On Saturday, we went to the Christian WinterJam 2011 concert at Verizon Arena in Little Rock. It was VERY cool! We got there around 3:45pm and parked in a lot across the street from the back of the arena (or maybe the side, it's hard to tell). We ended up in the line where a new handicapped entrance is being constructed. I think that threw off a LOT of folks because there were only about 35-40 people in front of us. Even we weren't sure at first. Eventually, several folks asked if this was a public entrance (or was it VIP or handicapped) and we were told that it was an open, public entrance. When the doors opened at 4:30 (30 minutes earlier than we had been told, mainly due to wind and temps, I think), we were ushered in to the floor level! Now, before we got to the floor, though, we were directed up a stairwell.
As the people in front of us reached the door at the top, they found it locked! So, a bunch of us were in the stairwell, playing "the telephone game" in order to get word to the workers that the door was locked. The solution? Let us directly on to the floor! Sweet! Of course, I'd rather have a slightly elevated view, so we crossed the floor and found seats two rows up! Sweet! We had a GREAT view of the stage - not too close, not too far and not below eye level.
The last concert we attended was Stephen Curtis Chapman with Casting Crowns and Chris Tomlin. That concert was entertaining without being in-your-face loud. I've been to concerts that more LOUD than anything. Saturday's WinterJam was a LOUD concert! After two songs, I had to put in the earplugs.
The artists each performed three to four songs. During set breaks, we heard Bible readings, stories of God's impact on certain lives, etc. It was a great way to pass the time between groups. The intermission came around 8:00pmm during which concert-goers were told about Holt International and asked to sponsor a child waiting to be adopted. It was very moving. Our Youth Group sponsored a child. In all, at least 492 children found sponsors in Little Rock!!
I can't remember everyone that performed, but some of the folks included Jason Castro, Chris August, Kutless, RED, NewSong, Francesca Battistelli, Sidewalk Prophets, and the David Crowder Band. The "main" act was NewsBoys and they had an amazing performance! The keyboardist and lead guitarist "flew" in on round platforms mounted on hydraulic lifts. The drummer banged from a platform that lifted off the stage. During the show, the drummer was lifted and tilted as he played! Then, at one point, he was placed at a 90-degree angle and played as he SPUN around vertically!
David Crowder is from Texarkana, and he had the crowd "call the Hogs" at one point in the show! It was a very cool thing to do!
After the show, Emily wanted to get her picture with Francesca Battistelli, so we worked our way through the VERY crowded areas to find her line. The halls were so crowded that Shan and Tyler literally rubbed elbows with Chris August. We also stood not 12 inches from Jason Castro. Shan says that even though she hates his dreadlocks, she thinks he is a cutie. LOL.
I wish I had thought to bring our digital camera to the show, but instead I just had my phone's camera. Sorry for the quality of some of these shots, but it's better than nothing: