TobyMac‘s “Hits Deep” Tour played to a near-capacity crowd in Nashville, Tenn., Friday night at one of Music City’s largest venues, Bridgestone Arena. Toby’s family, including his father, wife and five kids, were among those in attendance, along with family members of many of the other artists featured on the tour. The hometown show was the largest date of the tour, and the evening proved to be one of the most creative collaborative efforts of the year.
The brainchild of TobyMac and his management company, the “Hits Deep” tour was designed to showcase some of Christian music’s biggest hits in a fast-paced live setting. The award-winning industry veteran invited some of his favorite artists to join him on this unique tour, including Jamie Grace, Group 1 Crew, Chris August, Britt Nicole, Mandisa and Brandon Heath. Collaboration was the name of the game, and the night featured artists joining each other on stage throughout the whole evening. The artists brought some of Christian music’s biggest hits to life on stage–songs that have impacted not only radio but also hearts across the country.
The first half whizzed by in a little over an hour showcasing the talents of all the artists on the tour with everyone but Toby performing 2-3 songs, each backed by Toby’s dynamic band. With no stage sets to tear down in between acts, one artist introduced the next with seamless transitions, keeping the crowd entertained at lighting speed. After a segment talking about child sponsorship through Food for the Hungry, a brief intermission ensued. Fans could watch short videos during the break (and before the concert started) of each artist talking about the character and talent of another artist on the tour, when they first met and how they’ve collaborated in the past. It was a nice addition to the community feel of the evening.
Following intermission, Toby hit the stage and crashed through high-energy hit after hit of his own, calling on his tour mates for appearances on select songs as well. Toby performed a short acoustic set in the middle of the arena, treating fans to stripped down arrangements of a handful of songs and providing a great sing-a-long moment. After incredible renditions of crowd favorites “Me Without You” and “City on Our Knees,” all of the artists came back onstage to sing a couple Christmas tunes. (“O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Winter Wonderland”). The group’s accelerated punk-like rendition of “Winter Wonderland” had the crowd reeling, complete with the the artists’ choregraphed dance moves and spray of snow white confetti.
Mac & Co. could easily make the “Hits Deep” an annual event, becoming a reel of the previous year’s hottest songs. Let’s hope there’s another round of “Hits Deep” dates being planned for 2013! In the meantime, fans can catch TobyMac on Winter Jam during the first quarter of 2013.
“Hits Deep” Tour Set List & Collaborations (Nashville, Tenn., December 14, 2012)
“Lead Me On”-Jamie Grace
“Hold Me”-Jamie Grace (with TobyMac)
“Keys to the Kingdom”-Group 1 Crew
“He Said”-Group 1 Crew (with Chris August)
“Center of It”-Chris August
“Starry Night”-Chris August
“All This Time”-Britt Nicole
“The Lost Get Found”-Britt Nicole
“Gold”-Britt Nicole (with Group 1 Crew)
“Only the World”/”My Deliverer”/”Shackles” Medley-Mandisa
“Good Morning”-Mandisa (with TobyMac & a host of other artists at the end)
“Your Love”-Brandon Heath
“Jesus in Disguise”-Brandon Heath
“Give Me Your Eyes”-Brandon Heath (with Manwell Reyes from Group 1 Crew)
TobyMac Collaborations During His Set*
“Unstoppable” (with Blanca Callahan from Group 1 Crew)
“Eye on It” (with Britt Nicole)
“Steal My Show” (with Brandon Heath–Toby’s new single that he co-wrote with Heath)
“Funky Jesus Music” (with Jamie Grace)
“Get Back Up” (with Chris August)
“Lose My Soul” (with Mandisa)
**An acoustic version of “Forgiveness” from Eye On It also featured Lecrae on a video screen.
*Not full set list