The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 21, 2013

Christian band Newsboys will perform Saturday

Ruth Rice

JOHNSTOWN — “My God's not dead, He’s surely alive.

“He’s living on the inside, Roaring like a lion.”

The Christian band Newsboys will bring its hugely successful “God’s Not Dead Tour” to the area at 7 p.m. Saturday at Cambria County War Memorial Arena, 326 Napoleon St., downtown Johnstown.

Appearing with the Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning band will be singer-songwriter Britt Nicole, contemporary worship group All Things New and Christian duo We Are Campbell.

Newsboys is renowned for heart-pumping live concerts.

Band members are Michael Tait, lead vocals; Duncan Phillips, drums; Jeff Frankenstein, keyboard and bass; and Jody Davis, guitars and vocals.

Phillips said Newsboys is on the third leg of a tour that started out last spring, and the band couldn’t be happier they are still playing to sold-out crowds.

“We started in the spring, then did festivals and fairs during the summer,” Phillips said. “Then we went on tour into the fall, and there was so much demand from promoters, we went into this spring.”

This schedule allowed the band more time to work on a new CD, which will be released in the fall.

Johnstown concertgoers will hear many of the band’s biggest No. 1 hits, such as “God’s Not Dead” and “Your Love Never Fails,” both off its latest release.

“This record is more worship, praise and honor to our king,” Phillips said.

The rock-driven “God’s Not Dead” CD contains some of today’s most widely embraced modern worship anthems as well as several original worship songs.

“Some of them are songs you might sing in church every Sunday, done in Newsboys style with a pop-rock edge,” Phillips said. “Worship music has become a genre, but I don’t agree with that. Anything you send skyward is worship. A great song is a great song.”

He said seeing Newsboys live is both a concert and a worship experience.

“People know we put on a show, and we put a lot of effort and time into it,” Phillips said. “We’ve had spaceships flying around and band members flying around. People like entertainment, but we’re not pure entertainment. We’re entertainment and worship. It’s a great mix – something for everyone.”

Phillips loves the pop music of the 80s, particularly those performers with an English tilt such as The Cars, ELO and Gary Newman.

“That’s my first love,” he said. “When I was 16 and first started playing in bands, there was no great mission for me to become a Christian musician. I wanted to play the drums to meet girls. I loved the way playing the drums made me feel.”

As he matured in his faith, Phillips found it was natural to sing about what he believed in.

“Everyone is preaching something,” he said. “When you play a live show, you project that spirit to the crowds.”

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