Monday, April 14, 2008

Is it live?

Last night I dropped my son off at the Skillet concert in Elkhart where he was meeting his cousin. I brought my computer along and went somewhere for a couple of hours to kill the time. After the battery ran out, I drove back to the venue, thinking that it may about be over. When I pulled up in front of the auditorium, there were about 100 kids outside milling around and smoking. I sat there for a bit watching, and came to the realization that there were two opening acts (1000 foot crutch and someone else), and that it was probably in between acts at the moment. I also noticed that these people were going in and out without showing tickets or otherwise being regulated. So, I wondered if it was like a baseball game where after the sixth inning you can come and go as you please.

So I wandered in with the smokers and got to see the show. I'd seen Skillet a couple of times at Cornerstone and even have them listed in my favorite music section of Facebook. It's good hard rock with some pretty cool string sections. Lots of strobe lights and lasers and smoke in concert. Very loud. Not the most profound of lyrics (e.g., "you're better than drugs"), but still enjoyable.

The music is pretty heavily produced, though, so when you're watching it live, you're never really sure how much is just coming from the apple computer that is sitting on top of the keyboards. They had a violinist with them, but pretty obviously he couldn't have been make all that sound. And the bass player is also the lead singer, and about half the time he's romping around not even pretending to play (but the music doesn't seem to suffer). Nobody seems to care, though, because it sounds so professional.

I suppose that lack of caring is what has allowed video churches to thrive. It doesn't matter that the speaker isn't really there; we can watch it on the screen and get a more professional version than we would if we had to have a speaker that came out of the actual body of believers we're in the same room with. There's one local church who seems to be contemplating doing the entire service through video (not just the speaker, as many places do). I wonder, "Why not just have it piped to my TV and I can stay in bed?" It's not like we fellowship with the people around us while we're watching the "show" anyway (aside from the obligatory, "Turn to the people around you and tell them you're glad they're here" which takes place after the first music set).

I wonder where it is headed...

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