The Pentecostal Hillsong Church began in Sydney, Australia, but has now spread to other major cities throughout the world, including New York and Stockholm.
When Phil and Lucinda Dooley, youth pastors at Hillsong Church, formed “Powerhouse Youth,” they did it as a spinoff band for their own youth ministry.
They became regulars at venues including Youth Alive Australia and Hillsong Church, where they played covers and originals alike. Their popularity and impact expanded as they began playing at camps and regular meetings.
Now when the hall is full of people and their hopes, all we have is a cold drink and the question: “Who will save us?”
The flyer features a photo of the album cover for their most recent release, “Zion,” as well as an empty stage that will soon be populated by the band’s eleven-member ensemble.
Taking a peek at the stage area, the stunning similarity to what we see before our eyes is unmistakable. Teenagers and their overjoyed mothers are getting louder, so we have to move our focus to the main area.
There’s the nervousness befitting a group of hormone-driven worshippers, and we settle into our comfortable little nook. Just in time, as the energy from the center of the crowd builds and pulls Joel Houston and Jonathan “JD” Douglass onto the stage.
In a flash, the remainder of the band takes their places: 3, 2, 1, and “Relentless” turns the audience’s jitters into genuine enthusiasm. Houston, glowing from the reception he’s received, mumbles, “Salvation sounds a new beginning.”
The venue looks as small as it did before, as the massive amps on either side of the stage struggle to keep up with the roaring audience.
What an amazing group of people you are! It’s very comfortable and almost like being at home. At one time, musician Dylan Thomas yells, “Just with more rain.”
We’re talking choruses and rock and pop here. A refrain brings the song back to its pop roots whenever the music strays too far from being radio-friendly.
And on the following track, the pattern is repeated. Without a break, songs like “From the Inside Out,” “Scandal of Grace,” “Aftermath,” and “Mighty To Save” build up to either “The Stand,” a gorgeous anthemic power ballad, or “Nothing Like Your Love,” a rousing sing-along.
Even though the majority of the setlist is comprised of songs from the band’s most commercially successful album to date, ‘Zion,’ the audience still demands old favorites like “All I Need Is You” and “Freedom Is Here,” which causes some members of the crowd to break down in tears and erupt in cheers.
Even if the message underlying ‘Hillsong United’ is religious, the band’s influence on their audience makes one question whether the younger members of their fandom are actually getting it.
Their method is straightforward, their style of dress isn’t much different from that of the typical fan, and even the movies shown on a screen behind the band are simple enough for casual listeners in the audience to enjoy.
Since the show got off to a slow start because of a technical glitch with the lights, we are approaching the end of the night with the same sense of relief as the tiny army of fathers in the back,
who are all smiling broadly as they rush to finish their drinks. Your Name High, Wake, and Alive can still be performed. Onstage, a string of “thank yous” and “God bless you” play out, but then the lights come back up and we’re back to the real world. For more posts you can visit TheActiveNews.Com.