Third Day and MercyMe among bands headlining concert tours along with the new Audio Adrenaline
Some of the biggest names in contemporary Christian music are hitting the road on tour in the new year, with many supporting the release of new albums.
GRAMMY-winning multi-platinum recording artist TobyMac will headline the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular—Christian music’s biggest tour and the No. 1 tour in the world for the first quarter of the year for the past two years.
Kicking off its 18th year Jan. 4 in Charleston, W.Va., and concluding March 30 in San Antonio, the 44-city tour will also feature Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor, as well as speaker Nick Hall. In addition, the Youth Music Vault Pre-Jam Party will include performances from Jason Castro, OBB and Capital Kings. Admission is $10 at the door, with no ticket required.
Playing to a total of nearly 535,000 people last year, Winter Jam outpaced attendance for all other tours, according to Pollstar’s 2012 Worldwide First Quarter Ticket Sales Charts—Top 100 Tours, bypassing such key tours as Cirque du Soleil; “Michael Jackson: The Immortal”; Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters; The Black Keys; Jason Aldean; and Brad Paisley.
“We are more passionate than ever about the ministry that drives the tour,” said Eddie Carswell, creator of Winter Jam and founding member of NewSong. “Led by TobyMac, this year’s line-up represents the diversity—and future—of Christian music.”
Meanwhile, the fifth annual Rock & Worship Roadshow, which kicks off Feb. 7 in Madison, Wisc., and concludes March 10 in Fresno, Calif., features MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Tedashii, Kutless, Family Force 5, Luminate, Adam Cappa, Rhett Walker Band and Tim Timmons. Like Winter Jam, tour admission is $10 at the door, with no ticket required. Last year’s Roadshow was named one of Pollstar’s Top 50 Tours for mid-year 2012.
Elsewhere, GRAMMY-winning worship leader Chris Tomlin’s first album in three years, Burning Lights (sixstepsrecords/Sparrow Records/EMI CMG Distribution), releases Jan. 8. Beginning Feb. 19 in Charleston, W.V., and wrapping up May 4 in Denver, the 34-city Burning Lights Tour will feature Passion City Church founder Louie Giglio and Kari Jobe. Burning Lights features the hit single “Whom Shall I Fear [God of Angel Armies].”
“I feel that it’s a very important responsibility that God’s given me to write songs for His Church and to give people a voice to worship God, so I take that very seriously,” Tomlin said. “So I’m not just throwing a bunch of songs together to make a new record and hope that it just rides on the wind of what I’ve done in the past. I want it to be the very best thing I’ve ever done every time.”
Third Day will headline The Miracle Tour next month in support of the GRAMMY-winning band’s latest studio project, Miracle (Essential Records/Provident-Integrity). Launching Feb. 21 in Fairfax, Va., and ending May 5 in Louisville, Ky., the 45-city tour will also feature American Idol finalist Colton Dixon and singer-songwriter Josh Wilson.
“We have toured for so many years and feel like we owe any success we have to the fans that built Third Day,” said drummer David Carr. “We poured so much into this record because we wanted to bring our fans our very best. We are proud of Miracle and can’t wait for people to hear it.”
The album was produced by veteran producer Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Train, The Killers).
Meanwhile, Audio Adrenaline, a Christian rock band that formed in the late 1980s but retired in 2007, has re-formed with an altered lineup in a move that is a renewed effort by the group to help orphans in Haiti and around the world. Founding members Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss has been joined by new vocalist Kevin Max, formerly of dcTalk.
The band’s first single, “Kings and Queens,” was released in November with the new album of the same title slated to release March from Fair Trade Services, a new label for the band. Beginning in late February and running through spring, the Kings and Queens Tour will include Group 1 Crew, Seventh Day Slumber and Manic Drive.
Net proceeds from the album’s sales will go to Hands & Feet Project, a nonprofit organization started in 2004 by Audio Adrenaline members that is dedicated to helping orphaned and abandoned children in Haiti.