Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Who?

Ok, a few weeks ago The Who came to town and I had the opportunity to go and hear them. (Thank you Mr. B!!!!!) What a great experience!
There was Roger Daltrey on lead vocals…and of course Pete Townshend on guitar, not too mention John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keys and piano. Then there was Ringo Star’s son Zak Starkey on drums and then Pete’s brother Simon Townshend on rhythm guitar, and vocals and then an incredible bass player named Pino Palladino. Over all it was a great show….however…There were a number of things that I noticed.

First, my expectations were not really met. I expected a punk show, screaming and the breaking of 'stuff,' I expected some mayhem, some arrests, some serious craziness. I was surprised that other than the occasional fan, the screaming was in time with the music. As for stuff breaking, the only thing that broke was Pete's guitar; prior to the second song, and then he had some techies fix it and move on.

Besides the expectations I noticed that the audience was older than me; and I thought I was going to be the old guy going that night. Growing up in church circles I always thought that "old peoples" hated loud rock music. That was not the case this night. The ‘homes’ must have emptied out and filled the MTS Centre. Just kidding!!! Come ON!!!! Ok I am not, but what I saw was all these people dancing and screaming and having a great time......but they had gray hair! This cannot be right.

Not only where they dancing and yelling, they their hands in the air....why? Was it praise and worship time? Did I miss something? Many people moved into the aisle and danced. Actually one hippie castaway was dancing as if on LSD for the entire show...a throw back to Woodstock for sure. What happened? Gray hair, loud music, cheering, dancing, and waving their hands in the air…..not to mention the occasion “purple cloud” that went up from the floor zone.

But wait, there were young people there as well, but they probably only heard of The Who after CSI came out. So, what am I getting at? Good question….

I observed a cultural phenomena. I watched as music affected a variety of generations.
Bill Kinnon in his blog did an interesting post regarding music in the church. And I would agree whole heartedly with both Bill and Martin Luther that music has incredible power to affect us.

But why is music such an issue in churches. I know this is an old argument, and I walked through that in my previous ministries. I guess I am still in wonder as I reflect on what I saw and how I saw people respond. What about you? What music moves you and why?


Bill Kinnon said...

You saw The Who!!! Really!! I'm very jealous. In Winnipeg, no less. Wow.

Check out the discussion at Robbymac's blog. There are some interesting points made by Rob and the commenters. The Hauerwas statement from Gideon Strauss' blog is still my favourite, however.

Anonymous said...

Well my friend..... how could I NOT comment on an article to do with music??? As you know I came from a church where young and old alike worshipped together and music reflected the culture and time that we were in. I then, came to a congregation where you and I would later meet, and where I was led to believe that old and young do not and CAN not worship under the same musical umbrella. Glad to say, that 'culture' seems to have been disposed of in recent years.

We were made to worship, and made to love, enjoy and respond to music. Created by the Creator. Reflecting the 'sound' of our day only makes sense to me from a relevant perspective. And yet, I have now in my 30's come to love and appreciate hymns that I despised in my 20's. Why? because bands and musicians have re-done these numbers in a format I relate to and which moves me. And now I see (and finally hear) the powerful message that was in so many of them. Granted this may make me shallow; but I do appreciate many styles of music. It's just that my favourite is the one that moves me most.

So, I continue to listen to Bryan Adams, Bon Jovi, Heart and find my Christian music affiliation with Audio Adrenaline, Switchfoot and Kutless. And this also explains why my daughter and I have dance parties to Christian rock in my living room. A 5 year old who knows the words to Hillsong United better than she does to Yes, Jesus Loves Me. A proud mother I am.......... (sorry, just saw how long this is - should have put it on my blog instead I guess......)

Ryan Morgan said...

Thomas Carlyle, a strict calvanist who lost his faith while pursuing his education said that "All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls!"
I've been haunted by that ever since I read that... wondering what the music of his childhood faith was like. Was he writing it because the music of his childhood was insincere and presumptious, and he wanted something more meaningful? Or maybe he was writing it remorsefully... well, I don't have a clue, but that quote has always made me think of the role of music in church, and that somehow God's given us this deep appreciation for melody and rhythm, and that it only seems that the most logical and passionate thing we could ever compose about would be the gospel. But a lot of the "christian" music I've heard sounds just about anything BUT inspired (or creative in any way)... especially the music I hear in church (at least the way its played). I think this is because we've missed the gospel in a lot of ways, and so we especially struggle to see how our "gospel" could in any way be connected with passionate and creative songs. It's sad really... the whole thing makes me crazy. And maybe Rikk Watts is totally right: "The Gospel is the story of what it means to be truly human." And part of that humanity sure seems tied to good music.

Stephanie said...

What's a purple cloud??

kenny said...

hey...I am a bit clouded in my thoughts...tired, jetlag...but music!!!
I love good music...The Who...very jealous.
I absolutely love Martin Sexton, Rufus Wainwright, Indigo Girls, jazz, blues, Johnny Cash, Sufjan Stevens...good quality music. I was a fan of George Michaels, Bette Midler, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I could go on and on and on. I am turned off by cheesy christian that is understated, just because someone is a christian and can sing...does not mean they should produce an album. I want quality. I love good music...okay....I can answer purle clouds...but am too tired.

Tim said...

Hi SP,
Somewhat off-topic but you might be interested to know that Pino Palladino used to be Paul Young's bass player. Have a listen to his work on "Wonderland". As for music that moves me, recently I've discovered a number of bluegrass tracks that can be achingly raw and wistful - e.g. Alison Krauss & Union Station, and Blue Highway. It's that power of acoustic instruments to connect with the emotions, and the lack of pretense in folk.

SoulPastor said...


I had my initial taste of bluegrass when I went to Nashville for a conference a few years back. And I actually enjoyed as a person who has a great distain for country...that is hard to believe.
Maybe it was the atmsphere or the fact that it was a live band, but I have to was cool!