Christian rapper entertains thousands during spring tour

Amy Reinhardt

On Saturday night over 12,000 fans congregated inside the Sprint Center arena in Kansas City for a night of non-stop Christian music. My sister and I were two of the crazed fans there to show our love for the concert’s headlining act, TobyMac.

TobyMac is a six-time Grammy winner Christian artist who defines his style as musical gumbo, meaning he incorporates an array of genres ranging from funk to rock to reggae to rap.

Kansas City, Missouri, was one of the 29 stops during the nationwide TobyMac Hits Deep Tour. A few other venues he performed at include Birmingham, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Hits Deep Tour began on Feb. 18 and the concluding show is scheduled for April 10. My sister, Julie, and I were lucky to have attended the exhilarating performance on March 19 in the Sprint Center in the Power and Light District in Kansas City.

TobyMac handpicked several other Christian artists to perform before and with him during the concert. Though some were already well-established groups, a few were beginning artists who needed more recognition for their talent.

The concert began promptly at 7 p.m. with Hollyn, a female Christian artist recently signed to Gotee Records that is a label managed by TobyMac. She sang and accompanied herself on two songs at the front of the stage while workers prepped the stage for the next performer.

Colton Dixon rocked the stage after Hollyn with surprising special effects of flames, smoke and strobe lights. Dixon executed his flexibility and passion by jumping on top of his piano to amp up the audience’s energy.

Up next were the more well-known Christian groups: Finding Favour, Capital Kings and Building 429. All three of these groups had their own unique way of connecting and exciting audience members.

Luckily Julie and I have both listened to the KLOVE and Air1 radio stations, which were responsible for the tour. By having listened to those two stations there were songs by each group that we recognized, sang along to and cheered for.

In my opinion they saved the best for last in regards to opening acts. Britt Nicole lit up the stage with her colorful lights and backup dancers. She opened with her upbeat and arguably most popular song “Gold,” and midway through her performance she abandoned the stage to dance with audience members.

It was almost unfortunate that the opening acts were so talented and engaging because by the time TobyMac entered the stage I noticed many of the audience members sitting down.

Julie and I persevered, however, and kept dancing and singing along to every single song including some of our personal favorites: “Me Without You,” “Love Feels Like” and “Feel It.”

Between songs, TobyMac made the point that each of us was getting graded on our involvement. He declared that if we were not hoarse and sweaty by the time the show ended then we received an F for participation. Needless to say, Julie and I were A+ students that night.

One of the best things about Christian concerts is that the artists venture the extra mile to form a connection with you. They want you to feel emotionally and spiritually bonded to their songs’ messages.

After nearly every song, TobyMac, along with Colton Dixon, Britt Nicole and Building 429, would personally reach out with a Bible verse, spiritual anecdote or a prayer with the intent of inspiring the audience.

Because this was Julie’s first official concert she wanted to purchase a memorable souvenir. We approached TobyMac’s merchandise table after the concert and each purchased a $25 shirt. To most $25 would be an absurd amount of money to spend, but Julie and I agreed it was totally worth it.

Being able to see one of my favorite Christian artists perform right before my eyes was an unforgettable experience. After all those drives cranking his songs in my car, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed when I heard those same songs live. I hope it’s not long before he stops in Kansas City again, but until that point in time I’ll keep relying on my playlists.