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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Relient K Delivers A Night Of Christian Rock

Christian rock has been evolving.

Once filled with wholly spiritual lyrics aimed mostly at the devout, the genre has of late found more mainstream popularity, thanks in part to Relient K.

The Ohio quintet comes from a Christian background, though the band is discreet about it — an audience member could have made it through the band's show Saturday night at the Webster Theatre thinking that he or she was watching an average, secular pop-punk band.

The band demonstrated its connection to mass culture with a Halloween-themed stage with skull lights decorating the piano and large fake cobwebs.

The musicians took the stage dressed in black and purple, and singer Matt Thiessen wore a cape for the catchy, if repetitive, first song, "I Need You." Relient K moved into "Come Right Out and Say It," with loud guitar and drums overshadowing pensive, yearning vocals from Thiessen.

The band has a sensitive side lurking under its poppy outer shell, something Thiessen demonstrated in moments when he sang accompanied only by himself on piano.

The Halloween motif returned when the band offered its take on the theme from "The Addams Family" before returning to form with "High of 75," a pop tune with a punk edge.

The beginning of "Mood Rings" sounded like a continuation of the previous song, until the band dropped out for a bit and let Thiessen solo with his vocals and guitar.

Ethan Luck's pounding drums, along with shredding guitars from Matt Hoopes and Jon Schneck, gave energy to "The Lining Is Silver," a track from this summer's "The Bird and the Bee Sides."

A fast-paced cover of Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels" fit the band, despite Thiessen's having a higher-pitched voice than the original singer, Roland Orzabal.

The band hinted again at its spiritual ties by introducing "Forgiven" as a song about grace.

Relient K returned for an encore featuring "Deathbed," a song that swelled and undulated over about 11 minutes.

Ludo, a band of pop-punk jokesters from St. Louis, played before Relient K. Its set included "Broken Bride," a song about love, time travel and the prehistoric age that garnered audience chuckles. The loud and fast songs were interrupted by problems with microphone feedback.

This Providence preceded Ludo, playing moody pop tunes. House of Heroes, another Christian rock band from Ohio, opened the show.

Christian Music News Source

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