Enjoy our Winter Jam slide show. Mouse over the bottom to get controls. Click on the little comment cloud to the left to activate captions. If you click on a photo, it will take you to a larger version of it at Picasa, and you can click the link at the bottom left for a larger version of the whole show.
It is a safe bet that the vast majority of the 12,396 people who turned out for Winter Jam 2009 at Rupp Arena will be in church Sunday morning. But Saturday night, they were at the biggest party in Christian rock.
Tobymac and the Diverse City Band were in the house and left little doubt as to why with Grammy Awards, Dove Awards and chart topping album sales they are the top act in contemporary Christian music. No one spins praising God and having a good time together the way these guys do, and fortunately, it can’t rain in Rupp.
Toby made reference to the fact that he was rained out at Ichthus last year and promised to give the Bluegrass Winter Jam audience a little extra. The band flipped through some of the hottest hits off Tobymac’s three solo efforts and the Grammy-winning Alive and Transported album including revved up renditions of Boomin’ and Slam that left the band and the audience breathless, needing the break of Lose My Soul.
Winter Jam, which made its second visit to Rupp in as many years is presented by New Song, who opened the evening after Dove Award nominee Francesca Battistelli, with a few of their hits, including Arise My Love. Hawk Nelson made an early appearance with a hyped up set that topped the first half of music.
Then evangelist Tony Nolan took the stage to deliver a message and a high-tech take on the invitation for people to commit to the Christian faith. No walking forward to Just As I Am, Without One Plea here. Winter Jam goers were told to text “Tony” to 38714, and they would receive a text with more information about where to go for information. Winter Jam organizers estimated 2,500 people responded to that invitation Saturday night.
Then, it was back to music, with The Afters burning through several of their hits, including Beautiful Love and MySpace Girl. Finally, Toby came on for a quick exausting set that, after a shower of confetti, sent everyone home in plenty of time to get some sleep before church — even with this being spring forward weekend.