Last Thursday I did something that I haven’t done in a long time, I went to a concert. The location was in nearby Troy Montana. The Community Baptist Church there was sponsoring a free concert by a Christian rock band called “Disciple.”

I looked the group up on the Internet and found that the band was similar to ‘Seventh Day Slumber.” If this doesn’t help, then “Stryper” will get you close. The band is on the fringes of what I can handle on the rock/metal spectrum. I have heard “Wolves at the Gate,” and that group is beyond what I’m comfortable listening to. In my mind there is still a difference between singing and screaming.

Playable Concert Sample

My first challenge was finding the venue of the concert. I went to said Baptist church and found literally two people on the property. They were in a room that was visible from the parking lot. I looked around the church and found no one else. I decided to ask the fellows about the concert but as I approached the door, I heard them praying the pray about “Lord let me accept the things I cannot change…” In my mind I knew I had stumbled upon a 12-step meeting. Instead of asking for help, I opted to head for the exit. On the wall near the exit door was a Disciple poster and an autographed guitar.

I figured that the venue must be elsewhere in this town of 800 souls. I looked up the concert on Disciple’s website and found that the venue was not the church but a community building. I went to the listed address and found an empty building with no lights on. Then I looked up the venue by name and found yet a third address. This was the multipurpose/basketball arena for the local high school. I knew by the number of cars in and around the building that after three tries, I had finally found the correct location.

Booked with Disciple was a character named Ryan Ries. I’m not sure what Ryan was all about because by the time I found the location, his part was over. Per the Internet, Ryan has a group called the Whosoevers that works with youth.

From what I have heard, some folks have issues with Ryan’s approach to the gospel and whether he is orthodox in his theology. I was hoping to hear what he had to say but alas I was too late. I have seen one or two cars in my area with stickers about this group, so I know some of my neighbors support him.

Oh, in the midst of trying to find the third location, I got a call phone from one of our crack staff members in California filling me in on the results of California’s Super Tuesday vote. I had to end the call prematurely because I was entering the venue.

I found a very different set-up from what you might expect for a concert. I entered the building from the north side. On my left was the basketball backboard and net. Under them was a merchandise table selling t-shirts and CDs. On the right, were bleachers. The bleachers were pulled out so that folks count sit on them. Towards the front, just past center court, was an area with a computer and mixing board. This area was roped off.

The stage was erected under the opposite basketball backboard. A rope was stretched across the front of the stage about four feet back. Thus, people had the option to sit in the bleachers on one side of the arena with the band on their right or they could be standing on the basketball floor in any area not roped off. This allowed me to be about eight feet from the guitarist on the left side of the stage. I would estimate at least 450 were in attendance but it may have been as many as 600. Not bad for a town of 800 people.

Prior to the concert’s beginning, a multimedia presentation about the band was displayed. The multimedia presentation continued thru the concert. It made the concert seem like an immersive music video with many images flashed on the screen. Also, on the screen were most of the words of the songs as they were being sung. I found this helpful, especially since I had only heard one of their songs one time prior to this performance.

The band sang about eight songs and then the lead singer gave a talk about giving yourself to God. He was especially concerned with turning the hearts of the Prodigal Son. As the father of a Prodigal Son, I get this need as well as the emptiness you feel because one that you love has been snatched by the enemy. The difference of course is that God can turn the heart of the Prodigal, but I cannot.

He also spoke of the recent loss of his dad and the reality that once we’re gone, someone else gets to go thru all our stuff. Most of what we accumulate in our life has no value to anyone else. Stuff mostly gets trashed or donated and only a few things may be of interest to anyone else. This story was a challenge to store treasure in heaven and not trash on earth.

The band then played a few more songs and left the stage. As is often the case, they then returned for an encore of about four more songs.

When the band feigned the end on the concert, they went behind the stage. One of the band members found the Trojan head (the high school mascot) behind the stage and return for the encore wearing it for the first song.

The concert was really free, not even a “love offering” was taken. The only cost to me was the $32 that I spent on 3 CDs that I have yet to listen to.

Lastly, since crossing from Montana to Idaho moves me from Mountain to Pacific Time, I got home 20 minutes before I left Troy, driving the speed limit all the way.

Please note lyrics on screen in the background

Disciple seems like a decent group of guys trying to reach people with the Gospel as they understand it. I would go see them again but there’s no chance my wife will go with me. Oh, they do have a website that has acoustic versions of many of their songs available. Perhaps a mellower take on their music would at least let me share it with my bride.

The closest they get to the old California HQ in Elk Grove is Vacaville on March 16th.