I’ve bought every Newsboys live release from the VHS Step Up To The Microphone tour from a decade ago. I don’t buy every new album of theirs. Only delirious holds that honour for me, but Newsboys are a truly great band, and one of Australia’s most successful exports. Probably somewhere up with Hugh Jackman and The Wiggles. Newboys are one of the world’s longest lasting Christian bands. Of course, that label isn’t the best, as labels never are, but that’s the business of “Christian” music for you. Newsboys are a great band. They’re not a worship band, just a band that anyone can tap their toes to, with funky betas and quotable lyrics.
There have been a few line-up changes in the years they’ve been together, most noticeably the recent departures of Jody Davis and New Zealand bassist Phil Joel, to pursue family and mission interests. However, now they have the addition of Paul Colman, from the former band PC3, or the Paul Colman Trio. They managed to do quite well in the US before they split, and it’s great to see Colman on stage again, with his fellow Aussies, drummer Duncan Phillips and lead singer Peter Furler. I saw the Paul Colman Trio live in Perth twice and it’s just awesome to see him strut his stuff once more, with much larger crowds than he was used to. That means the only Yank left is keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein.
Newsboys still have that larrikin nature about them. They’re the funnest and funniest band to watch, and its great to see Peter interact with the huge Houston, Texas audience, making them laugh with his recountings of the band’s humble beginnings, and later cry with his heartfelt testimony. The preacher’s kid has done good.
Frankenstein looks as awkward as ever on stage, but since he’s a Mac user, he gets extra points. Phillips is as madcap as ever, with his cheeky grin, Mohawk and the fantastic return of the spinning drum platform. Colman fits in beautifully and Furler’s voice sounds just like it does on the albums.
The 14 track DVD/CD combo presents the same songs, a mix of old and new, including a few from their recent Go release. Classics like Shine, Entertaining Angels, He Reigns and Breakfast are my faves. The show’s production standards are great, and the fairly young audience really get into it. How could you not? I imagine the fellas must lose a fair amount of weight after each show after the three huge screens, on stage lights and two spotlights must make them sweat like maniacs, especially considering they’re all covered in black. But for them, and us, it’s all worth it. Check out the trailer below.