The Mission Bell US Tour 2006 - Riverside Communnity Church - Peoria, Illinois USA (05 Apr 2006)
Last modified: 05 Apr 2006
Venue: Riverside Communnity Church - Peoria, Illinois USA
Author: Andy King
Date: 05 Apr 2006
It was that time of year again, the first week of April. Its becoming some sort of official holiday in America, especially here in Peoria, Illinois. No, it's not Easter but it felt like Christmas. It was that time of year that Delirious came to town. Over the last 4 years Delirious have made 3 stops in Peoria and every time it's been an honor to just have then in Peoria at Riverside Community Church
Personally I and my family have made some amazing friends. Over the last 4 years the Delirious families have been there for us When we have needed a shoulder to cry on they were there, when we needed to laugh, they also were there (a lot). Yes, their music is amazing and I have listened to them from day one and will do forever. But its not about the on stage stuff that makes me love these guys, it's the off stage lifestyle. As an event coordinator I meet many Christian "Celebs" and to be honest some give the word Christian, which means Christ like, a bad name. Not with these guys, they are the real deal.
So Dave asked me to give a behind the scenes look into the day with Delirious and Tree 63. We had been planning the event for months. Promoting it like crazy. The day before I was even asked to be the morning DJ for a local Christian radio station from 6-9am. It was cool as I set it up with Tim Jupp for him to call me and we went on air live. He was super excited and the guys were coming ready to play. It really set the stage. Being as it was April 4th (day before the concert) that I was on the radio, they allowed me to play Delirious' version of U2 song "Pride, in the name of love" The song is about Martin Luther King jr and in it talks about "Early morning, April 4, shots rang out in a Memphis sky" It was the anniversary to the day that Martin Luther King jr was killed. It fitted well and Delirious did the song Justice, great job.
So we got the church around 8am on the 5th, only to be welcomed by a beaming smiling face of Tim. The kids were getting up, people were starting to stir and the sun was out. The weekend before we had seen Tornados in the area so the sun, for all of us was welcomed.
All the families started trickling in. It was funny, we have seen these kids grow and as each child came in we had to keep check whose was whose. Come on, there was 14 to count for. I walked up to Stu G and said hi, he turned and .....there's no voice. Stu's voice has gone. Also Stew Smith was not on tour and as I am a drummer and great friends with him (I have his old Premier set in my basement) that was not a great way to start the day but it was not the end of the world and Paul Evans (standing in for Stew) did not miss a beat.
All I kept hearing, especially from the Tree 63 guys was, "there's real PG Tips and Weetabix" (for all the Americans reading, its English tea and English cereal.) We had got alot of English stuff in again just to spoil the guys with. Being away from home, they need to be spoiled every once in a while.
After breakfast, the families hit the gift baskets we had made for each of the kids and also couples. The bags were demolished with in seconds. American candy, toys, games, lip glosses, playing card, hand bags and much, much more (and that was just for the Delirious guys....just kidding) My wife has made great friends with all the wives so she likes to take care of all the bags but like the first time Delirious came, I had spoken to Maui Jim, which is one of the top sunglass companies in the world, which are based in Peoria, and the provided sunglasses for all the guys in the band, (valued at $300 a piece) Thanks Maui Jim.
From there load in of the gear started, so we all took off to a CD signing at Berean bookstore. It was a small signing, not too many there but the families loved the store and did some shopping also. Highlight for me in the store was standing around an amazing DVD display introducing all the guys to one of the most powerful communicators in the USA. Rob Bell. He does a DVD series to illustrate simple truths. It's called Nooma, and the guys loved it. It's very 'out of the box', but we use it here at church in different setting and it's powerful.
Then from there the Blue Dream Center Peoria
Bus (it was an old yellow school bus) picked us all up and we headed to.....my house? Yep, the wives were all back there with Teresa my wife and so the guys, including John from Tree 63, all came over and just hung out... at my house. It was so strange. Now I know I had mentioned that they are friends but it was bizarre playing Basketball (or trying to play basketball as we are 2 Brits) with Martin in my drive way and looking out and shouting down to Stu G and Jon what they wanted in their tea as they sat on our patio. It was definitely a moment that I will never forget. My wife said that the wives loved it because it was a bit of normality. Our house was the second American house that the wives and kids had been in said Becca Jupp. The first was a few day earlier with previous manager Tony Patoto in Nashville. My boys loved it, playing on the swings and fort in our back yard. For them it too was a dream come true. The stories my kids will have to share one day with their kids will be amazing, the day Delirious came to our house.
OK, so we all then moved on to the bus and off to lunch. Had a great lunch and we had a bit of a surprise. When we got back, there was a meeting going on with Hutch, Ian and Tim and 8 or so of the top production team from Willow Creek. Now for us as a new church, only 5 years old and running close to 1800 people each week, we love the stuff Willow does and we are always going to Willow's conferences and stuff but it was weird, Willow had come down to Peoria. They were here getting ready for the Live DVD recording that will happen in June at Willow Creek. It was great meeting them. Nice people. They were recording all day, like behind the scenes stuff.
So from there all the families jumped on the bus again and we headed to a huge park so the kids could play and have fun. We all just sat and chatted about life and it was just a great time. Being in the sun, seeing our beautiful English skin getting burned. There were 3 guys playing guitars about 40 feet away from us and I kept thinking "if they only knew who was sitting by them, guys who have sold millions of records" It was great, I finally, in all the chaos of setting the event up, had time to spend with my family also. It was again, a memory that will last with me forever.
So we left the park and went to the Ice Cream Shack where we just enjoyed the day and ate really good ice cream. From there we all went back to the church for a full English dinner. Now, England has had a bad wrap over the years about its cuisine, or lack of, but there are some things that are pure English, so I am about to loose the Americans again, but we had, Roast Beef, Yorkshire puddings, bisto gravy, mash spuds and to finish it off Apple pie and custard with a nice hot cup of tea. It was heaven. Even in the concert later Martin said one of the reasons they come back to Peoria is for the food.
Well the crowd was starting to swell outside and it was coming down to the event itself. I was given my instructions from Ian, Delirious road manager and friend, and I hit the stage. To be honest, I was tired from the day but the night was young and the crowd was ready.
I introduced Tree63 and what a job they did, amazing connection with the crowd and a great opening band for Delirious, great match up. John from Tree63 said that their experience in Peoria was an amazing one also and they want to come back. We would welcome them back any day as they too understand life off stage.
As Tree was finishing up I went and prayed with Delirious. Before I prayed I just shared some personal thanks and also thanked Martin for writing" I'll see you there" which is the last song on the Mission Bell CD. You see many people did not know this but Martin and the guys helped us get through a very rough time. 3 years ago to the day, April 5, 2003, was the day when my daughter was born and just 2 hours later passed away to be with her creator. The guys could relate with having kids and Martin wrote a song on Mission Bell that was, I feel, every hearts cry from anyone who's gone through this. Again, thanks Martin.
After praying and warming up, the guys made there way down to the stage. So here it is song by song: Martin started singing "Now is the time" with a "There is a light" type of feel, and then they kicked into the intro to it. The place went crazy. The 1200 or so people there were on board and they were not getting off.
There were so many great moments in the concert tonight. From all the new songs like Solid rock (loved the mega phone). This song has to be seen and felt live. What a great song. Toby Mac was not there but who needed him when you have Mr. Martin Smith on the mega phone. Miracle Maker and Our God Reigns are becoming songs like the classics. Miracle Maker was a personal song for me as we are sturing the waters each and everyday for people who are needing a miracle here at Dream Center Peoria. Then there was the pure classics like Mountains, Majesty, and a very personal History Maker which included Martin leading the crowd into a full on prayer time for several minutes for Dream Center Peoria(www.dreamcenterpeoria.org ) which I am privileged to head up. Dream Center Peoria is what Mission Bell is all about, taking the church out into the community and affecting our world. Thanks guys for seeing the vision and ringing the bell.
As Delirious were here in Peoria doing what they do best, in Nashville, it was announced that they had been awarded a Dove award for their involvement on the "Narnia" cd project.
The concert came to an end with Here I am send me, a great way to finish a great night. Afterward the guys came out and just signed stuff and chatted with people in the lobby area.
But the night was not over. I will never forget just sitting in the tour bus, till midnight, with the Jupps and smiths (Martin's side) and just chatting and laughing (a lot) about life. I love these guys not just for their music but for what they are off stage. A friend of mine Mr. Chris Tomlin, who won 5 Dove awards that evening, had emailed me asking me to get Martin and the guys to hear the new Passion CD that came out a day before, and to take a listen to the last song on the CD. It was Chris, Dave Crowder and Matt Redman doing the chorus of "Our God Reigns" The kids were asleep, my youngest was crashed out on my wife's lap, but Martin cranks it up. It was a "great version of the song" Martin said. It's funny, I was sitting there thinking may be it's going to wake the kids but I realized, their kids, like ours hear the praises of God day and night and what statement to sleep with "Our God Reigns" It was a great way to end the night. The focus was still on the One who bought us all together again. It's an honor to call the Delirious families our friends.