You’ve got to hand it to the Newsboys. After so many years and so many fundamental lineup changes, they still bring all the intensity, enthusiasm, and – well- props to their live show. Even in a festival setting like Celebrate Freedom Atlanta, they brought their entire stage show, complete with catwalk, elevator, two cranes, and Duncan Phillips’ signature twisting, turning, revolving drum kit. This is no small accomplishment. They played 11th out of 12 acts on an expansive but crowded stage, and they still brought enough equipment to fill a tour bus, a massive trailer behind that bus, and an 18-wheeler semi truck!
The results of all that effort continue to impress me. Here are Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis soaring above the capacity crowd, providing front row seats to folks far behind the front row:
And here’s Duncan’s crazy drum kit:
Speaking of Duncan, it’s hard not to look at the guy during the whole show. He’s an aggressive drummer, and his workouts are legendary, but it’s his facial expressions that get me. To wit:
What’s he pointing at? Apparently he’s pointing the way to VICTORY:
Or maybe he was pointing at irrepressible frontman Michael Tait. Which apparently makes him very happy…
I’ve shot the Newsboys twice recently, and Tait’s remains a challenging photograph to get because he just won’t stand still! He barely even slows down during the breaks in the show. In this show in particular, he delivered a powerful little monologue – I suppose we could call it a sermon – that really seemed to minister to the crowd. There is no longer an extended evangelical speaker in the Celebrate Freedom ATL lineup (Luis Palau handled that for years), so Tait’s message was welcome.
And I did manage to get a couple of in-focus shots. I’ve doctored them up just a little to match the iconic nature the subject. Here’s Tait in silhouette, leaning into the music:
And, finally, a closeup.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s final installment: Switchfoot.