Christian rock bands blend music, scripture at concert

By Deanna Frances

A background screen with lyrics allowed fans to sing along with Christian pop-rock band Casting Crowns on Friday.

The band performed a two-hour, all-ages set featuring songs from its latest album, “Thrive,” and older crowd favorites at the Convocation Center. The performance was opened by a short set of songs, including “Who You Say I Am” and “Completely,” from up-and-coming band Among the Thirsty.

Casting Crowns performed songs “Already There” and “Thrive.”

“This is my first time seeing them; they’re excellent,” said Marcia Lee, 51, of Big Rock. “I like that they put the words on the screen. I’ve heard them on the radio; now I can sing along with them.”

The concert also featured a fundraiser for Compassion International, a faith-based organization that provides donations and sponsorships for children in third-world countries. Fans were encouraged to take biography cards of a child and decide to sponsor that child for a $38 deposit.

Throughout the event, Casting Crowns members talked about scriptures from the Bible and about their relevance in their music and lives.

“They’re great messages,” said Laura Yenerich, 37, of Rochelle. “Overall, it’s a great show for the family.”

Casting Crowns was cheered on for an encore by the audience and performed “Praise You In This Storm” and “Glorious Day.” The audience sang and clapped along, and the band left the stage during the final chorus, encouraging the audience to finish the song.

“Their focus is incredible. The music and everything is all about God,” said Justin Book, 22, of Pecatonica.