So by now I know you’re all wondering how exactly I’m planning to spend my weekend down at Parachute – what bands I’m going to see, how I’m going to get back and forward to each of the major stages, and (most importantly) when I’ll be able to fit any meals in.
Well, either that, or you’re wondering why I’m so self-obsessed that I would want to tell you all about my weekend.
As you may or may not know, for the first time ever, I’ve been given the keys to the kingdom of Parachute, having acquired one of the mysterious media passes which will get me backstage, and up close and personal, with all the big name acts playing at Parachute 2006. But which acts will I be making an effort to see? Never fear! For I have planned my weekend, and will enlighten you now! Enjoy …
The Glory Sea
Having never heard The Glory Sea before, I’m not really too sure what to expect. However, in saying that, all I have ever heard are good reports of their live shows, so they make the list based on that.
My Life Story
Fledgling Kiwi band My Life Story has never played Parachute before, but get to launch on the Mainstage due to their recent history of success on mainstream radio and music TV. Kiwi Christian music is going through the same growth now that Kiwi music was going through a couple of years back, behind acts like these guys, Mozelee, Mumsdollar and Brooke Fraser.
Aussie screamo-punk rockers The Valley are another band new to Parachute, but I am definitely looking forward to hearing what they bring to the table. I’ve only heard one of their songs but it was a scorcher, and they are sure to put on a pretty good show.
These guys absolutely blew away the Mainstage audience last year when they played, and look certain to follow that up with another blistering performance after their most successful year to date. Watch for classic track One Day and keep an eye on the bass player to see if he flings his bass around like last year.
Movie: Hotel Rwanda
Normally I wouldn’t recommend a movie at Parachute, but having never seen this dramatic retelling of the Rwandan troubles in the early 90s, I will be making an effort to see it myself.
Seminar: Phil Baker
Phil Baker is one of the funniest speakers I have ever heard (he was also at Parachute 04), and I look forward to hearing the message he brings to Parachute 06.
The Aussie invasion continues – I’m thinking these guys will be so good I’ll have to see them twice!
Kiwi. Christian. Heavy Metal. These guys have got the odds stacked against them, but as I was explaining to my flat-mate last night, they are on a par with the likes of Blindspott in this country, and run rings around any other heavy-ish band this country has to offer. Watch for festival favourite Powertrip.
Late 80s Mercedes
I have no way of proving this, but I’m sure Late 80s Mercedes play a big gig once a year, at Parachute 06, and then get offered a boatload of smaller gigs, which pays the bills for the next 12 months. Ain’t life grand!
Another heavy band making their Mainstage debut – Zebulun actually play earlier in the day, on the Deluxe stage, but the Mainstage just has a better sound system. This guys were awesome last year, even playing a Rage Against The Machine cover, and I’m looking forward to seeing them again this year.
Much like Cell, Rapture Ruckus, aka Brad Dring, has all the odds stacked against him – he’s Kiwi, Christian, white, and a rapper. Yet despite this, he’s managed to forge out a nice little career from his unique brand of loud, apocalyptic rap music. Definitely worth checking out.
Undoubtedly the highlight band for me, Anberlin are musically and vocally one of the best Christian bands around, if not one of the best bands, period. Should be riding high after their inclusion on the Amazon top 100, and the sales that accompany such an honour, and will be keen to show Kiwi fans what they are made of.
Day of Fire
Last years highlight band, for me, Day of Fire return to tear up the Mainstage with Joshua Brown, former singer from Full Devil Jacket, and their new line-up in tow. By my thinking, these guys should be better than last year, simply because they would have had longer together to get things tight. Plus, there is talk that their new album could be released at Parachute 06, so I’m looking forward to potentially some new stuff from them.
Hip-hop bands always do fairly well at Parachute (see Grits 2005), and EPR are now exception. I only got to see a little bit of these guys last year, but what I saw was fantastic, and I will definitely be checking them out again this year.
Morning Meeting, with Planet Shakers and Greg Laurie
Every year the Sunday morning meeting also includes communion between all the thousands of people who come along to the morning meeting, which makes it a worthwhile event to get to. Plus, Planetshakers will be playing, plus Greg Laurie will be giving a message. All good things.
Seminar: Wayne Alcorn
James and I saw Wayne Alcorn preach about youth ministry last year, and he was brilliant. In keeping with that, he should be great again this year.
Seminar: Phil Baker
Another person who will be so good I’ll have to see him again!
Moped are a Kiwi band who could best be described as a cross between Blink 182 and Sublime – some fantastic bass-playing here, and their songs are summery and catchy to boot.
The Big Bling Party
Normally I don’t get into these dress-up events that Parachute runs, but this years event, the Big Bling Party, should be hilarious, and will give me an excuse to wear my silk shirt and excessive amounts of jewellery. Bring it on!
Seminar: Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll
Joshua Brown will be delivering this seminar, using the story behind his own testimony, and his former life as the singer of a band called Full Devil Jacket (Josh was the singer, was using heroin, had an overdose and found God after he came out of rehab, going on to leave the band and form Day of Fire)
New Zealand’s original worship band, fronted by Primal church founder Dean Rush, and making great guitar based rock praise and worship. Their last album, Construct, was fantastic (even if the cover did look a little like the cover to Delirious’ World Service album)
Former frontman for Hillsong church, Reuben released his debut solo album, World Through Your Eyes, in 2005. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting too much, but World Through Your Eyes is actually a fantastic CD. I’m looking forward to seeing him at Parachute (and hopefully hearing some of the old Hillsong numbers) (Reuben, if you’re reading this: I’m hoping to hear some of the old Hillsong numbers. Hint Hint!!!)
Rock worship on a par with the likes of Hillsong United and Youth Alive, and one of the biggest things to come out of the church in Australia, Planetshakers will likely put on a great show.
Delirious? are one of the most famous praise bands in the world, and have just released their latest album, The Mission Bell. I’ve never seen them before, but I’m pretty sure they are going to kick some butt on the Mainstage. Tracks I’m looking forward to hearing: I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever, Paint The Town Red, Gods Romance, History Maker, Fire, Rain Down.
Morning Meeting, with P06 Worship Band and Phil Baker
Seriously, Phil Baker is going to be so good, I’ll have to hear him a third time!
This is actually the only chance I will get to hear Mozelee, who are one of the bands I’ve wanted to check out for a while now. Another great Kiwi act, Mozelee came into some acclaim when a music video of theirs got some serious airplay on Juice TV. Here’s hoping they continue getting bigger and bigger!