On a very wet and windy Welsh November evening, we sent LTTM reporter Susan Davies to Swansea to check out the Big Church Night In Tour.
When I heard that Matt Redman and Rend Collective Experiment were coming to a town near me, I just had to be there. This tour was part of The Big Church Day Out music festival and I couldn't wait to see what these bands were like live.
Big Church Day Out regularly draws 20,000 people to it's early summer festival, with lineups featuring the best in Christian music. As they know people can't wait till next year for the event, they decided to bring the event to people's towns, creating a tour to give people a chance to enjoy worship from some of the best artists without having to wait for the summer.
I have always appreciated Matt Redman's contribution to Christian music, and over the last two years have come to love what the Rend Collective guys have been doing as well. Having these two artists together for a tour is an opportunity not to be missed. But the main reasons for making sure I was there was to enjoy worshiping God with thousands of other worshippers.
The night opened with the amazing Rend Collective Experiment leading everyone in worship. They played for around forty minutes with a set of songs from their two albums, 'Homemade Worship By Handmade People' and 'Organic Family Hymnal'. There was a joyful atmosphere to their set, which the crowd really embraced and got into throughout.
It really was an epic set with the band going through track after track of amazing worship songs. My personal favourite tracks on the night were the rousing 'Build Your Kingdom and the now classic modern version of 'Be Thou My Vision'. It was a shame the set had to end, but what a great collection of songs they played.
The Rend Collective bass player talked about the amazing work of the Compassion charity. Pat shared various stories of Compassion children, he then went on to say how we are to love as Christ loved us, and out of that love we are to show compassion for the needy. Compassion is a great ministry to get involved with and well worth finding out more about.
Before long we were back into musical worship, this time lead by Matt Redman and his brilliant band. Matt had a setup of three guitarists, a keyboardist, drummer and many vocalists. Also included in the guitar section were a banjo and mandolin - it's great to see bands trying out new sounds and styles to create a noise of praise to God.
Matt really delved into his backcatalogue of songs, playing all his well known songs like 'Blessed Be Your Name', 'Our God' and 'You Never Let Go'. Matt has so many great songs, he also throw in a couple of hymns. The one track that had the whole place bouncing was the amazing Dance Dance, everybody just enjoyed jumping and shouting out worship to God.
Matt's set ended with the Rend Collective joining him on stage for a joint rendition of '10,000 Reasons'. This was the stand out song of the whole evening for me, it seemed to completely capture the whole evening in one song and was the perfect way to end the night.
The Big Church Night In Tour was a wonderful event and it was great to come together as different church denominations from different areas across the country, all lifting up the name of Jesus together. It was amazing to make room for the Holy Spirit to come and meet with us, to fill us up, to fuel us to be able to go out and proclaim the gospel boldly. Rend and Matt Redman's songs are really to the point, words to challenge and provoke us into a life of love and passion for God.