Released October 22, 2012
Reviewed by Emily Kjonaas
Newsboys Live In Concert: God’s Not Dead (iTunes/Amazon MP3)
Not many bands are able to survive as long as the Newsboys have. But Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jody Davis, and Jeff Frankenstein have proven that they’re more than capable to continue to release solid albums. After garnering major success with their prior record God’s Not Dead, they have released a live version titled Newsboys Live In Concert: God’s Not Dead. This album was recorded in front of thousands of fans at Lifest in Oshkosh, WI and at Sonshine in Willmar, MN.
I hold live albums to a high standard, especially if I have seen that artist in concert. I’m not usually a fan of live recordings so I was cautiously optimistic when I started listening to this record. It turns out that this is probably my favorite live recorded album. I was fortunate enough to attend the concert, and recording, at Lifest. While listening to Newsboys Live In Concert: God’s Not Dead, I was able to close my eyes and feel the same electricity that I felt in Oshkosh. As I said previously, the Newsboys are able to release solid records. They are also known for bringing a great show that fans can enjoy and worship right along with the band.
Starting off this newest offering is an energetic version of “Escape”. Okay, pretty much all of the songs on this record are energetic. Second is the first single with the Tait-led Newsboys, and a hit that resonated with Christian music listeners: “Born Again”. Next is a classic Newsboys hit, “Something Beautiful”, off of the band’s Go record (2006). The first song to make its appearance from God’s Not Dead is “The King Is Coming”.
Further down the album is the always-worshipful “He Reigns”. I’ve always loved this song and hearing it on the live record brought back the experience of singing this song with thousands of others. Near the end of Newsboys Live In Concert: God’s Not Dead is a song that’s pretty much destined to be on any live record that Tait is part of: “Jesus Freak”. There’s no need for me to say anything more about this dcTalk hit classic.
Next is my favorite moment on this album. After almost a minute of cheering and people constantly yelling “one more song”, the guys make a reappearance to finish out the album with a couple more songs. But before those are sung the keyboard player, Jeff Frankenstein (yes, that’s really the guy’s last name) speaks a four-and-a-half minute monologue about how God is not dead and that He is roaring like a lion. This is a great intro for “God’s Not Dead”, yet another popular song that has resonated with fans.
Closing out Newsboys Live In Concert: God’s Not Dead is “Revelation Song”, a great closure to the live album that puts the focus of the night onto the Lord. This record ends with the crowd singing the final lyrics ‘…with all creation I sing, praise to the King of Kings, You are my everything, and I will adore You.’ It was yet another moment that brought me back to Lifest, where it was amazing to be able to worship God with thousands upon thousands of other believers along with the Newsboys.
Overall, this is a great live record. This live sound is obviously different than a studio CD, but the crowd is one of the several aspects that makes this record great. Their cheering and singing effectively connect the crowd to the band. But I was a little disappointed when the guys didn’t perform the classics “Breakfast” or “Shine”. Though the Tait-led Newsboys seem to shy more and more away from those songs as time goes by. However I did see a lot of sad, unopened boxes of Cap’n Crunch in the hands of fans as they walked back to their tents. I was also kind of sad that Wisconsin didn’t get a shout out on the record, whereas Minnesota got quite a handful. But I do remember Jeff tweeting that the guys were having trouble recording the sound at Lifest. Still, this record is a treat for fans that have waited for the Newsboys first live record release with Tait as the lead singer. If you are a Newsboys fan, you will enjoy their newest record, Newsboys Live In Concert: God’s Not Dead.
- Escape (Live)
- Born Again (Live)
- Something Beautiful (Live)
- The King Is Coming (Live)
- Your Love Never Fails (Live)
- Here We Stand (Live)
- He Reigns (Live)
- Nothing But The Blood (Live)
- Mighty To Save (Live)
- Save Your Life (Live)
- Miracles (Live)
- Jesus Freak (Live)
- Intro to God’s Not Dead (Live)
- God’s Not Dead (Live)
- Revelation Song (Live)