For those of you who believe in such a thing, what did you do on Thursday, the National Day of Prayer?

Third Day founder and lead singer Mac Powell entertains the crowd Thursday night at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. (Photo By John G. Miller)

As for me, I got an unexpected call on my cell phone from my Pastor Bernie at 5:35 p.m., asking if my lovely wife Amy and I would like to go to a concert in less than an hour and a half, featuring contemporary Christian artists Trevor Morgan, Matt Maher and his band, and the headline act Third Day.  He had two tickets, compliments of Third Day lead singer Mac Powell, and they seemed to have our names on them.

Pastor Bernie didn’t have to ask me twice.  I’ve been a fan of Third Day since the late 1990s, when I discovered their music while going through song samples at a Christian music store and started giving their praise CDs to my oldest son Curtis as a gift.

There’s something about the band that’s rocked my world ever since.  You cannot listen to them and say that contemporary Christian music is boring.  Third Day’s music has an edge to it — a combination of country and rock with a mighty message.  Powell’s vocals go a long way toward giving it that edge.  Ever since I first started listening to the band’s music, Mac Powell’s vocal sound and style has always made me think of country star Travis Tritt with a rocking gospel touch to it.  He’s got the same sound, and he’s pretty much got the same hair these days.

It’s a winning combination for the Marietta, Georgia-based band, one that’s garnered them many awards — American Music Awards, Grammy honors, and Gospel Music Awards ever since they received their first honor in 1998 — as they celebrate about 20 years as a group, and they are crossover powerhouses now.

The fact that I’ve gotten a growing appreciation for the songs of Matt Maher was a bonus for Thursday evening, and I was mightily impressed with Trevor Morgan as well as he took the stage on his own and showed some strong songwriting and singing ability.

The setting itself couldn’t have been more ideal.  I’d seen months ago that Third Day was coming to Abravanel Hall — home to the renowned Utah Symphony and its audience mainly consisting of men in suits and ties and women in dresses — and I’d wanted to go badly and never mentioned it to a soul, until Pastor Bernie gave me the call.

Powell himself was impressed by the acoustically perfect venue at Abravanel Hall, commenting on the chandeliers hanging high above the audience.  Thursday’s show was played in front of a packed hall.

The crowd begins to fill every level at Abravanel Hall for Thursday night’s concert. (Photo By John G. Miller)

Once the audience was seated, Morgan was first up, playing a few songs and showing some strong vocal power along with a very nice touch on acoustic guitar, getting a standing ovation from many in the audience.

Trevor Morgan performs solo — just his voice and his acoustic guitar. (Photo By John G. Miller)

Then it was Matt Maher’s turn, and he and the foursome in his group put on an inspired show, playing many of his better-known songs like “Hold Us Together (Brother’s Keeper)” and “Turn Around” that got the audience participation revved up.

Matt Maher and his band rock Abravanel Hall. (Photo By John G. Miller)
Matt Maher sings one of his better-known tunes. (Photo By John G. Miller)

Morgan and Maher each got a chance to share the stage with the main act for a couple of songs, with Morgan being backed by Third Day for one song.  Beyond that, the rest of the evening belonged to Third Day.  And instead of the stuffiness of a classical crowd at Abravanel, they entertained a very casual, jeans-and-T-shirt audience with the sound of their southern-fried gospel rock — and they rocked hard.

Third Day was coming off a 10-day break in their tour to support their new album, “Move.”  So it was fitting that just before they took the stage, the sounds of Willie Nelson singing “On The Road Again” ushered them onto the stage.

They did songs like “Tunnel,” Children of God,” my personal Third Day favorite in “Revelation.”  Powell softened it a bit after a while, doing a solo acoustic guitar break that was highlighted by the old gospel standard “Blessed Assurance” blending into a bit of their own contemporary hit “Cry Out To Jesus.”

They played songs from their first album to their latest, and even when it was something that was specially requested in a Q&A earlier in the evening, they didn’t miss a beat.

On a national day of prayer, these guys — from Morgan to Maher and Mac and the rest of the boys in Third Day — gave a packed audience plenty of reasons to lift their hands and their voices together in song.

Mac Powell and Mark Lee (Photo By John G. Miller)
Third Day — consisting of Mac Powell on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Mark Lee on lead guitar and backing vocals, Tai Anderson on bass guitar and backing vocals, David Carr on drums, Scotty Wilbanks on keyboards and backing vocals, and Jason Hoard on rhythm guitar, mandolin, banjo and backing vocals — performs at Abravanel Hall Thursday night. (Photo By John G. Miller)
David Carr on drums, Mac Powell on vocals, Tai Anderson on bass guitar, and Jason Hoard on rhythm guitar. (Photo By John G. Miller)
Mark Lee plays the slide guitar during a solo with Scotty Wilbanks on keys in the background. (Photo By John G. Miller)

Third Day is a strong supporter of the mission of World Vision to sponsor children in need around the world.  You can see more about sponsoring a child in this world by clicking on the link below.

World Vision International — Child Sponsorship

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media


3 thoughts on “Rising up with Third Day

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