This past weekend, my 17 year old son Tommy and I took a roadtrip down to Atlanta, Georgia to catch Theocracy, our favorite band, in concert. It was a weekend to remember.
Theocracy is a relatively new band (3 CDs now) and perhaps new to you as well. They play a style of music called Progressive Power Metal. For those of you who like any kind of heavy metal or hard rock, Theocracy is a band you'll love. If you're a little hesitant about heavy metal because you're imagining loud, discordant songs with vocals that are growled or so harsh that you cannot understand it…that is NOT Theocracy. Theocracy's brand of power metal is symphonic, melodic, multi-layered goodness. And, if you're a Christian, you should know that this band is bringing glory to God in major ways. Just check out some lyrics:
...from the song Mirror of Souls:
"I must get across and get to that light
For it represents my only hope tonight
But when I saw the chasm, all that hope was lost
I've spent so long in the dark and the rain
That the sight of the light made my heart sing again
But the gulf's so wide, and there's no way across"
The stranger smiled, and took my hand
He said, "But you are wrong, my friend
You cannot cross the gulf yourself, that's true"
He led me down toward the edge
And pointed just over the ledge
And said, "Behold, I built a bridge for you"
From the song I Am:
I am the light upon your path when you have lost your way
I am the footprints in the sand the ocean’s tide can’t wash away
I am the shelter from the storm that rages on and on
The incorruptible foundation that the wise man builds upon
I am the bread that feeds a starving man upon the street
I am the bounty on the table in the palace at the feast
I am the rain upon the earth after a scorching drought
I am the quenching of the thirst you never thought you’d be without
I am the melody that weaves its way inside your soul
I am the symphony, the masterpiece, the actor’s greatest role
I am the poetry that speaks to you with every rhyme
I am the songwriter who seems to write your life in every line
I am the simple truths that shaped your world from your birth
I am the vast volumes of knowledge spanning all across the earth
I am the whisper of the wind you feel, but cannot see
I am the alpha and omega, first and last, eternally
See what I mean? It's worship. And Theocracy is reaching people who might otherwise never hear about Jesus. I hope that you'll support them and / or tell friends who like the music style.
Here's a link to the Theocracy Website: http://www.theocracymusic.com/
Now, onto the weekend. The roadtrip down was fun simply because my son Tommy and I were together, but certain developments made it a lifetime memory and another footnote of God-at-work for our journals.
Just before the concert, I said to Tommy, "The only thing I'm bummed about is that they won't have my size t-shirt for sale." I wear a rather large size, you see. One so large that I shall not mention it here out of sheer embarrassment. lol We get to the concert, rush into the merchandise area, and ask about the shirts. They had a shirt and a hoodie in Tommy's size. We bought both. Then the lady said, "Oh, we do have one other shirt, but we only have one and it's this size." I looked down. It was my size. Unreal. Seriously, folks, you don't understand. Unless you're in a Big and Tall Shop, most places don't carry this size or even the next two sizes down.
There were three bands before Theocracy, so Tommy and I went out to the restaurant part of the concert hall to have dinner. Afterwards, Tommy went to check out one of the other bands. So I'm sitting at the dinner table, and none other than Theocracy vocalist Matt Smith comes walking up to my table to personally thank me for making the long trip. I was thrilled to meet him, but Tommy was in the other room. I texted him urgently, but he didn't show...until after Matt had left.
"Matt Smith just came to our table."
"Yes. He was right here. We talked for five minutes. I signed a book for him."
"Why didn't you text me?"
Fortunately, Matt came back to the table to meet Tommy and took a pic with him. It was just about the kindest, coolest thing. Matt Smith is a rock star. I mean, really. He is virtuoso at guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, oh…and he sings like a combination of Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and Dennis DeYoung of Styx. Seriously. That good, and yet, Matt is as humble and gracious as can be.
Then, the show was incredible. Theocracy played each and every song Tommy wanted to hear AND played the title track from their new yet-to-be-released CD. It was the first time they'd played the song live. WHOA. The show was just mindbogglingly good. And yes I, the 46 year old teacher/author, was headbanging all night.
Afterward, God thing number 2 happened. The stage manager gave Tommy the "set list" from the stage. Bands often have a single sheet of paper with all the night's songs printed on it, and they tape it to the back of a PA monitor or onto the stage floor. This is a pretty cool piece of memorabilia, and the stage manager gave it to Tommy. And then, the entire band signed it. And then we took a group pic with the band. Amazing.
Tommy and I went to sleep that night with major post concert euphoria. Blessing upon blessing, upon blessing.
Here are a few more pics of the show: