Ever since Newsboys’ entered their third era in 2009-the Michael Tait Era- the band found themselves back on top and turning the Christian music world upside down as they had for so many years before. However, the band left many of their most well-known hits and popular songs in the past.
Enter 2018 and the band has reunited and joined forces with longtime singer Peter Furler and bassist Phil Joel for the Newsboys United tour, much to the excitement of the longterm Newsboys fans.
The tour recently hit Fort Wayne, Ind.’s Allen County War Memorial Coliseum for a night that started early with Zealand, Phil Joel’s praise and worship side project. They played a short set that had fans on their feet in pure, unabashed worship before the current Newsboys lineup took the stage.
They played a few songs in the first of two sets, the first ending with “He Reigns,” during which singer Michael Tait passed the mic off to Furler for verse 2, which was met with a roar of jubilation by the crowd, who were in for a 13-song set of Newsboys classics that saw the band pulling out almost every single major song of their career.
“Shine,” “Take Me To Your Leader,” “Million Pieces,” “Breakfast,” “Amazing Love,” “Entertaining Angels,” “I Am Free,” “Breakfast” and more found their way into the set with many of the songs featuring the original music video playing on the LED video screen as the band played.
To see this lineup of Newsboys reunited on stage was a flashback for everyone in the crowd and saw the Newsboys’ career coming full circle. Furler and Joel were having fun together on stage and the rest of the band had a smile on their faces that rarely left; at one point, Furler even brought a young kid from the crowd onstage and ran up and down the extended stage ramp, dancing around, making for a very fun atmosphere.
After this lineup finished up, the current incarnation took the stage again for a seven song set, featuring “Jesus Freak,” which saw drummer Duncan Phillips’ drum kit rising up, tilting forward and spinning as the strobe lights- and the crowd- went insane. Following their hit cover of Danny Bashta’s “God’s Not Dead,” both lineups stood together on stage to cap the night off with their tandem hit and current single, “The Cross Has the Final Word,” to send the crowd home on a night-long musical high.
In the end, this wasn’t just a night of reunions and feel good music for everyone- this was much more. At the end of Furler’s tenure with the band, they were at a low point, success-wise. The lineup change was essential to Newsboys’ reclaim of the throne and many fans always hoped to hear the classic Newsboys hits live but rarely got it.
To see these lineups come together shows the band paying respect and showing gratitude to what put them on the map and brought multiple generations of Newsboys fans together for a night where everyone was able to walk away from the show having gotten something they could talk about for years.
Newsboys have struck gold with Newsboys United and we can only hope this isn’t a one-leg tour and reunion- many fans are hoping this a longterm project.