28 April 2006

Cool Hand Luke [Reviewed]

I had the amazing opportunity to see Cool Hand Luke at a small club in Lancaster last night. Although the band has undergone an extreme makeover of sorts with the guitarist and bassist leaving, the heart and soul (and founding member), Mark Nicks, continues to be the driving force behind the band. I so appreciate what Mark continues to do. The life he continues to live.

I totally remember (like it was yesterday) the first time I ever heard CHL – it was probably 3 years ago at an outdoor music festival – Purple Door. The music I heard coming from the stage immediately captured my heart – it spoke so deeply to my emotions. But what I’ll never forget is the authenticity with which Mark shared the inspiration for their music and the reason for his life – Christ Jesus. The words he spoke from the stage between songs wasn’t nice Christian banter about getting saved. There was no hint of obligation in his voice. And it wasn’t about selling records to all the cool Christian kids. He just shared his heart for a deity that cannot be proven, but exceeds all levels of scientific proof. The demonstration of a love for humanity that goes beyond all human understanding.

So back to last night...after a bit of a slow start, it seemed that Mark found his spot of worship. For the next hour, he just laid out his heart. He is such an intense performer. And it’s always focused entirely on Christ. He’s certainly not a rock star. He doesn’t even play to the audience, which kinda creates this cold and awkward feeling initially, until you realize that he’s singing to One (and One alone). At times, it almost felt like clapping for the songs interrupted his time with the Lord. But, at the same time, he was very gracious and expressed heartfelt thanks to the group of 25 or so that came out last night. He’s just an amazing example of fully and totally living a life for Christ. And I’m sure he’d be the first one to say it has nothing to do with him, but Christ working through him (and really mean it). Thanks Mark. I appreciate what you’re doing. I know it can't be easy.

As for the music -- in additon to a nice set of CHL favorites, they played two new songs last night. The first was just amazing, but I have no idea what it was called. Many different layers and levels to the song with Mark's vocals soaring. The second was a song from a guy to a girl. The guy being Jesus and the girl being someone who he might have been close to and had to say goodbye to before leaving to be with his Father. Mark was very careful in explaining that it wasn’t biblically-based. I think it was a great example of using artistic liberty in attempting to take another stab at explaining this immeasurable love we saw in Jesus. I'm excited to hear the new album!

1 comment:

jonathan said...
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