Grace Notes
By Chris Crain

Arguably the two biggest bands in Christian music stopped in Louisville last month for separate shows. Third Day played at the "Concert for the Community" May 1 at Southeast Christian Church and Casting Crowns played their rescheduled date at Freedom Hall on the 4th. I attended both shows and was very happy with each.

The Third Day show was called the "Concert for the Community" because a portion of every ticket went to supporting local charities. The show was sold out and $10,000 was given. The show was also a celebration concert for Louisville Christian radio station 88.5 WJIE's 20th Anniversary.

The charities that received gifts included the chaplaincy program at Churchill Downs, the Jefferson Street Baptist Center and the Salvation Army Center of Hope. Representatives from all of the charities were on hand to receive checks on stage.

Third Day were in fine form that evening, playing a their familiar list of hard-rocking anthems and radio hit ballads as well as a few songs that fit into both those categories. The crowd, some of whom began arriving early that afternoon, were stoked...and loud!

Revelation, Third Day'sfirst studio album in three years, will be released on July 29 by Essential Records, a division of Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Recorded with producer Howard Benson (Daughtry, All American Rejects, P.O.D., Flyleaf, Hoobastank) in Los Angeles, Revelation is the follow-up to Third Day's

"Call My Name," the lead single from Revelation, was released to radio on April 4 with an impressive 69 adds out of the box, including 88.5 WJIE. The album reflects Third Day's Southern-rock influences but (according to Essential) also exudes a palpable vulnerability in both song matter and performance, as the Atlanta-based band explores mankind's never-ending search for identity. Guest artists include Chris Daughtry (on "Slow Down") Flyleaf's Lacey Mosley (on "Born Again" and "Run To You") and pedal steel guitar wizard Robert Randolph (on "Otherside").

Billboard has called Third Day "one of the best rock bands, period" and, over the past decade, the group has racked up 24 No. 1 radio singles, sold more than six million albums and garnered three GRAMMY awards (with eight nominations), 23 Dove Awards, two consecutive American Music Award nods and multiple ASCAP honors. They've been covered by CBS' "60 Minutes," ABC's "Nightline," NBC's "Today" show and USA Today, performed on NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and forged a partnership with Chevrolet.

Comprised of lead vocalist Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee, bassist Tai Anderson and drummer David Carr, Third Day's humanitarian efforts include raising nearly $300,000 for the victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and charities such as the Blood:Water Mission and encouraging more than 15,000 fans to sponsor children across the globe through the work of World Vision.

One of the top-ranked touring bands according to Pollstar, Third Day will embark on the "Music Builds" tour, its most ambitious outing to date, which will take the group to more than 100 markets later this year. Also on the bill are

Not only were they "tighter" musically, but they incorporated more extras in the show including lots of video footage and even a sketch artist who drew large illustrations during one of the songs ('Voice of Truth").

Even lead singer Mark Hall's pitch for World Vision child sponsorship was improved. Hundreds of children were sponsored that evening probably as a direct result of his inspiring talk about the needs of the poor.

Leeland, playing Louisville for the first time, wowed the crowd with songs from their new CD Opposite Way, as well as their critically acclaimed debut Sounds of Melodies.

John Waller, best known for his radio hit, "The Blessing," played an acoustic set that went over well. It was the last night of the tour and as a joke the guys in Leeland constantly walked in front of the stage in an attempt to spook him. It didn't seem to work. He stayed focused for the length of the set.

Coming up:

The "Stronger Than Hell" Tour comes to Headliners. Demon Hunter, a reunited Living Sacrifice, Oh Sleeper, The Famine and Advent will perform. Tickets are $15 and available at ticketweb.com and Ear X Tacy.

Next month the Spirit Song Festival will be up the road at King's Island. It's a big three-day event that features Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, Jeremy Camp, David Crowder Band and many others. More information is available at pki.com. Tickets of course include all of the rides and other available attractions at the park.

Also, Newsboys headline Cardinal Stadium on Monday, August 18. The concert is free with gate admission to the Kentucky State Fair.

There are other events in the works, more details to come in the months ahead!