Having slept through the morning meeting for the second consecutive morning, I decided to make my way to the Parachute Music store and have a look around for CDs and stuff – I decided to buy Detour 180’s new album, ‘Fighting For You’ (review is forthcoming, as I’m not sure what to think about it yet) for myself, and I was going to buy the latest CD by a band called Underoath, for Harley – when I got to the store, I was dismayed to find that Underoath was sold out – so I texted Harley and asked him to call me when he got a chance, thinking he would be in church (since it was around 10am). I went to the t-shirt table (where they were selling band t-shirts – and I thought about buying a black and pink Day of Fire t-shirt for 0.003 seconds) and suddenly my phone went off.
Cut a long story short, I ended up describing to Harley what CDs were in the store, and trying not to be too loud, at the same time. Harley picked the new album by a band called Project 86, who I’d never heard of before – this was to go along with the Demon Hunter CD I had already bought him on the Friday afternoon. SO, for no apparent reason, here is the full list of purchases from the Parachute Music store:
Demon Hunter – ‘Summer of Darkness’
Detour 180 – ‘Fighting For You’
Project 86 – ‘Songs To Burn Your Bridges By’
Bruce Wilkinson’s book “The Prayer of Jabez”
Wayne Alcorn – ‘Growing Your Youth Ministry’
After I was finished in the store, I went outside and got a free copy of the Waikato Times (some guys were driving around handing them out off the back of a van) and then went to the Soultribe café (at least, I think that’s what it was called) where I had one of the funniest experiences of the weekend. I bought a bagel ($5.00), a V ($3.00) and a Fresh-Up ($2.00), then the lady said ‘That’ll be $13.00 (thirteen) dollars’. I said ‘Are you sure?’ and she said ‘Yep – $5, plus $2, plus $3, is $13 …’ then the guy next to her said ‘you might wanna check that’. So she did, and found out it was actually $10. Then, she did the EFTPOS thing and ended up charging me $10.50. I told her to keep the 50c, as a tip. Maybe I should’ve given her a better tip – something along the lines of ‘use a calculator’ or ‘go back to school’.
(Did you realise you just read 463 words about absolutely nothing? Do you feel ripped off, or liberated?)
I can’t really say too much about these guys – as I’ve mentioned, our tent site was about 50m away from the Deluxe stage, where these guys were playing. When they started, I’m pretty sure I was lying on a stretcher outside one of the tents, and I may (or may not) have made a comment about them – along the lines of “they sound good”. Needless to say, I just stayed where I was.
Anyways, towards the end of their set, I was up and about again, getting ready to go and watch Cell, one of the bands I was making a point to go and see this year (since I missed them last year). So I’m wandering around aimlessly, drinking a Coke and suddenly I hear this insane bass solo come from the Deluxe tent – so I’m standing there, just listening to this bass player rip out one of the better bass solo’s I’ve ever heard. Then, the drummer had a go – and he was pretty mean too.
When I finally caught up with Dylan later that day, he was full of “Did you see Pie? Their bass player was mean! Did you see them? Did you hear them? Wow!” type comments. Unintentional comedy at the highest level! Highlight Track: Don’t know any of their songs – but the bass solo was pretty mint.
A lot has been said about Cell lately – their single, ‘Neglect’, has been getting airplay on Life FM, they did a TV spot on Maori Television and they’re in the studio at the moment recording a new album – not to mention the fact that they were at the centre of the biggest mystery at Mystery Creek over the Parachute weekend (namely, why their album was not being sold in the Parachute Music store).
Cell on stage are a sight to behold – they are all big guys (and I mean BIG guys), and they all are extremely passionate about their music. They are all very good at what they do. They all get right into the music – even co-ordinated their movements on stage, like during a heavy part of their song, they all started headbanging at the same time. At one point the drummer stood up and played the drums – and honestly, it looked like they were gonna fall over because he was hitting them so hard. But that is just what Cell is about.
They tore through all their best songs, including ‘Neglect’, ‘Nail’ and ‘Powertrip’ – and when the show was over, and my eyes had stopped watering (I was enduring a bout of hay fever at the time), they were pretty much the best heavy band of the weekend (with the exception of Day of Fire).
(On the mystery of why their CD wasn’t available from the music store: I walked up and talked to the bass player afterwards, and he was able to tell me that they had no copies left, apparently. He also said they are in the studio working on album number 2 – he told me to email them through the website, to get one sent out. I don’t buy it though – there must be some other business reason why – they’d have to know they would sell more CDs if they had them there). Highlight Track: ‘Neglect’ – just a mean-as song.
After Cell played we went for another swim at WaterWorld, in Hamilton, and got back around 6.00-ish. Shortly after that, Magnify were kicking off the worship night at the mainstage. For those of you who have never been to Parachute, on the Sunday night they hold a massive worship night – all the worship-style bands come down and play, one after the other, and its easily the biggest night of the weekend. This time around the Primal Band kicked things off, but since we had just gotten back, we skipped them and relaxed for a while, before heading down to the mainstage.
Magnify have been really good every time I’ve seen them live – at last years Parachute Festival, they launched their debut album, and opened my eyes to their music; at last years Noise Concert, they were absolutely fantastic, and again at the Christmas Hope Tour in December last year, they were brilliant (and I got to interview Ric Knott).
Today was no exception – they ripped out all their great songs, led the crowd in worship for a bit, did ‘Blown Away’ with Brad Dring doing the rap part, which is always a crowd-pleaser. They played one new song, called ‘Let The World Know’, which was an awesome song. All in all, a great set from a great band. Need I say more. Highlight Track: Actually, I’m gonna say ‘Let The World Know’ – an awesome rock song, and it was cool to hear something new from the guys.
Between acts on the mainstage, Parachute has a lineup of DJs who play between the acts, while the next act gets ready. On this night, they had a heap of pretty sub-par DJs (but then, I did see DJ Manuel from Grits on the Friday, so that could’ve been the problem) – one of whom was called ‘DJ Holy Grail’. Hmm … yep.
Anyways, we were in the crowd waiting for Hillsong United and James started dancing to the techno music. It was really funny, but I guess you had to be there. Nat filmed it, so if you have access to her, you could probably see it.
Last year at Parachute, Hillsong United played quite late on the worship night, and (to be honest) didn’t sound as good as I thought they would’ve. This year, however, was totally different – they came out on stage, went straight into ‘One Way’ and got straight down to business.
The 45 minutes that followed was filled with great praise and worship, led by Marty Sampson. The whole crowd got really into it, and they played some great stuff – even playing a new song, called ‘Tell The World’, half way through their set. They finished with ‘All Day’, and headed off the stage. Just a great set from a band that have obviously been doing music together for a while. Highlight Track: ‘All Day’ – their last song, and their jumpiest.
Jeff Deyo is the former frontman for Sonicflood – when you see the guy, he basically just looks like a normal guy – I saw him leading some praise and worship in the Parachute Music store earlier on the Saturday, and he just has this “normal guy” look about him – I don’t know how else to describe him.
Well, to be lead in worship by this guy is unreal – he’s got a 4 piece band with him (guitar, piano, drums and bass – and the bass player is unbelievably good, and fast!), and he just gets on stage, and does his thing. I’m not too familiar with his work, aside from his song ‘Bless The Lord’, which is a great worship song, and one of my personal favourites. I’ll definitely be looking into his CD – next payday, that is. Highlight Track: ‘Bless The Lord’ – a great worship song
I can remember last year, when Life FM were at the Parachute Festival press conference, and they were counting down the top 10 artists for Parachute 2005, and the DJ, Luke Weston, was implying that he wasn’t meant to be in there with a microphone, let alone broadcasting anything, and they named Ben Lummis (who, sadly, I missed all weekend) and he sang a song, and they announced Day of Fire (and the DJ was all like “who is this?”) and they announced Audio Adrenaline at number 2 (and he DJ was like “Man! Who could be bigger than AudioA!”). Then they announced Third Day, and the place went nuts with applause, and the DJ was like “Whoa! That’s unbelievable!”).
On the Sunday night of Parachute 2005, Third Day came on stage for their only set of the weekend, and showed us, the crowd, exactly why they were given top billing at the festival. They only played for an hour and a quarter, but in that time, they played their best songs from throughout their career (including classics like ‘Come Together’ and ‘Show Me Your Glory’, as well as newer tracks like ‘I Got A Feeling’ and ‘Come on Back To Me’).
Whats more, their showmanship is unbelievable – lead singer Mac Powell knows exactly how to work the crowd properly, picking the right jokes at the right moments, and toning things down into a quiet moment of prayer at the right moments as well. Some of his highlights included a karate kick into the air, getting the cameras onto a guy with a funny moustache, and some fun-poking at the Canadians in the audience, not to mention towards the end when he gave a great message about being all that you can in God.
Musically, Third Day would be a hard act to match. Out of the whole weekend, I think these guys really showed that they were the most experienced and mot professional act on the bill. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them again next time they come out here. Highlight Track: ‘Come On Back To Me’ – my personal favourite of theirs
After Third Day finished, the majority of the crowd walked back to their tents, but then Shawn McDonald came on the stage – he only had 20 minutes, and he used it well, doing his songs ‘Here I Am’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Take my Hand’ and a beautiful cover of ‘Over The Rainbow’. At one stage, his guitar cut out and he sang – all you could hear was his voice, and a tiny little bit of guitar, that was being picked up through the vocal mic.
Which brings me to my next point: the most amazing thing about Shawn McDonald is that he came out on stage with his acoustic guitar and his voice, and that was it. Seriously, there was no-one else on the stage – and the great thing is he sounded mint as. It gave his set a really intimate kind-of feel – as Kayte said, it was like watching him in his bedroom, just playing his guitar and singing. Which is exactly what it was like. Shawn has such natural talent, I can scarcely believe he wasn’t even playing a guitar 6 years ago! Highlight Track: ‘Gravity’ – its my personal favourite of his, and it still is.
“WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU GUYS DOING!?”
After the worship night, after Shawn McDonald was done that is, I went back to the tent area, and laxed out –James ended up taking off to catch up with the others, and I stayed back and had a Milo with Patchouli and Kayte. They both cruised off to bed, and thinking the others would be back before too long, I lay down on my mattress, which was outside, and waited.
About an hour passed, and it was around 2am, when the guys came back to the site – I’d long since fallen asleep, and the mattress was starting to deflate (cause it has a hole in it). I was woken up by a voice saying “Chris!” and I rolled onto my back and looked up. What did I see? The group of guys standing in a circle around me and staring down. The only thing I can remember after that is saying “What the heck are you guys doing?!” and then arguing that it wasn’t 2am, and then going to bed. On a scale of 1 to 10, to measure how weird I felt, this definitely rates a 10 – it was like it was just a dream.
WAKE UP CALL
I’m only mentioning this because I thought it was funny. At about 7.30am on the Monday morning, Giles called to find out where our camp site was, at which point the following conversation took place.
Giles: Hey bro. Where are you?
Me: I’m in bed bro (I was still half-asleep)
Giles: True. Did I wake you up?
Me: Yeah man.
Giles: Oh sorry bro. But where are you?
Me: I’m in bed bro. Trying to sleep.
Giles: Yeah, yeah – but where ARE you.
Me: I’m in bed bro.
Giles: Oh sweet then.
Me: See you (hung up phone).
Giles may have a different version, but in my half-asleep state this is what I can remember.
Monday was fairly uneventful, except for when we got to the car – we found that some other ‘religious’ group had gone to every car in the car park and put little brochures on the windscreens that basically denounced everything to do with Parachute – saying that the music there is bad, and the teaching is bad, and asking for money is bad, etc.
A group of us ended up going through every car in the section where we were and removing them – these brochures would’ve done more damage than good. Personally, I find it hard to believe that a supposedly Christian group would go through and do this – the last thing we need is in-fighting between the different churches.