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Fan Reviews - Josh Garrels & Waterdeep Live

posted: April 27th, 2012 by Dave Trout

This last Sunday (4/22/12), UTR hosted our biggest event to date, as over 820 people from 16 different states and 1 Canadian province gathered at Parkview Christian Church in a Chicago suburb for a night of music that was called "legendary."  Josh Garrels headlined the night, and the uber-talented duo Waterdeep set the table.  It was a thrill for us to be a part of such a meaningful night of ministry, and we had a wonderful opportunity to introduce what we do at UTR to lots of new friends.  It's hard for us to wrap our own words around it - so we invited some attendees to give us their mini reviews of the event.


Cheryl S. - Lake Geneva, WI
I was honored and blessed to be able to attend the Josh Garrels/Waterdeep concert on Sunday night.   I didn’t know a lot of Waterdeep’s music - but they were such a joy to listen to.  I was touched by the poem that Don Chaffer shared before their last song (a tune I remember hearing on one of my favorite UTR episodes from June 2011).  I’m a little bit more familiar with Josh Garrels.  It was absolutely wonderful to see him in person.  He shared himself as he told stories behind the songs he wrote and sang.  I appreciate an artist who is real and doesn’t cover up the times they have messed up.  My son and I really like the song “ Farther Along”.  It was a special time to be able to sit side by side and mouth the words as Josh sang them.  The way the evening ended was also special.  To see the audience rise up and sing the “oh-oh” part of “The Resistance”  is a sight I will not soon forget.


Chris G. - Age 16 - Wood Dale, IL
I had such a wonderful time watching Josh Garrels and Waterdeep on Sunday. I recently had refound my faith in God and have been trying to find more Christian music, but with more of an alternative style, and listening to Josh's music and the words moves and inspires me. His music has made me realize the importance of keeping a strong faith and the importance of God in my life. With every word Josh said and every lyric sung, it was obvious he not only connected with me, but he was connecting with the whole crowd. Josh Garrels is an amazing guy and he puts on a beautiful show. Being someone who just recently refound his faith, I'm not as faithful to Josh's music or Christian music in general, but because of the concert i attended on Sunday, all i listen to is Josh, Josh, and more Josh! Thank you Under the Radar, Waterdeep, and especially Josh Garrels!


Miranda O. - Minneapolis, MN
My boyfriend is a die-hard Josh Garrels fan and desperately wants to go see him perform live in Chicago. He made a fan out of me too and now I can't fall asleep without his music playing. The thing is, we live in Minnesota near Minneapolis, and being poor college students still living with our parents, we can't afford a plane ticket or 2 hotel rooms. I love road trips, but I don't want to waste 16 hours of round-trip driving for a 2 hour concert, so we make time to see the city as well. Then we get to Parkview Church in Orland Park and hear the amazing sounds of the opening band Waterdeep, that we didn't put too much time into looking up beforehand, which I now regret. I instantly fall in love with their voices and how crystal they are, how playful and meaningful the lyrics, how humble. My ears cannot get enough. Their stories and humor and cuteness are just delicious cherries on top. Then comes Josh. Just as Don from Waterdeep predicted: Mind=blown. Of course I know some of the songs and lyrics and how profound they are, but only through my computer speakers. Josh Garrels has an ability that cannot be contained and converted into some electronic file. It is ridiculous to think about, but how else is he going to get the message out to the world? There is a difference between a talent and a gift. A talent can be learned. A gift is given by God. Garrels is a gifted man. I thank the Lord for giving him this gift and guiding him in how he uses it. He his truly inspiring. I LOVED the simplicity of this concert. Just some people with guitars and microphones and a message. I didn't need to see a city, which was built by man, in order to make our trip worth it. Thank you, Under The Radar, for bringing these musicians to the Midwest to share their gifts with us.


Simon L. - New Lenox, IL
Anointed. I don’t throw a word like this around very often but it’s the word that emerged as I reflected on what I experienced with Josh Garrels’ set at his show with Waterdeep on Sunday.  Waterdeep was an appetizer fit to be a main course.  Having not heard them before, my soul was satisfied by their strong musicality, their soothing harmonies, and their quirky, upbeat personalities.  But what I witnessed in Josh’s performance was truly anointed.  In fact, when Josh walked onto the stage, you wouldn’t have guessed that anything special was going to happen.  He rather mundanely strolled out, stepped over some equipment, pulled a water bottle out of his satchel, drank from it, plugged in his guitar, and finally fumbled and bumbled around with a mic on a defective boomstand.  Then came the music and all was forgetten. Yes, there was some worship with abandon as the audience (including me!) joined Josh in exuberant release singing the chorus of “Farther Along.” And yes, Don Chaffer of Waterdeep was prophetic when he quipped before Josh’s set that “Minds will be blown! Hearts will melt!”  The one thing that stood out was TRUTH.  Everything… the mind-blowing musical talent, the pulsing hip-hop finale "The Resistance," the dry/self-deprecating/warm humor, the authentic but profound theological insight, and even the voice (that beautiful voice)…all simply pointed to the gospel.  Often times I see high quality art steal the glory and tragically elevate the created.  In this case, the art instead glorified the Creator, showing God for who He is and His grace showered children for who they are.  When the truth of this gospel stands out, you know the Holy Spirit is moving.  That’s what you call…anointed.  God bless as you continue to draw attention to such wonderful artists.  Truly UTR helps these artists minister to more people, allowing them to share their passion for Christ through their music.


Thanks for these terrific responses.  We are seeing ministry fruit still blooming from the event, and it's more meaningful than you know to hear each individual story.  If you were in attendance, please feel free to share your story below.  You can also view a video performance of Josh Garrels from our April 22 event.

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