The Hope Tour – Fireflight, Remedy Drive, Abandon (Part 2)

(Now for part 2)

Next up, the band that everyone was waiting for, Fireflight was now taking the stage. They started off their set with the rock anthem “Stand Up”. As soon as the song started you could feel the energy. I remember thinking how that song fit the night perfectly, the lyrics saying “Stand up if you’re broken. Stand up if you feel ashamed. You are not alone when you hurt this way. Stand Up!” It was very empowering, and little did we know that as the night went on “empowering” would be the carrying theme of Fireflight’s set. Most everyone was out of their seats and rocking out by the stage. The crowd was into it and Fireflight did not disappoint.

The band has an amazing stage presence. Dawn’s voice is so powerful and it just carries every song beautifully. The next song was “You Gave Me A Promise”. Everyone seemed to know the words to this song, and was singing right along with the band. I remember looking at Dawn and Wendy as they sang this song, they both were singing it with such passion, you could tell they believed the words they were singing.

****If I (Cecily) can I will now take a minute to talk about Wendy’s high heels, THEY WERE FREAKING AWESOME! lol, they really were.

Wendy, if you don’t know, is the bass player, and she along with Dawn is one of my heroes, seriously, I admire those girls so much. And I have to admit I was a bit starstruck when they first came on stage lol, crazy I know lol, but both women just have such a vibe about them.

Wendy is such a real rock chick, with her awesome eye makeup and hoop nose ring, swinging her hair around as she rocks out on her bass…she’s hardcore haha. I also loved what she was wearing, she had on a black tank with black skinny jeans, and an awesome purple metallic jacket…and of course those freaking awesome heels! lol. I also loved the ring she was wearing, she wore it on the hand that she was strumming her bass with, and the ring being so big worked well with her outfit. And she is sweet too, she was constantly smiling at everyone in the crowd.

And it’s the same with Dawn, she has the sweetest presence about her. And wearing awesome high heels and an rocking outfit (she was wearing the cutest long pink belted top with black pants…and her makeup was so pretty!) she was belting out those notes like nobody’s business yo! I think as a girl who loves rock, I look up to other women in the rock scene, woman who love God with all their hearts and can rock out at the same time…all while looking gorgeous and awesome, and wearing high heels! Woot woot!****

They then went into the powerful song, “Forever”, which was very emotional, and had Justin and Dawn both getting on their knees to sing and play toward the end. There was a moment where Dawn stopped singing and just sat there on the stage as the rest of the band played the song out, it was one of the most tear jerking moments I have seen live, you could feel the music in your soul, it was beautiful.

Shortly after, they sang “Wrapped In Your Arms”, which was my (Krystal) personal favorite. They really stripped things down for this soft ballad with just Dawn on vocals and Justin on acoustic guitar. Dawn opened the song by saying these encouraging words,

“Just about everybody you see on this stage tonight has been through a lot. And we’re up here cause we want you to know that no matter what it is that you’re facing, God is right there by your side, and He loves you so much. And He wants to take the pain that you’re feeling and everything that you’re going through, and He wants to turn it into power for your life and to help others. I want to share a verse with you guys, it’s become my life’s verse. It’s from 2 Corinthians chapter 1, it’s verses three and four, it says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received through God.”

There was something very peaceful yet powerful in the words she spoke, and the scripture just set the perfect tone for this song. It really showcased Dawn’s beautiful vocals as she sang the lyrics “And I’m here to stay. Nothing can separate us. And I know I’m ok. You cradle me gently wrapped in your arms, I’m home”.

We were very excited to hear them play the song “You Decide”, seeing as how that was the first Fireflight song we ever heard. This one was a lot of fun. We honestly don’t know the lyrics to many Fireflight songs, but we knew all the words to this one, so we really enjoyed singing along.

Towards the bridge of the song all of the sudden we notice Josh from Abandon walking onstage wearing a fake mustache…needless to say, everyone went crazy. He then went over to Dawn and sang the rest of the bridge with her. If you’ve ever heard this song you know that it is a duet she sings with Josh Brown of the band Day Of Fire. So to hear it sung as a duet like it was meant to be was really cool, plus it was Josh from Abandon singing with her, and he was wearing a fake mustache so it doesn’t get much better than that right?… Or does it? It was prank night after all…

After the bridge the rest of the guys of Abandon came running out on stage. This time though they were sporting costumes and tortillas in hand. Oh yes my friends, they were wearing….a gorilla mask, a tiger costume, a really curly wig. The drummer, Dave, wore a sombrero, poncho, and a really long beard. They danced and jumped all over the place till the very end of song when they started throwing something into the audience… not t-shirts or cds mind you, no that would be too normal. They threw torillias into the audience! And Pam was lucky enough to catch one!!! Woot! She then whispered to me that she was going to save it and have all the bands sign it lol. More on this later. 🙂 After the song ended everyone was cheering and laughing along with the bands. Dawn introduced the band, and her and Josh exchanged laughs and high fives.

Such a hilarious and memorable part of the night lol. We thought it was funny how after Abandon left the stage, Dawn for the first time of the night, explained for the ones who maybe didn’t know, that it’s customary for bands to pull pranks the last night of a tour. I hadn’t really considered that some people may not know what was going on. If they didn’t know I can imagine them thinking “Man, these bands are total goofballs” lol. 

Next was the big moment…it was the song that I think most everyone came to the show waiting on the edge of their seats to hear. Their hit song “Unbreakable” came with a dramatic opening. As the lights went down and smoke filled the stage, Wendy armed with her bass threw her fist up in the air, and like a domino effect so did Justin, Dawn, and Glen, as Fee pounded out a beat on his drums in the background. Once the familiar sound of the guitar started to play the audience went crazy! It was really amazing to see everyone singing along with the band with such intensity. You could see this song meant so much not only to the band, but also to the audience that was screaming the powerful lyrics back to them.

I know that for me (Cecily) this song was THE song, it was the song that I lost my voice on because I was singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs. “God I want to dream again, take me where I’ve never been. I want to go there, this time I’m not scared. Now I am Unbreakable, it’s unmistakable”. Those lyrics meant so much to me that night, I was singing them through tears. I was singing them with a passion and urgency, I was singing them out of defiance. I think everybody can relate when I say that when you’ve been through some really difficult things in life, you sometimes can lose the ability to dream, so when Dawn sang out the words “God I want to dream again” they became my prayer. And one thing I realized during that song is that, because of the things I have been through, because of the hurt and the pain I have overcome, I am now unbreakable. No one can touch me, nothing can stop me. I don’t know if Fireflight will ever know how much I needed to hear that song that night, I needed to feel it in my soul, I needed to sing it, to scream and declare it at the top of my lungs with all of my soul, I needed to say that I am unbreakable. The entire crowd and band seemed to feel the urgency too. The band was playing so hard, Justin and Glen were killing it on the guitars, and Fee was slamming the drums, as Wendy and Dawn both put everything in their vocals while swinging their hair around and moving around the stage. You could really hear Wendy’s bass skills on this song, it was very prominent. Right after they played the instrumental break in the bridge, the band stopped playing and the lights went dim as everyone screamed, then Justin put his fist in the air and they burst out into the last part of the song.

After this song they exited the stage to an overwhelming crowd applause… and the eventual chanting “One more song”! Within a minute or so drummer, Fee, came back onstage and treated us all to a rocken drum solo. Let me tell you, Fee is such an awesome drummer, he had the whole crowd enamored with his skills. Then all of Fireflight came back out onstage for their encore. Before they started the song, Justin said that they wanted anyone who was still in their seats to come to the stage and rock out with them to the last song of the night. They then went into the encore song which was “Waiting”.

This was also one of the first Fireflight songs we ever heard so it was cool to see them play it live. During the song Dawn went over to the fans and touched as many hands as she could. When the song ended Justin also went over and let the fans touch his guitar which included Cecily (it was one of her top ten concert moments! lol). The band exited the stage for the last time as we all screamed and cheered at the top of our lungs. Fireflight puts on an electric show with so much heart. If you ever have the chance to experience their live show, we hope we’ve convinced you to take it!

So our conclusion of the Hope Tour was that it was a night we all needed. It was a night filled with hope. There’s something very healing in the live music experience. Singing the same song in unison with hundreds of people somehow makes you feel a little more hopeful inside, a little more alive. When you leave a show like that, especially one where you’re all there to ultimately worship God, you don’t leave the same way you came. Like David Zach from Remedy Drive said that night, “It’s hope on a Monday in November. And it sounds like rock and roll. It can be like a defibrillator for a heart that is barely beating”. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

—————————————————-

So let us introduce you to Richard. Yes, that is what Pam named the tortilla that Abandon threw from the stage. She got all the bands to sign him and take a picture with him as well. I think all the bands had way too much fun signing him…and drawing all over him. (yes that is a mustache, and the red dots are acne courtesy of one of the Abandon guys lol) Everyone was excited to see Richard the tortilla and seemed to see notice him before they even noticed us lol. Fireflight also said this was the wierdest thing they’ve ever signed lol. Doesn’t he look happy?

Pam and I with the too cool but slightly crazy guys of Abandon! This is one of the best and wierdest band photos we’ve ever been in. Cecily was in this photo too but the girl who took it for us cut her out. Don’t worry we don’t hold it against you… whoever you are. 🙂

Cecily and I with … or rather standing in front of Fireflight. They really are some of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. So kind and gracious. They all happily signed Richard for Pam, and Cec gave Wendy a high five for her awesome heels lol. For some reason everyone was taking photos just standing in front of them instead of beside them. This felt a bit awkward for us…which you can probably tell from the photo. It kind of felt like we were standing in front of a Fireflight hologram lol. But we still really like this photo. 🙂

Pam and David of Remedy Drive…oh and Richard. David is such a sweet and kind person. We all really enjoyed meeting him.

The three of us with Phillip, the bassist of Remedy Drive. He had lost his voice that night and was mouthing words to us when we were talking to him lol. Even though he had no voice he was still so very sweet and gracious. You could tell he just really wanted us to know he appreciated us coming to the show. One of the sweetest guys. And…I don’t know if it’s okay for us to say this or not but he’s also very handsome lol. 😉

Cec and Pam with Daniel, the drummer of Remedy Drive, he gave us the secret to his complicated rocker hair haha. He was so sweet and funny!

We will be uploading videos that we took of the show in the coming days, but for now, enjoy a video that Abandon posted on their own Youtube channel that features all the crazy antics from our show in Lake Jackson, Texas.

The Hope Tour Finale ’09 – www.youtube.com/abandonmusic

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