The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 5, 2013

Christian performers make tracks for arena


JOHNSTOWN — A popular Christian group has a new sound but still delivers its old punch.

Third Day will bring its Miracle Tour to the area at 7 p.m. March 23 at Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St. in downtown Johnstown.

American Idol finalist Colton Dixon and Christian pop singer Josh Wilson also will be on the bill.

Third Day’s newest studio album, “Miracle,” has a new producer and a new sound.

Brendan O'Brien, who has worked with Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, The Fray and Train, has helped the band shake things up by reimagining and reinvigorating the members.

Third Day features lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee, bassist Tai Anderson and drummer David Carr.

There are sounds on “Miracle” that have never been on a Third Day album, including layered guitars, layered harmonies and sing-a-long gang vocals.

Music styles range from pulsating rock to acoustic pop-rock, but the classic Third Day sound that fans have come to love is still there – refreshed and rejuvenated.

The lyrics are relevant for today’s culture, with themes of pressing on in difficult times in “Your Love Is Like A River” and “I Need A Miracle,” praying for change in “Hit Me Like A Bomb” and “Believe In Something” and hope for better times in “The Victory” and “Take Me Back.”

The Miracle Tour began Feb. 21 in Fairfax, Va., and will end May 19 in Orlando, Fla.

Keystone State stops will be Erie, Reading and Johnstown.

The Christian rockers were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and have received 24 career Dove Awards from 42 nominations, four Grammy Awards from 11 nominations and an American Music Award from four nominations.

Third Day also has won multiple honors from the  American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, including its coveted Vanguard Award for songwriting.

The Atlanta-based, multiplatinum rock band has graced the cover of Billboard magazine, which called it “one of the best rock bands.”

Tennessee native Dixon was a top-10 finalist on season 11 of “American Idol.”

In February, his first album, “A Messenger,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian and Gospel album chart, No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian and Gospel digital album, No. 1 on Billboard’s Christian and Gospel Rock/alternative album and No. 15 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart.

The album includes “You Are” and “Never Gone,” a song Dixon wrote and debuted on an “American Idol” tour, marking the first time a contestant has performed a song he or she wrote on any “American Idol” tour.

Wilson, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, grew up the son of a preacher in Lubbock, Texas, and released his debut album, “Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup,” in 2008.

The album was met with critical acclaim and named among the top 10 best albums by Gospel Music Channel.

Billboard has named Wilson one of the most played artists on Christian radio.

He has released numerous No. 1 hits, including “Savior Please,” “I Refuse” and “Before the Morning,” which landed fourth on Billboard’s Year-End Christian Songs chart.

If you go ...

What: Third Day: The Miracle Tour.

Where: Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St., Johnstown.

When: 7 p.m. March 23.

Tickets: $25 plus fees.

Information: 536-5156, or

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