The other thread pushed me to finally write some thoughts from the show I attended a few weeks ago, so here goes:
The concert was in a church's rec center (at least it appeared that way, may be used for a sanctuary as well). Was a strange setup, with 2 sections of chairs going out diagonally from the ends of the stage and a huge open center aisle area. Because of this, if you sat towards the middle, you were a good 15 feet away from the stage, which was raised about 5 feet off of the ground.
Used my pass from the bundle to get into the VIP show. Was expecting an acoustic show as they'd done on the Roadshow tour, but it was just a Q&A. Getting better seats and having the chance to interact with the guys was probably worth it, but it was literally just a Q&A time. No receiving line, no autographs. Everyone received a VIP limited edition poster hand numbered to 500. I got number 267 on the second night of the tour, so I'm not sure what's being given to people who attend the VIP sessions now. The poster is yellow with "Jars of Clay; The Shelter Tour" at the top, "2011" at the bottom, and "We Will Live" inside a circular picture of the treehouse in the center.
The questions asked at the VIP session were pretty lame. Here's a summary, if memory serves:
Steve asnwered. There are a number of things they're considering, including a new full-length release, a series of digital-release EPs (they really respect Ben Folds as an artist and this is something he's done), or re-working songs that weren't given "the proper treatment" the first time around; but Steve seemed to be most excited about the possibility of creating what would essentially be a follow-up to Redemption Songs.
Why is a band like Jars playing in a venue like this?
Dan: They wanted smaller venues for this tour and felt like clubs wouldn't give the kind of intimacy they were seeking.
Are you playing at RevGen?
No and they probably won't be invited back for a long time.
What is the song (of you own) that is most meaningful to you?
Charlie: Depends on the moment, right now it's "Scarlet" because of a conversation they had with a woman recently who really resonated with the song. Also "These Ordinary Days"
Matt: "These Ordinary Days"
Steve: "The Valley Song", which the other 3 guys started writing during the sessions for TEH when Steve was gone dealing with the loss of a family member.
Dan: "Safe to Land", which is a very personal song for him in terms of dealing with fitting back into a family situation after coming home from a tour
Are you playing at Creation East? Why don't you play more festivals?
No. Because they're not invited to play.
Where does your name come from?
Dan: II Cor 4:7
What's your writing process? Who writes the lyrics?
Charlie: Differs from song-to-song. Sometimes Dan comes with a full lyric; sometimes it's an idea he sung into his phone on the way to the studio; sometimes it comes from the 4 of them sitting in the studio and hashing something out. It's always amazing when they go into the studio with nothing and come out with a demo at the end of the day.
How is Blood:Water Mission?
Dan responded, touched on 1,000 wells project.
Never saw Audrey Assad before and she was good, especially for just her and a keyboard. I like some of Matt Maher's material and he put on a nice set. Derek Webb's acoustic material was impressive, although his show wasn't fantastic; definitely could've done without the "Feedback" songs. Didn't fit the night at all. Actually the lineup would have been well-served to have Matt after Derek, since Matt has a full band and would provide better build-up (although I realize it's more political than that).
God Will Lift Up Your Head
Like a Child
Love Song for a Savior
Eyes Wide Open
Love Will Find Us
All My Tears
Song from Steven Delopoulos, who lives in the area and was invited by Jars
Run in the Night
We Will Follow
Encore: I'll Fly Away
They did have an autograph session at the end of the show and it was fine, just rushed because of the amount of people. The guys came out probably 10 minutes after the show, so the venue hadn't cleared out much yet and they probably caught a bunch of people that would have been gone if they had waited another 5 minutes. I got a setlist signed and my wife got one of our limited edition VIP posters signed.
I'm not going to give a full review because I don't feel I've given The Shelter enough listens to give a proper write-up, but I will say that I have a newfound respect for the material and despite the community theme wish there wouldn't be so many voices on it. It feels much more cluttered to listen to after hearing the tour ensemble singing the songs. Even though I didn't expect it, it was a high-energy show. If you get a chance, GO! Don't miss this tour, even if you're not completely sold on the album itself.