For months, the members of CoastalRise, their friends and family worked extremely hard to get ready for their upcoming Album Release Show on April 5, 2013 at the Colonial Theater in Phoenixville, Pa. From rehearsing and perfecting their new music for the live show, to putting hours of time into advertising and promoting, to getting props and decorations for the venue, to lighting and sound, to video clips, and more, there was a lot that went into making their BIG NIGHT a success. As people started filling the venue, you could begin to feel the buzz of excitement as things were just about to get underway.
A Jermaine and Ascension kicked off the night by doing what they do best, anointing the room with amazing vocals and great gospel music. Opening the show with their song “Alright,” a song that shares that no matter what kind of day we had, no matter what struggles we may face, everything is going to be alright when we give it to God, they instantly had the crowd clapping and moving in their seats. From there, he seamlessly transitioned into a medley of songs including You Still Loved Me, I Need You, where he encouraged the crowd to join with the singers on the “Woooah, I Need You”, A song about how God captured his heart and closing with How He Loves, reminding us that God loves us just the way we are. Though, I would have never expected the pairing of A Jermaine & Ascension with CoastalRise, I truly believe, A Jermaine and Ascension definitely did their job as the opening act, getting the crowd ready for the main attraction in CoastalRise.
After a brief explanation of the meaning behind “Call of the Sea,” and a short video clip previewing the new album as a whole (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zshPoTn9GH0),
The crowd erupted in thunderous applause as Timmy Whiting stepped on stage and began playing the interlude for “Home.” The cheers continued as all the remaining members followed on to the stage, grabbed their instruments and began to join in with Tim. The crowd clapping along, definitely showed they enjoyed the first song. Then, with the encouragement from Brenna, the crowd began to fill in the few remaining seats near the front, as the band started the party off with “Lovely Avenue” where we found the crowd as well as the members of the band dancing and having a good time.
After a quick welcome, Brenna begins teaching the crowd the intro to their new song, “Of the Light,” rehearsing it a few times with the audience before the band began to play. The energy in the room, once again remained high as beach balls began permeating throughout the room, both on the balcony and the floor. Transitioning immediately into “Call of the Sea,” the fun and excitement in the room continued. At one point there was even an attempt at a conga line during the song. Continuing with the high energy, the band goes right into “Contretemps,” a song that encourages us to be in the world but not of it and “Prime Colors” a song that illustrates our need for fellowship with God.
After giving a huge shout out to A Jermiane and Ascension, Brenna shared a very special moment with her sister Ellie as the band performed their song “Baby.” Brenna explained that the song started with just the two of them, and it wouldn’t be the same if her sister wasn’t there to sing the harmony part along with her. After a huge applause from the crowd, the band showcased their musical talents in the song “In The Son” in which each member took a turn in the spotlight doing a brief solo, while Timmy and Brenna did a fun swing dance to the music. Once the loud applause finally died down, Timmy addressed the crowd with a word of thanks for coming, but also shared the sad news that the next song “Ghost” would be their last. Timmy then tilts his guitar straight up in the air as Brenna begins singing into the base of the guitar to create a haunting but beautiful sound. The band continues through the remainder of the song to which the crowd explodes in applause.
Not wanting the night to end, the crowd screams “one more song, one more song” over and over again in hopes that CoastalRise would keep the party going for just a little longer. To the delight of everyone in the room, Brenna appears back on stage with a bike with instructions to the crowd to make sure it doesn’t get stolen, while she gets Nic the drummer to perform the next song. While she runs to the back, the bike is stolen, an obvious setup for “Beach Bike Bandit,” a song about a true story of a man who was dealing with guilt from stealing a bike. What made this songs performance epic was that Nic was dressed head to toe in an ape costume and performed the song in the costume. I was told afterwards that this was something he’s always wanted to do, and who was CoastalRise to get in the way of his big dreams? CoastalRise concluded the evening with “Soul Power” and left the stage once again to a thunderous ovation of thanks and appreciation.
For me there were a number of elements that stood out tome about this event. First was the musicianship and stage presence of CoastalRise. Not only was the music top notch, but the costumes were a wonderful touch as well. Second, the carefully selected video clips in the background made the music stand out so much more. There must have been hours of research and time put into selecting, editing and putting together the videos. Though some in the audience seemed oblivious to them at times, the thought, creativity and time was not wasted. Finally, the excitement, attitude and huge response from the audience made the concert a fun, exciting, and memorable event. And just like their CD, at the end of their performance left me wanting more. If you ever have the opportunity to see CoastalRise, I would highly suggest you take it. You won’t be disappointed!
CoastalRise is a six piece contemporary Christian group based out of Phoenixville, PA. “Call of the Sea” is their sophomore release and can be purchased on iTunes, CD Baby, or from their website. For more information on CoastalRise visit their website at: www.coastalrise.com
Special thanks and photo credits got to Joe Zimmerman of Christian Concert Photos for some of the shots included in this review. For more information on Christian Concerts Photos you can visit their website at: http://christianconcertphotos.com or email him at: Joeyz@Christianconcertphotos.com