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MercyMe Takes a Breath and Gets Back On the Road at the Bridgestone

by Rich and Laura Lynch

The award-winning American contemporary Christian music band MercyMe returned to the stage with a homecoming show at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 and by all accounts the concert was one worth waiting for.

MercyMe kicked off the next leg of their tour in Nashville. (Photo by Javelyn)

You see, the Christian rockers original outing was delayed by the pandemic and then their Fall date scheduled for Music City was scrubbed due to Covid protocol issues. But, in many ways - it all somehow fit with the band's current message and theme for their tour.

Our longtime friend and colleague Javelyn was seated in the stands and she reports that the concept that tied the whole evening together was "Breathe" and as such the band named their current album inhale (exhale).

The band originally from Edmond, Oklahoma and consisting of lead vocalist Bart Millard, percussionist Robby Shaffer, bassist Nathan Cochran and guitarists Michael Scheuchzer and Barry Graul revealed from the stage that much of their time during the past two years was all about postponing and waiting. But, that doesn't mean they wasted any time.

Together the group bought a log cabin just outside of Nashville and ended up composing songs for two years. The group christened the outpost the "MercyMe Imagine House" and it became a retreat and a really great place for them to write music for their latest album. Bart shared, "the cabin studio became heaven on earth for the band during this last crazy year".

Javelyn reports that the night was also very much about legacy as Bart's 20 year-old son Sam and his band opened the show and then came onstage to share vocals with his father on one of the tracks from the new record. Another touching moment came during the encore when a real life roaring campfire was rolled onstage to help recreate the environment that MercyMe experienced while recording their record at the cabin.

An emotional high-point came when Mark Stuart - the longtime singer for Audio Adrenaline was introduced and he proceeded to tell the story of how he lost his ability to sing and ultimately ended up going into full-time youth ministry in Haiti with himself eventually adopting children from the impoverished island nation. The rocker turned author details that journey in his book "Losing My Voice" and went on to describe how he had to lose his own singing voice to become "a voice for the voiceless."

Related Links: For more information on MERCYME and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - MercyMe | Bridgestone Arena | Guest Contributor - Javelyn


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