On Friday, David Crowder payed Eastern University and the St. Davids area a visit for his American Prodigal tour. It was an evening of worship — one that brought the community together for one greater purpose: to give Christ our all. The evening was kicked off with opening performances by The Young Escape and Jimi Cravity, and Crowder took the stage as the headliner, to beautifully conclude the evening.
After the well-known David Crowder Band disbanded in 2012, lead singer David Crowder began his solo career under the name Crowder. “American Prodigal” is his second solo album, following “Neon Steeple” which was fully released in 2014. Of the journey of this current album “American Prodigal,” Crowder states,“I think that we are all a lot more the same than we are different. We’re all just dirt and water and the breath of God.” He expounded on this idea at the show on Friday, after allowing a member of the audience to join him and his band on stage to perform alongside them. Crowder stated that we are all here on earth together, and then we’re in heaven, so while we’re on earth we should worship as much as we’re able, in every way possible, together creating one church. Every piece of our dirt and water and breath of God should make our fleeting time on earth glorifying to God.
David Crowder has existed in my mind for quite some time as the most down-to-earth Christian artist I’ve encountered. Every time he would speak between songs, his southern, Texan drawl would remind us in the audience that we weren’t at a concert, but at a worship service, being led by a group of musicians who have grasped onto the gifts God gave them, and are using them to the best of their ability. Crowder draws much of his inspiration from nature, from roots and culture and his raw, rugged surroundings, wherever he may be. The first time I saw him perform live, someone in the crowd held up a sign asking Crowder for his shoes. He stopped in the middle of his set and asked the guy if he actually wanted his shoes, and when the man said yes, Crowder took his shoes off of his feet and tossed them to the man with the sign; he performed the rest of his songs in his socks. He presents himself as your typical funny, generous, down-to-earth pal, but he also speaks like he is just a guy with a guitar, on a mission to share good news. And in my opinion, he accomplishes just that, time and time again. What a blessing it is, that we live in a country where artists are free to share what is in their hearts, and even greater, that Christians can do the same.
Near the end of Crowder’s set, the colorful lights stopped flashing, the fog machine was turned off, and the room grew peaceful as the band gathered in the middle of the stage with just acoustic
instruments, and led the crowd in some hymns, such as my personal favorite, “Because He Lives.” By including both this peaceful interlude of century-old hymns, and exciting, anticipated songs from the most recent album, it became clear that styles may change, settings may change, people may change, and churches may change, but Christ will remain forever the same. And any evening that celebrates that truth is an evening that shows a glimpse of what an eternity of worship will look like alongside all our brothers and sisters.
Eastern extends many thanks to David Crowder and the rest of the musicians who shared their gifts with us on Friday, and to everybody on campus who worked to make this evening of worship not only possible, but a beautiful success. It is my prayer that the good news of the gospel will continue to be proclaimed as powerfully and as authentically as it was at this event last Friday.