Love Runs Red in Indy with Chris Tomlin

Sometimes a concert experience transcends the bands playing the show. There are so many other aspects that can set a show apart from others and one of those is the crowd.

If a crowd is louder or more rabid, the concert will be just that much better and that was the case when Chris Tomlin\’s Love Ran Red Tour hit Indianapolis\’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse with support from Rend Collective and Tenth Avenue North.

From the onset the fans were loud and ready to sing along with every song. As the lights went down right at 7 p.m. they roared with excitement as Rend Collective took the stage. The Irish band was met with overwhelming approval and many fans had seen them when they came through in 2012 on the Rock and Worship Roadshow and on the tours since then. It also helped the words to each song were on the giant screens so the crowd could sing along to every song.

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Their energy was impressive and they didn\’t take long to get the crowd jumping, clapping and moving around to every song. They even used numerous different instruments, including bells, giant bass drums and other classic Irish instruments, which got the crowd going even more. Before it was all said and done, Rend Collective left Indy much more known than they had been when they came in and you would have thought they were the biggest band on the show.

After a very short turnaround time, Tenth Avenue North took the stage not even 10 minutes later and didn\’t waste any time getting things going. It can be tough being the second band on the lineup and going on so early in the night but it didn\’t phase them- in fact they fed off it.

They opened up with “No Man Is An Island” before leading into the intro “Losing” in southern a capella fashion and keeping the crowd on their feet with the song in full blast and frontman Mike Donehey walking around the stage imitating judgmental Christians with the lyrics, which fit beautifully.

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Their set was a strategically calculated combo of soft songs and some of their more upbeat ones, scattered throughout the setlist so well that it took fans on a musical journey of their faith.

It was a truly beautiful scene.

Around 8:30, Chris Tomlin took the stage to an overwhelming roar from the crowd as he peacefully began the opening chords of “How Great Is Our God,” which was met with a continued ovation from the crowd as they sang along almost louder than Tomlin could sing.

It was just getting started, too.

The production was top-notch- giant LED screens adorned the stage and above it- showing graphics that fit each song- “Waterfall” featured water graphics that washed over the screens, creating a very cool underwater vibe- while the stage was extended with a red running stage- only fitting for the Love Ran Red Tour.

The visual experience was just that- an experience. Tomlin pulled out everything for the Indy crowd- including an actual choir from Indy for the performance of “The Table” as well as an entertaining question-and-answer session where he took questions via Twitter from the crowd.

What made the show even more dynamic was the crowd itself, which was near deafening during the medley of “Holy Is The Lord/Jesus Messiah/I Will Rise-” so much so that Tomlin had to stop numerous times to applaud them and it was clear he was getting overwhelmed with emotion himself at times.

Tomlin mentioned on a few occasions how loud and crazy the crowd was in Indianapolis- even during the question and answer session when he was telling a story about touring with Deliriou5? back in the early days of his career, mentioning how the singer of the band wrote “God\’s Great Dance Floor,” saying “yeah, it\’s gonna get crazy tonight, I can already tell,” as he smiled with a huge grin.

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And it did just that- it got crazy during the song, with people jumping, crying, praising, dancing and more- even Tomlin himself, who ran all around the stage, jumping up and down all along the giant, red extended stage as two disco balls adorned the top of the stage.

It wasn\’t done there, though, as Tomlin brought Tenth Avenue North and Rend Collective out for an encore of “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord),” which ended the show on just as peaceful a note as it started but was also one of the most powerful moments of the show.

-Reggie Edwards