The Show opened with The Sidewalk Prophets. A fairly new band that I'm not too familiar with but I thought they were pretty good. They started their set with "Man In The Mirror" by Michael Jackson. The performance of their first radio single, "The Words We Speak", really got the crowd going and everyone singing along. (Sorry the photo isn't the best quality.)
Remedy Drive is one of my favorite bands. This is the second time I've seen them in concert and they did not disappoint! Their music was made to be experienced live. Lead singer, David Zac, is all over the place while he sings, flips over the keyboard and other acrobatics are to be expected lol. Their music is so hopeful, and that message of hope truly comes out in their music.
The band Fee was next. I walked away more of a fan of these guys than I was before. They have a heart for worship, and had everyone jumping around and worshiping God to the song "We Shine (We Are The Redeemed". They also played the song, "Everything Falls", the lyrics are so hopeful and beautiful. "When everything falls apart, Your arms hold me together. When everything falls apart You’re the only hope for this heart. When everything falls apart and my strength is gone, I find You mighty and strong. You keep holding on, You keep holding on."
Francesca Battistelli sounds even better live than on cd. Her voice is flawless, and her set was a highlight for me. I really loved watching her play both guitar and piano on her songs. My favorite moment was when she sang the song ,"Beautiful, Beautiful". This song touched my heart so much. The lyrics are amazing! "Like sunlight burning at midnight, making my life something so beautiful, beautiful. Mercy reaching to save me, all need. You are so beautiful, beautiful." It was such a peaceful, worshipful moment. This song has become a favorite of mine.
Ah Family Force 5 ... what is there to say about these guys? lol On stage they've got to be something akin to two shots of espresso and a can of Red Bull. ;) I don't think the crowd knew quite how to respond to them at first, seeing as how the majority of the music that night was pretty mellow compared to FF5. After the first song, which was the crazy "Country Gentleman", Soul Glow told the crowd that they like to "put parties on for Jesus", and quote "So if this is not your thing, go get popcorn" lol. But soon everyone was on their feet singing and dancing along. It was seriously a blast!
David Crowder Band, these guys are so awesome! They really are one of the best worship bands around. They have such a balance at their shows of keeping the focus on worshiping God while also letting the fun side of their music and personalities come through. One of my favorite parts was when they had a quote, "hoe down", of sorts and played a country infused version of the songs, "I Saw The Light" and "I'll Fly Away", that got everyone clapping and having fun. The worshipful "Oh, How He Loves Us" was a highlight. Everyone was raising their hands in praise to God. It was amazing hearing the whole stadium sing this song. So beautiful and peaceful.
Last but certainly not least, MercyMe came out onstage to crazy applause, confetti flying everywhere, singing a version of The Beatles' "Revolution". A pretty cool entrance I must say. I have to be honest, I used to not be much of a MercyMe fan, but after seeing them in concert a couple times I've had a change of heart. These guys are really great. Their music is worshipful and meaningful. And you can really tell that they are good hearted, genuine people. I was glad they sang "God With Us", which is my personal favorite. They also played a couple songs off their new record, "The Generous Mr. Lovewell". Crowd favorite, "I Can Only Imagine", had everyone on their feet and singing the beautiful words. During this song, they had a screen in back of them playing photos fans had sent in of lost loved ones. Definitely an emotional moment. Towards the end of the night, Bart addressed the crowd with some very inspiring things, here's what he had to say; "If everything goes in one ear and out the other, i want you to remember one thing. Some of you feel unlovable, that if someone really knew your real heart that it would be too much. Jesus is so crazy in love with you. People who have never darkened the door of a church, he loves you the way you are. For the people who are in church all the time, your halo will never been shiny enough to earn His grace. So i guess we're all in the same boat. We all need Jesus. It's not about a list of rules you have to follow, He's inviting you into an intimate relationship with Him." Then they led the whole crowd out in the hymns "I Love You Lord" and "Amazing Grace". It was amazing to hear everyone sing these songs acapella. Mind you this is the American Airlines Center filled to capacity ... that many people singing at one time sounded like the most beautiful choir I've ever heard. They left the stage to everyone singing "How Great Thou Art". It was an amazing way to end such a great night of live music and worship. Worshiping God with thousands of people, all singing the same song, is a little glimpse of what I imagine heaven to be like.
The next day, we got to do a little exploring around Dallas, which was so fun! I really have taken a liking to this lovely and artful city. Everytime my sister, cousin (who came on the trip with us), and I are there we always talk about how we want to live together right in the middle of the city in one of the pretty loft apartments we always pass. Ah, Dallas, how you romance us with your artsy atmosphere! Maybe someday you'll be more than a dream. :)
While we were exploring, we found a great coffee shop called, "Opening Bell Coffee".
I had heard about Opening Bell over a year ago and had been wanting to try it. All of us girls were very taken by the cozy and artsy atmosphere of this cute cafe. Upon entering you're greeted by pretty art on the walls, comfy sofas and tables, good music, and a friendly smile from the barista at the counter. I loved how right at the entrance there's a rack of cds by indie artists, many of whom play shows at Opening Bell. Cecily and I are always very observant of the decor in cafes because it's our dream to someday open one of our own. And we both thought the decor created the perfect atmosphere. In some ways reminding us of a cute antique shop, with a curio cabinet filled with trinkets, an old piano, and big clocks against the backdrop of a red wall. And an awesome stage in the corner for all the singer/songwriters that play shows there regularly. But enough about the decor ... lets talk coffee and food shall we? Okay I have to say right here and right now, in my very humble opinion, their coffee was just as good if not better than Starbucks. That's right, you heard it here folks. :) My sister, Cecily, and I shared an Iced Caramel Mocha, and she was very adamant that it beat Starbucks by miles. We also ordered some delish food and desserts. May I recommend the Chicken Salad? Very fresh and even a little spicy. Also, their Tuxedo Truffle Cake is quite heavenly! Needless to say after indulging in sandwiches, cake, and coffee, we were somewhat full but very happy!
We also got to visit an awesome bakery called "Society Bakery".
My sister and I are crazy about cupcakes and when we go on trips she's always on the look out for bakeries that make the best cupcakes. Well let me tell you, we've tried many different cupcakes from many different bakeries, but Society Bakery is without a doubt the best! My cousin, Pam, and I shared a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, while my sister had a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting. Both cupcakes were hits! The cake was moist and the frostings were very fluffy and creamy. The place is pretty small but has cute little tables outside to sit down and enjoy your cupcakes. Society Bakery has a wide variety of cupcakes, cakes, cookies, and petit fours. They make their frostings from scratch with no shortening, and their cookies are made with real butter. On a funny little side note, there's a photo hanging on the wall of none other than ... New Kids On The Block, with a cake that Society Bakery made for them last summer lol. Society is definitely the place to go for anyone with a sweet tooth.
A couple days in Dallas full of live music, coffee in a cute cafe, delish cupcakes, plus lots of laughter with my family, was definitely the mini vacation I had been craving. It was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again!
Below are some random photos of us in Dallas:
(My sister Cecily, me, and our cousin Pam, after the concert)