The 2018-2019 Showcase Series started off on a high note Saturday night as students filled the Curb Event Center with worship at Christian Showcase.
The evening featured a wide variety of musical styles — including gospel, pop, contemporary Christian and pop-punk influences.
Ethan Thomas opened with some of the strongest vocals of the night. He sang with a warm, earthy tone and stood on stage with confidence and a wide grin. He belted out worship songs with a unique fusion of pop and gospel styles.
Thomas ended his set with a cover of “Help Us To Love” by Tori Kelly. Purple and yellow lights shone onstage while the band played a rollicking beat. The tight, soulful harmonies of the background vocalists meshed perfectly with with Thomas’ smooth riffs.
After Thomas left the stage, duo Isaiah William delivered the most traditional worship music of the night. The band started off its set with a cover of “Have it All” by Bethel Music and invited audience members to sing along.
Isaiah William’s slower songs and relaxed stage presence made the Curb feel more like a church than a concert venue. The blue and purple lights and gentle music brought a moment of stillness to an otherwise high energy night.
The mood of the evening changed yet again when Amy Rochelle DeMint strutted on stage. Her band opened its set with a medley of Twenty One Pilot songs — “Heavydirtysoul,” “Ride” and “Holding onto you.” The band seemed to be having a blast onstage. Bassist Isaiah Kerney flipped his hair and DeMint shook her ponytail as they played songs with a pop-punk vibe.
Amy Rochelle ended her set with “Underworld,” which she said she wrote during a period of depression and anxiety. The song featured haunting vocals from Jenane McCulloch and an incredible solo from guitarist Joey Corso.
Before David Andrew started his set, a large group of students and other fans gathered around the stage. The clear crowd favorite of the evening, Andrew entered to loud cheers. He had the strongest stage presence of the night, featuring choreography with his background vocalists and an easy confidence on stage.
Andrew started off his set with high energy music and a goofy grin, but by the middle of his set he was sitting on the edge of the stage, talking earnestly with the audience about the power of trusting God.
Andrew described his song, “Spirit Fall Fresh,” as one of the most personal songs he’s ever written. The song had a rhythm and blues vibe with soulful background vocals and silky riffs from Cistruck. He ended his set with an upbeat cover of “Let Go” by Hillsong Young & Free.
Though it was no surprise that Andrew took home the win at the end of the night, each performer delivered strong, passionate performances.
– – This article written by Liz Gresser. Photos by Colby Crosby, Samantha McCall and Shelby Thacker