questions from the audience on miscellaneous subjects that were always addressed in a down to earth fashion. Candidly sharing, August also touched on his own personal struggles that people resonated with.
Opening the evening concert, Crossroads worship leader Laura Coronado sang original pop songs that got everyone on their feet. Mirroring Taylor Swift and in the Christian realm, Britt Nicole, Coronado gave the audience a sneak peek into her upcoming album. Transitioning into a slower, contemplative worship set, Coronado set the tone for the event singing quieter songs like “Broken Vessels,” “How Can it Be,” and “Age to Age (His Glory Appears).” People were able to focus on Jesus and bask in His presence laying the groundwork for what God wanted to do in hearts that night. For people like myself, her set was a good introduction to the new artist who might remind them of worship leader Brooke Fraser from Hillsong United.
Then, R&B/Soul/Pop musician August, followed up with a light-hearted song called, “You and I.” With an electric guitar in hand, he offered a stripped down performance of an array of his songs from No Far Away, The Upside of Down, and his most recent release, The Maker. Starting off with “Let the Music Play,” “Loving You is Easy” and “Center of It,” it was a breath of fresh air to listen to an artist that had me dancing a large portion of the evening (always a great sign). But maybe what I enjoyed even more than the dancing was the conversation from August that offered up a sort of story time experience. Sharing with humor but also with passion and honesty, August’s stories behind the songs were memorable because they were sincere, relatable, and encouraging.
Since this was a night to talk about healing, August’s story was powerful because of his ability to be vulnerable and share his experience walking through addiction to pain medication after a skateboarding accident. The songs were able to give insight into that time and the work God did while the stories also injected hope. Most of all, August has the ability to remind everyone that the concert was not about him but about the One he gave glory and honor to for healing him completely. His songs echo that adoration and gratitude to God that he clearly expresses whether in a fun love song, R&B tune, or a familiar record single.
On a musical level, catching a show with August is an experience worth having because he is an incredibly gifted musician. Playing and singing his heart out, August offers music that is simply good to listen to. Fans who might only be familiar with pop songs like “Starry Night” or others that have not yet heard of him should come see his live show because you get to see a different side of August. One song that showcases this “other side” is “Muddy Waters,” a blues anthem that paints the picture of the frustration but also the healing of depression in a very John Mayer al la Continuum sort of way.
Already mentioned but worth noting again because it pulls from his own musical inspiration (Stevie Wonder), “Let the Music Play” was artistically great while love songs “Loving You is Easy” and “Superhero” stylistically compared to artists like Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake, or Nick Jonas with his R&B runs and fun pop flair. August is unique in the Christian market because he offers something that is original and that is a good alternative to a style many enjoy.
Other songs like “He’s Still Here,” and “Battle” (performed live for the first time), were also noteworthy because of the depth and message in the songs while an impromptu performance of the “Candy Wrap” requested by a fan, was also unforgettable for the wit and silliness it brought that was appreciated. Additionally, the hymn “Come Thou Fount” and the worship song, “You Are My All in All” were both songs sung from the heart to Jesus. Lastly, August played “The Maker” that summed up his sentiments in the lyric: “I love the Maker and the Maker loves me.”
In closing, speaker Noe Barragan gave a short message sharing that Jesus came to fill the void we have inside and calls us to come to Him for help, forgiveness, and rest. An invitation was given to receive Christ as personal Lord and Savoir and many responded. This became the highlight of the night where healing came full circle.
Ending with a laid back rendition of “Starry Night,” August confessed his thoughts on the evening as being “blessed” and “encouraged.” I myself agreed. The event shifted the focus away from self to God which was a powerful thing. This left the audience with the opportunity to ponder and praise their Healer and find hope in their struggles.