Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Flyleaf is coming to Headliners on Wednesday, May 23! Flyleaf - vocalist/lyricist Lacey Mosley, guitarists Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann, bassist Pat Seals and drummer James Culpepper - have been playing together since 2002, though misleadingly diminutive singer Mosley, Bhattacharya and Hartmann hooked up in 2001.

Over the past few years, Flyleaf has garnered an extremely loyal fan base, which they credit to constant touring. Their success is also fueled by an EP released in 2004, followed by their Octone/J Records debut album, released in October 2005. Flyleaf has spawned two powerful singles, "I'm So Sick" and "Fully Alive, both of which were played on major market active rock radio, modern rock radio, MTV 2, Fuse and, initially, Yahoo Music.

Flyleaf has also had national television exposure, performing their recent single "Fully Alive" on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live, CD USA and NBC's "Last Call" with Carson Daly. Released to the Christian market through SRE Recordings, Flyleaf has been embraced by radio and media. On Christian Rock radio, all three radio singles have broken into the top 10 ("I'm So Sick," "All Around Me," "Fully Alive"), with two reaching No. 1.

So they have had plenty of so-called success, but the question is: how are they live? I've seen them a couple times now and I was impressed both times by the sheer energy of the band. It must be exhausting to be in movement like that for 60 to 90 minutes. It's been a long time since I could do that! What impresses me the most, though, is the vocal power of Mosley. Last spring, I saw the band at an industry event in Nashville and had no idea who they were. It was a free event, so I figured I would check it out. I am so glad I did.

As I stood behind a short guy in a baseball hat whom I would later recognize as Steven Curtis Chapman, Flyleaf took the stage with "I'm So Sick." If you'd heard the song, you know that after a fairly quiet beginning, Mosley's mind-numbing scream kicks the song into gear. Well, I saw her do it live that night and was completely blown away! She can actually scream like that in concert. It almost has to been seen to be believed.

Granted, these days you can see clips of the band all day long on YouTube. But there is nothing like the energy of a good rock show. I talked about that show to just about anyone who would listen. I've been many, many shows (too many, really) and it's not often something really excites me. But Flyleaf did-and they still do.

I just got late-breaking news that the band has had to postpone some dates due to medical problems: Mosley's voice has been affected by all the screaming. According to the band's website: "Doctors determined that Lacey needs more time to heal her vocal chords; they have become inflamed and swollen from overexertion. We apologize wholeheartedly for this inconvenience - the time off will ensure that Lacey is back on the road, healthy and stronger than ever." Louisville is not one of the dates that has been postponed as of press time. I just checked with Ticketmaster and tickets are still available. If you like your music hard, don't miss Flyleaf! I won't! Look for me, I'll be the guy staying away from the "pit" because my bones are brittle from being old!

Major Concert Announcement: Mercy Me and Tree 63 will play at the Kentucky State Fair August 20. This is one of those shows that are free with paid admission to the fair.

It's going to be huge! This will mark Mercy Me's return to Louisville after playing at the Louisville Palace with Audio Adrenaline and Phil Wickham last fall. I didn't make it to that show but I heard it was good and I actually got to see a little video footage of it. The band just released their third single, "Bring The Rain," from their latest release, Coming Up To Breathe. It's been in heavy rotation on local Christian radio almost since the "add date" (when a record company would like stations to start playing it). While I doubt Mercy Me will ever duplicate the impact of their monster hit "I Can Only Imagine," "Rain" seems destined to be one of 2007's biggest - if not the biggest - hit in Christian music. A five-minute long ballad with a choir, the song differs from both of the band's previous singles, "So Long Self" and "Hold Fast," off of Breathe. Both of those were decidedly more rock than adult contemporary. "Rain" is the Mercy Me that many fans know and love: a band that can "rock" but doesn't shy away from the big ballads. Just like Def Leppard. OK, maybe not. (Def Leppard is coming to the Fair, though. But I digress.)

Anyway, I think this will be a huge year for Mercy Me and I think that their popularity will be at a fever pitch when they play at Cardinal Stadium, so get there early to get a good seat! Opener Tree 63 is from South Africa and is one of the few Christian bands I've never seen live. They played Louisville several years ago at a New Year's Eve show, but I was out of town. I was told it was amazing. I guess I'll find out on August 20. This will no doubt be the biggest show of 2007 - hope to see you there!

Another Headliners show: Haste The Day with From Autumn To Ashes, Maylene and The Sons Of Disaster, Alesana and Twelve Gauge Valentine on May 3.

As I mentioned last month: Underoath, Norma Jean, The Glass Ocean and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster are coming to Headliners on May 17.

Also coming to Headliners (the venue has definitely been rocked lately!): The Tooth and Nail Records Tour featuring MxPx with Hawk Nelson, The Classic Crime and The Fold and Sullivan. Not really my scene musically (though most of what comes town isn't), but I know Hawk Nelson has some fans here and of course MxPx has certainly had a following as well. Tickets are available at headlinerslouisville.com.