Talented people from top to bottom on the Hillsong UNITED People Tour

Photo Credit : Richard Berg II

Hillsong UNITED – People tour

In a culture that is becoming more and more niche-focused and less and less Christian, The Xcel Energy Center seemed like a large venue for a completely Christian playbill. I arrived 2 hours before the concert, which was an hour before gates would even open, and there were already people waiting to get in. There was definitely a buzz in the atmosphere.

There were two opening acts for headliner Hillsong UNITED, but they were very talented in their own rights. It was a three hour show that had very little downtime.

Mack Brock – Photo Credit : Richard Berg II

Mack Brock was the opening act and, to be honest, I was really looking forward to seeing him. He was one of the lead singers for award-winning Elevation Worship from Elevation Church in Charlotte North Carolina. He had been with them for 10 years before deciding to go out on his own. He clearly still has the gift to lead the crowd and was able to connect and lead people into engaging in a night of worship.

He opened and closed with tags of two songs he did with Elevation Worship. In the middle, he did songs from his debut album Greater Things.
You could tell he wrote these songs from a place of personal trial and growth. The entire place was singing along. He only played four songs and I wanted more, which is not typically the case for opening acts on a three band playbill. Without being too corny, I expect great things in Mack Brock’s future.

Amanda Lindsey Cook – Photo Credit : Richard Berg II

The second act was Amanda Lindsey Cook. She took the stage with authority, leading with a song she does with Bethel Music, “You Make Me Brave.” Amanda is a definite vocal powerhouse. She had the crowd with her throughout all the songs with which the audience was familiar.

She also sprinkled in some new songs from her new album, House On a Hill. The only song that has seen any radio play yet is “Awakening.” She shared her story of how that song is important to her, and connected with the people. The two other new songs were “Evergreen” and “I Am Because You Are.” Evergreen was good musically but seemed to come up a little short right after her opening song. “I Am Because You Are” turned out to be my favorite song of her set, which is saying a lot considering it was the only one that I had never heard.

Taya Smith – Photo Credit ; Richard Berg II

Hillsong UNITED took the stage around 8:30pm and played just over two hours. They had six different people lead songs, all of whom could belt it out with the best of them. They were never about trying to get attention for themselves. They were there like the opening two acts were, to worship God and help others have an encounter with Him as well.

I can go on and on about how amazing this show was, but I’ll try to hit the highlights for me. The beginning. The middle. Right before the end, because I didn’t want it to.

Photo Credit : Richard Berg II

They hit most, if not all, of the award-winning songs from before their new album, People. This is the name of the tour as well and they did a fair number of songs from the new album, which was released in April. They opened with “Are You Ready,” which I had not heard before. I was ready for the rest of their set after that song. It started with a piano and two singers, and ended with the entire band and the entire Excel Energy center singing along.

Joel Houston – Photo Credit : Richard Berg II

In the middle of their set, band member Joel Houston began to talk to the crowd and share a bit of his story, which led into another of their new songs, “As You Find Me,” which is about how God loves everyone as He finds them. At the end of the song, band member Jonathon Douglas gave the opportunity for people in the crowd to turn their lives over to Jesus.

The most unique and intimate part of the night was when they moved out to a secondary stage with just a piano, acoustic guitar, and basic drum kit and played some of their early songs “camp style,” as they called it. It felt like we were all singing together around a campfire and worshipping God without the distractions of the world.

Jonathon Douglass – Photo Credit : Richard Berg II

It was clear that each act was grateful to be there, and grateful for everyone who showed up, but clearly wanting the focus to be more on God and what He could do in people’s lives. It was incredible, from open to close and top to bottom.

Written By : Silas Austin

Written by Richard Berg II


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