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SealOfServants

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Reply with quote  #1 
So my wife and I got to see Jars of Clay at the Collegedale, TN tonight. It's late and we have work tomorrow so this will be kind of brief.

First off, my wife and I got the VIP tickets under the impression that this was going to include a private acoustic set like they did during the Rock and Worship Roadshow--which it didn't. For $20 extra bucks per ticket, we each got a poster signed by the band and got rushed through a line to shake their hand and take a photo: NOT WORTH IT! Especially considering we could have just paid $10 extra per ticket and gotten the premium seats anyway. So if anyone gets to see them this tour, just make sure to remember that.

That being said, we did get seats that were practically front row and I was probably the closest person to Dan in the Church as well as the guy on the other side of the aisle. Quick rundown.

Audrey Assad was great. She has a unique performance style and a great voice. Lyrics weren't especially thrilling, but I liked her music. She had a very quick set with a total of three songs (maybe four?). Mostly just her and piano and then Matt Maher played with her. They did a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Everyone's Got A Hungary Heart" (?).

Matt Maher had a lively set but he's straight up modern worship and pretty much encapsulated everything I dislike about Contemporary Worship today into his fifteen minute set so I'll just leave it at that.

Derek Webb I've only heard songs here and there from in the past and I honestly didn't think he was that fantastic with him and just a guitar. His lyrics are fantastic, but I wasn't really digging his set. Even my favorite song by him, New Law, didn't really do it for me so I was a little disappointed. But then he previewed three songs from his latest album, Feedback, an electronic instrumental album with nine songs that are each inspired by the nine lines of the Lord's Prayer (Derek made sure to point out that he included "Amen" as the ninth!) and prefaced it by explaining his philosophy behind the album. Feedback is a way for him to give people a musical atmosphere to perhaps deal with their inner thoughts and struggles with God without being "dictated" by the lyrics.

He then proceeded to play the three songs by creating each sound with various instruments and technology. I wouldn't buy the album myself, but I respected Derek as an artist for both making the album AND having the audacity to do something that innovative for an audience who probably wouldn't get or appreciate it. So although he started out kind of boring, I found him more intriguing by the end and I enjoyed him the most at that point.

Jars came on with a pre-recorded track inspired of "Two Hands" and proceeded to lead into that song. Although I really don't like it that much, it translated into a live song much better than I anticipated. The only thing that really stunk was that Matt Odmark was not there tonight cause his wife's in labor (congrats Matt, by the way!). Initially disappointing because Matt Maher's guitarist was filling in and I was not thrilled with that guy from earlier. However, he really got some complex Jars guitar picking down on those songs and I ended up really liking him because he had his stuff down pat!

The Jars set was by far the most intentionally spiritual show of theirs I've ever seen them put on. I say "spiritual" rather than "worshipful" because there was definitely a depth to what they were doing at this show that was unique among other Jars experiences I've had but they didn't bludgeon you with it like other artists who are associated with worship music (a la Matt Maher). The setlist was (I've got all the songs, not sure if in the right order):

Two Hands
Small Rebellions
God Will Up Your Head
Like A Child
Love Song For A Savior
The Shelter
Eyes Wide Open
Love Will Find Us
Nothing But the Blood of Jesus
The Valley Song
All My Tears
Flood
Run In the Night
We Will Follow

Encore:

I'll Fly Away

Although this set was more subdued than I'm used to for Jars (except for maybe the Christmas tours), it was still fairly upbeat and there really wasn't a dull moment. There was one really awkward five or so minutes where the sound didn't work and Dan was singing his heart out to a dead microphone. That was the only real setback for the night.

For a lot of the songs, the other artists playing with Jars took the stage with them. One highlight was Eyes Wide Open, where Steve did indeed perform that very complex guitar solo so that I'm convinced it may actually be him on the album.

The highest point for me was the reworked Love Will Find Us. It's probably 30-40% slower and is much more organic. To give an idea of the difference, it started with all piano, so that I had no clue what song it was until Dan started signing. Steve was on lap-steel guitar rather than acoustic. This version was very sad and ethereal. The most powerful moment for me was when all the instruments faded except Dan and a light acoustic guitar when he started singing, "Run to these arms, be not alone" and it built to a powerful crescendo. I was very moved by that performance.

All My Tears was performed acoustic and sounded great as always, minus Matt. Another great moment was Run In the Night. Although the chorus is too repetitive, it's sonically one of my favorites on The Shelter and it translated fantastically live. And lastly, I'll Fly Away was a great encore and I've always loved their version.

One interesting moment was when Dan was introducing the song The Shelter and said to the crowd, "Steve will sing it for you and you sing it back, alright?" and almost no one responded. He seemed to get almost a little upset and explained that it's a little awkward doing concerts inside a church because everyone feels like they're in a service. He stressed that "this is not a Church service and it's ok for you guys to get rowdy and run up to the stage" which really helped lighten the mood and several people did end up running to the front. "God is here," Dan said. "But this is just a building. You're at a concert."

Then someone in the back yelled out, "Rock and roll, baby!" and everyone seemed to lighten after that. That's just Jars shows in the South for you: the crowds are almost always terrible every time I see them! This one was, thankfully, a little better than usual.

Overall, it was a good night and I felt I got my money's worth EXCEPT that I spent the money for VIP tickets when simple premium tickets would have been just as good. It had over 3 years since I'd seen Jars so it was good to see them live again. Definitely worth catching them this tour.

~Derek

Juk

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Reply with quote  #2 
Awesome, thanks for sharing. Particularly appreciated knowing what the set list is like right now. I was thrilled by your description of Love will find us.

Dan said about the same thing at a concert I was at, in Cincinnati, OH. People then started getting into the concert some. I usually dance to all upbeat songs at their concerts, I do and I jump up and down and clamp and shout things out out of the blue etc, I will respect people's dead behavior at concerts, I will never understand how they can though. Hope Jars is ready for what they will experience in September, it can be louder and more than what they have ever expected of an audience.



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IllFlyAway

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Reply with quote  #3 
I hate hearing that about the crowds.  The last show I saw was in October down in Clearwater FL with Breandon Heath.   When Dan announced that they just had a new record come out (The Shelter) there was almost total silence.  About 3,000 people in the crowd and no emotion for the new record.  My stomach turned and I felt bad for Jars because the lack of excitment certainly could be discouraging. 

First of all, the christian radio stations down here blow because they never play Jars stuff.  But I just wonder if it's that Jar's main fan base are an older, upper 20's and 30's age group.  Those of which tend to be much more subdued and less likley to go nuts like teenage girls would at a Skillet show.   Maybe I'm wrong though.   
Juk

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IllFlyAway

But I just wonder if it's that Jar's main fan base are an older, upper 20's and 30's age group.  Those of which tend to be much more subdued and less likley to go nuts like teenage girls would at a Skillet show.   Maybe I'm wrong though.   


Hahaha funny ^^ I still go nuts, I am 30 ^^

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forn03

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IllFlyAway
But I just wonder if it's that Jar's main fan base are an older, upper 20's and 30's age group.  Those of which tend to be much more subdued and less likley to go nuts like teenage girls would at a Skillet show.   Maybe I'm wrong though. 

I think Jars draws a more subdued crowd for sure; but I wouldn't say the core of the fanbase is upper 20's and 30's.  I attended a concert 2 weeks ago and was thinking that Jars has the strangest fanbase I've ever seen.  All ages and all kinds of people.  Most of them probably there to hear LSFAS, Flood, and anything else off of the ST.  It's sad.

Derek, you've inspired me to finally give a writeup for the show I went to in NJ.  I wish I would've done it before because I used my VIP pass from the bundle and was disappointed that there was no acoustic set.  Still, it was awesome to be able to interact with the guys.

EDIT:
Two additions:

I HATE the modern worship movement and think it's going bad places, as I've said quite a few other times here on the board; but I'm a Matt Maher fan.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think he has a lot more to say than a typical worship artist these days does.  He definitely has some cheese moments, but overall I think he's solid - he can play more than 4 chords and his lyrics have some depth.

Anything interesting to report from the Q&A?
SealOfServants

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Reply with quote  #6 
Forn,

No Q&A session at mine. I quickly mentioned to them that I heard there was talk of a club tour where they would play some more obscure material. They all three responded at once in various ways saying, "Yes, tentatively; nothing official yet; still thinking about it." I responded, "Cause I would LOVE that!" Then Steve asked if I knew any good clubs to play in at Chattanooga. No idea why he would ask that unless the process for finding a club is totally different than I thought (doesn't management control all of that?) or he was just making conversation. I said we're from Atlanta and he said, "Oh yeah, so maybe the Roxy or the Tabernacle."

That was it. I noticed you had a real Q&A session so I'm definitely jealous LOL

~Derek

illusionescape

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Reply with quote  #7 

I wish the band would lay off the reliance of songs from their self-titled debut album for concerts. They have so many songs to pick from now, yet each concert seems to have 3-5 songs from the album. Yeah I know that the album pretty much put the band on the map, but I think some diversity would be nice. I'm sure the band is tired of playing "Flood" every concert for the past 16 years.

forn03

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Reply with quote  #8 
I was actually glad they played "Like a Child".  Surprised they played "Flood", though, because it seems like they could get away with not playing it for a tour like this.  For a worship-themed tour, they have to play "Love Song for a Savior".  They don't really have a choice.
SealOfServants

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Reply with quote  #9 
Like Forn said, this was much more worship-themed than past tours. Songs from the ST, Redemption Songs and The Shelter served well in that environment in a way that other albums wouldn't.

I'm definitely looking forward to a tour with some either new or varied material from past albums. I'd love to see a show with a whole mix of album material that isn't normally played and some songs I really like to hear--maybe 20+ songs from all their albums. Something like this (no particular order):

Boy On A String
Tea and Sympathy
Crazy Times
Five Candles
Weighed Down
No One Loves Me Like You
Disappear
Revolution
These Ordinary Days
Lesser Things
Jealous Kind
On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand
Dead Man
All My Tears
Even Angels Cry
Oh My God
Light Gives Heat
Weapons
Heaven
Heart
Lay It Down
Love Will Find Us

~Derek
Arden

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Reply with quote  #10 

The last time I saw them in October, 2010, they did all of ST acoustic. This was on tour with Brandon Heath who I actually liked after seeing this show. I enjoyed having them perform the songs as I had never heard "Boy On A Sting" but they have so many songs they never sing in concert. I think they should do a tour called "Songs We Seldom Sing" and perform "Hymn", "Grace", "Needful Hands", etc. There are so many...As many times as I have seen them in concert, there are tons of songs I have never heard them sing. Honestly, if they never did "Flood" again I wouldn't cry.    


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Juk

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by forn03
I was actually glad they played "Like a Child".


I was very glad they played it too, last time I checked them.

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illusionescape

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Reply with quote  #12 

I find it interesting that The Shelter Tour setlist (as mentioned above and in the other thread) doesn't even include the lead single "Out Of My Hands". You would think the band would try to pull in new fans who may have heard it on the radio.

forn03

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Quote:
Originally Posted by illusionescape

I find it interesting that The Shelter Tour setlist (as mentioned above and in the other thread) doesn't even include the lead single "Out Of My Hands". You would think the band would try to pull in new fans who may have heard it on the radio.



I thought that was strange as well, but the concert certainly isn't lacking without it
forn03

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arden

I had never heard "Boy On A Sting"...



That sounds like a song for a cop drama

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arden
Honestly, if they never did "Flood" again I wouldn't cry.    



We all say this a lot around here (myself included), but they must be really sick of playing "Flood" too. I guess they think it's a way to still draw a few people in.
Arden

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Reply with quote  #15 

I think they play "Flood" for the people who think that's the only hit they ever had. 


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forn03

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arden

I think they play "Flood" for the people who think that's the only hit they ever had. 


Probably true, but I get the feeling that there are very few, if any, people who would go to a Jars of Clay show just to hear "Flood", which was on pop radio 15 years ago.  I would honestly be interested to hear the guys' response to this sometime.
guitarearl

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Reply with quote  #17 
Thanks for the report.

Yeah, Flood is one of those songs that certain people (maybe even a critic or two?) would leave saying, "THEY DIDN'T DO FLOOD! I FEEL GYPPED!" While they might get sick of it, I know if I were in their shoes, it would be pretty awesome to remember those days when Flood started to take off and launch their careers into an area they never thought they'd approach. Maybe it's because I'm the same age as the guys (actually Matt & I were in the same graduating class at University of Rochester until he left to join JOC), and when you're in those middle-aged years you start pining for the way things used to be. I know that I often look back at my college years fondly, and maybe wish that I could "go back" to experience those memories again. In the same way I imagine that while Flood is a song they tire of playing, it probably reminds them of some of their most successful months as a group, and at a time when they might not have been expecting that kind of response to that track.

forn03

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarearl
Thanks for the report.

Yeah, Flood is one of those songs that certain people (maybe even a critic or two?) would leave saying, "THEY DIDN'T DO FLOOD! I FEEL GYPPED!" While they might get sick of it, I know if I were in their shoes, it would be pretty awesome to remember those days when Flood started to take off and launch their careers into an area they never thought they'd approach. Maybe it's because I'm the same age as the guys (actually Matt & I were in the same graduating class at University of Rochester until he left to join JOC), and when you're in those middle-aged years you start pining for the way things used to be. I know that I often look back at my college years fondly, and maybe wish that I could "go back" to experience those memories again. In the same way I imagine that while Flood is a song they tire of playing, it probably reminds them of some of their most successful months as a group, and at a time when they might not have been expecting that kind of response to that track.


While that's probably partially true, I have to think they don't give the song that much thought when they play it anymore.  They had to have played it close to 3,000 times by now if not more.  Plus I also feel like as sweet as those moments were, they also must curse the ST at times because people let it overshadow the other fantastic work they've done in their career... but the ST will always be a measuring stick shadowing over them.
illusionescape

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Reply with quote  #19 

I propose that the band does a non-Greatest Hits tour. That means if the song appears on their Greatest Hits album, then they can't play the song on the tour. I'd really like to see what kind of setlist they'd come up with if they followed this proposal.

SealOfServants

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Reply with quote  #20 
Here's a video someone put up of Jars' performance of "Love Will Find Us" that I enjoyed so much. There's some annoying clicking sound the whole time and you can't hear all of the instruments as well, but it's still pretty powerful.

This guy has actually put up the entire concert, which you'll see if you scroll through his videos.

~Derek

Christa622

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Reply with quote  #21 
Hmmm...I was lucky enough to catch 5 shows this tour: NJ, ME, MA and 2 in PA! I thought the tour was amazing and felt as if I was part of the Shelter's community. I love how the other artists intertwined with Jars throughout their set!

Maybe because I was blessed to see more than one show, but I think this was the best tour I've seen! Got to meet each of the artists at all 5 shows. They now know me as the crazy lady who traveled through 5 states in just 2 weeks!

So blessed by the Shelter!
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Reply with quote  #22 

My favorite tour was Good Monsters. The show in Oct of 2006 at Messiah College was the bomb. Steve played the whole night as he backed up a couple of the other bands and he was as sick as a dog. He told me later it took him three weeks to get better after the tour had ended. As much as I love "The Shelter", Good Monsters tour was the best.  


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Reply with quote  #23 

I'm torn. Good Monsters was always my favorite tour/album. But since I was able to travel all over the place last month and lucky enough to catch 5 shows, I think the Shelter has won me over. I so love how the other artists and their own sets just melted into the jars set/music!

woman4life

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Reply with quote  #24 
Derek, I don't think we were a standard part of The Shelter tour, but I just saw Jars of Clay at the UT State Fair.  Dan made a joke about the entire concert showing up on Youtube in a few days.  Your post made me think of that comment. LOL
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murlough23

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Reply with quote  #25 
I've managed to catch their tours for every album except for The Shelter, so I can't speak to the quality of that one, but judging from the setlists I saw from those who did attend, I probably wouldn't have considered it my personal favorite because a lot of my favorites from The Shelter were left out. (Admittedly, I have weird favorites from that album, some of which are so heavy on the arrangements or guest vocalists that they would have been hard to pull off live.)

In general, I tend to judge their tours by how well the material from whatever album is new at the time plays in a live setting, and how well old material can be reinvented within the setting of their new sound. A big part of the problem with most of their tours from about 2002-2005 is that there were several songs from then-new albums that never got played, and as time went by, it became more difficult for the band to squeeze in the expected greatest hits. So the tours I've enjoyed the most were either the ones where they got to play most or all of their new material (Tour on a Stick and Bubblemaker's Dream are obvious picks, being early in their career and all, but Good Monsters was also notable for this - I think they played everything from GM except for "Water Under the Bridge"), or the ones where they brought out old songs that I honestly didn't expect to hear (like the "song hat" they had back in the WWAI days, or the entire focus of the Reinvent, Remember, Replay tour, which was awesome).

If I had to pick a singular favorite? Probably the Good Monsters tour.

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DISCLAIMER: The preceding post was a statement of opinion, and does not reflect the views of the members of Jars of Clay, the moderators of Jarchives, or any member of the Holy Trinity. In fact, it is only my opinion that this is my opinion. In my opinion, you may choose to believe that my opinion is fact, if in fact you are of the opinion that you are allowed to choose what you believe, which presupposes the opinion that you do in fact exist in the first place - in my humble opinion, of course. It is my opinion that all of my opinions are humble opinions, but this does not indicate a bias on my part against opinions which are, in my opinion, proud opinions.
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