The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


February 15, 2014

Christian concert to feature top rockers

JOHNSTOWN — It’s on a Christian music fan’s most-wanted list when top acts come together in one concert.

Christian rockers Third Day and Skillet will headline a concert, which also will feature Mandisa, Brandon Heath, Peter Furler and We As Human, at 7 p.m. March 20 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St., downtown Johnstown.

General manager Tom Grenell said the multi-act tour hasn’t been given a name, and the War Memorial is the smallest building on the tour.

“The reason they’re back is they were treated right,” Grenell said.

“They made it work because they wanted to play in Johnstown because Johnstown responded. They could have gotten a larger facility for that day, but they don’t mind coming to a smaller facility. What’s great about the Christian market is the performers never seem to forget where they came from. They’re genuine. They don’t take their success for granted, which is a rare trait today.”

When it comes to ticket sales, Grenell is hoping for a sellout based on past performances.

Last week, Grenell had two IUP students who had never been to the War Memorial before drive to Johnstown to purchase tickets for the show.

“It’s picking up every single day,” Grenell said.

“The sun is out right now, and people are leaving home to buy tickets. We’re expecting to be strong.”

This will be the third time Third Day has performed at the arena.

Third Day is a Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Ga., during the 1990s, influenced by southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Band members are lead singer Mac Powell; guitarist Mark Lee; bassist Tai Anderson; and drummer David Carr.

The Atlanta-based, multiplatinum rock band has a reputation for performing some of Christian music’s most electrifying live shows while focusing on the believer’s journey in its relevant, hope-filled lyrics.

Third Day was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2009, and has received 24 Dove Awards from 42 nominations, four Grammy Awards from 11 nominations and an American Music Award from four nominations. The band’s more recent albums include “Miracle,” “Move” and “Revelation.”

Skillet is a Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tenn., in 1996.

Band members are John Cooper on lead vocals and bass; his wife, Korey, on rhythm guitar, keyboards and backing vocals; Jen Ledger on drums and vocals; and Seth Morrison on lead guitar.

The band’s style has been described as rock, Christian rock, Christian metal, alternative rock, hard rock, new metal and symphonic metal.

Skillet won a Dove Award for Rock Song of the Year for its song “Sick of It” in 2013 and also won a Dove Award for Rock Recorded Song of the Year for “Comatose” in 2008.

The band also won a Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Album for “Awake” in 2011.

Since band members came from different styles of rock music, they decided to name their experiment Skillet because putting all those styles together was like mixing them in a big skillet to come up with something unique.

Skillet’s albums include “Collide,” “Comatose,” “Awake” and “Rise.”

Mandisa Lynn Hundley, known professionally as Mandisa, is an American gospel and contemporary Christian recording artist who began her career in the fifth season of “American Idol.”

This year, she won her first Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for “Overcomer.”

The title song, which has had long runs at No. 1 on three Billboard Christian charts, won in the category of Best Contemporary Christian Music Song.

The Hollywood Reporter has listed Mandisa in the Top 5 of “American Idol” finalists with the most Billboard No. 1 hits.

In 2011, Mandisa’s third studio album, “What If We Were Real,” saw a breakthrough in her career with the effervescent “Good Morning,” which she performed with fellow Christian artist Toby Mac on “Good Morning America.”

That album also produced the hit single “Stronger,” which topped the charts for five weeks and was the song Mandisa sang on “Good Morning America” the day Robin Roberts returned to the show after medical leave.

Mandisa has had three previous Grammy nominations for her first three studio albums: “True Beauty,” “Freedom” and “What If We Were Real.”

Brandon Heath, whose name offstage is Brandon Heath Knell, is a contemporary Christian musician from Nashville, Tenn.

He is best known for the No. 1 songs “I’m Not Who I Was” and “Give Me Your Eyes.”

Heath was nominated four times at the Dove Awards of 2008 and won in the New Artist of the Year category.

His second album, “What If We,” was nominated for Gospel Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 2009.

Peter Furler is an Australian musician, songwriter, producer and record executive best known as the former lead singer for the Christian rock band Newsboys.

In 2009, Furler left Newsboys and is now pursuing a solo career.

We As Human is a Christian hard rock band from Sandpoint, Idaho, which formed in 2006.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at


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