There’s something special when it comes to the last night of a tour. When it’s a major tour with household names and legends, there’s something even more unique. This was the case when Tobymac’s Hits Deep 2013 Tour hit Indianapolis with a lineup featuring Capital Kings, Chris August, Colton Dixon, Jamie Grace, Brandon Heath, Mandisa and, of course, Tobymac.
Capital Kings kicked off the night, showing the crowd exactly why they’re one of the hottest acts in contemporary Christian music today. With a dance-infused set, it was impossible for the crowd not to move and get out of their comfort zones with Capital Kings, who are the Christian response to the top 40 heavy hitters in today’s mainstream music.
After they wrapped up, a video message from Tobymac played over the LED screens and speakers. Toby welcomed the crowd to the show and let them know that this tour was unique because they’d see nothing but hit songs all night as well as collaborations that you won’t get anywhere else; the crowd had no idea just how true that was.
The really interesting thing about Hits Deep and what sets it apart from any other tour is the way each artist took the stage. As one artist finished, the next artist joined them on stage for a collaboration song. I can’t think of any other tour that does that.
There’s also the fact that every artist on this tour is backed by the same band- Tobymac’s Diverse City Band, which shows a feeling of unity and family amongst all the bands on the tour.
The final unique aspect of Hits Deep is that no artist is like another. Capital Kings showcased their dance, hip hop and electronic approach while Chris August, decked out in a fancy suit- almost a tuxedo- featured more of a traditional CCM approach.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Tobymac Hits Deep 2013/Chris August/\”]
Following August came Colton Dixon, who brought his contemporary Christian pop-style, straight from his days on American Idol, where he placed seventh a few years ago. His experience there has paid off as he knows exactly how to play to a crowd of a large level and share the stage with some of the biggest names in Christian music.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Tobymac Hits Deep 2013/Colton Dixon/\”]
Jamie Grace joined him on stage for his last few minutes as he accompanied her on her first song. Grace then took the reins with her happy, joyous, country-infused pop gospel that you can’t help but smile while hearing.
Grace took some time to talk to the crowd about the struggles she’s overcome with help only from God and encouraged the crowd with words of wisdom and experience. Of course, she was also joined on stage by Tobymac himself for their collaboration of “Hold Me,” which always gets a roaring pop from the crowd, regardless of where they play.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Tobymac Hits Deep 2013/Jamie Grace/\”]
Brandon Heath followed her up with a slower set that featured a more country sound, which was a huge change of pace, but the crowd absolutely loved him. He also had some copies of his upcoming Christmas album on stage, which he threw into the crowd as a giveaway and told the fans he’d be at his merch table afterward and would have more copies for whoever wanted them.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Tobymac Hits Deep 2013/Brandon Heath/\”]
For one of the final songs of the set, the camera men even joined him on stage to showcase their dance moves.
Heath was joined by gospel queen powerhouse Mandisa, who took the stage with such authority the crowd didn’t know what hit them.
With her constant moving, jumping, dancing and praising, it was contagious and it didn’t take but minutes until the entire arena was joining in on the fun and loving every minute of it.
To finish up her set, which was like Katy Perry with a major gospel influence wrapped inside, everyone who’d played the show up to that point including Tobymac, came on stage for a Soul Train line- that’s right, a Soul Train line- and a fun one at that.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Tobymac Hits Deep 2013/Mandisa/\”]
After all the fun and strong performances of the night, the party was just starting as Tobymac got ready to hit the stage.
The energy and pandemonium in the arena was growing by the minute and it was clear who the vast majority of fans really came to see; Tobymac needs no introduction, either.
Whether it’s his material and legendary history with DC Talk, his immensely successful solo career or his work as a best-selling author, Tobymac has done it all and has made fans in every area of his career.
Five albums into his solo career, Eye On It debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts and features some of his most dance and hip hop-heavy material yet and has found him with an entirely new set of fans. It’s also been a far cry from his days on the Momentum album.
Tobymac opened up his set with a hit-heavy medley that featured “Tonight,” “Unstoppable” and more, he started the show off with a bang.
He also played many of his softer radio-friendly tracks like “Speak Life,” “City on Our Knees,” “Steal My Show” and many others from his later albums but he also made sure to include his heavy material with “Boomin.’”
If there’s one thing Tobymac is known for it’s his stellar melting pot of hip hop, rock, rap, jazz, reggae and soul, which can be found on almost any song he’s ever done. He threw in those songs in “Lose My Soul,” “Made to Love,” “Me Without You” and others that all got the crowd more hyped with each song.
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2013/Tobymac Hits Deep 2013/Tobymac /\”]
With how long Tobymac has been at it, you’d expect him to slow down even just a little bit but that’s not the case- it’s go big or go home- and when you see his performances you’ll see exactly what that’s all about.
He brings the heat and he’s the real deal with giving fans the full experience. Tobymac brings an extended stage, cyrotechnics, a drumline, crew dances and more to take it to the next level and unleash the insanity and intensity.
About halfway through the set, he left stage only to reappear with his guitar player, Tim Rosenau and backup singer/beat boxer/hype man GabeReal, who performed acoustic renditions of “One World” and “Gone” from Welcome to Diverse City as well as going way back in time to “In The Light” from DC Talk’s Jesus Freak album.
The night came to a close after an impressive encore, with everyone- not just bands and artists- everyone who’s been a part of the tour, coming on stage for a Diverse City-style version of “Winter Wonderland” to celebrate Christmas.
Today, with the rising prices in concert tickets, fans are looking for more ways to get their money’s worth. A simple performance just won’t cut it anymore- fans want more, more, more. Here’s what it comes down to- Tobymac is the epitome of getting your money’s worth. Whether you like Christian music or not is moot, Tobymac live is a straight-up party and an experience you’ll want to get more of.