By Denton Josey, Page Editor
Three major-label Christian music acts will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Taylor County Coliseum, as part of the MercyMe and Audio Adrenaline “Coming Up to Breathe Tour.”
MercyMe, at the height of its popularity, has received numerous Dove Awards. They have had several No. 1 hits, and their first CD, Almost There, sold more than two million copies, propelled by the single “I Can Only Imagine.”
Audio Adrenaline will embark on its farewell tour after a 15-year career, three million albums sold, 18 No. 1 radio hits and numerous Grammy and Dove awards.
The night will open with music by emerging artist Phil Wickham, 21-year old singer and songwriter supporting his debut self-titled Simple Records album, which features the song “Grace.”
Doug Harris, operations and concert coordinator for KGNZ, said Audio Adrenaline is hanging up the towel for musical reasons.
“The main reason Audio Adrenaline is calling it quits is because the lead singer’s vocal chords are shot,” Harris said. “About four to five songs is all he can do, so that’s about all they can do per night.”
Abilene marks the first concert on this tour for the bands. Harris said he was contacted to help bring the tour to town.
They wanted a strong showing to kick the tour off, so they picked Abilene, Harris said.
“We’ve always done well with the show,” Harris said. “Last time they were here we sold out.”
The tour will go through about 30 cities, Harris said, and it will run through November.
“If you’ve seen MercyMe, they’re a worship band and they’ve really made an impact on Christian music. “I can Only Imagine” really catapulted them into Christian music,” Harris said.
“You felt like you left having church. They took you to that level. They’ll put on a good show, but they’re also going to have a time where you worship.”
For college students looking to save money, Harris said KGNZ is selling tickets for $20.
“We’re just trying to make it affordable to the students,” he said.
Randall Ramirez, sales associate in Abilene for Lifeway Christian Stores, is most excited about seeing Audio Adrenaline. Ramirez said he has been a fan of Audio Adrenaline since one of their first CDs, Bloom, came out in 1996.
“I’ve listened to them since their first CD. The message in their songs is very relevant; it doesn’t matter what their age is,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez said Lifeway has already sold about a couple hundred tickets. He said because this is the last time to see Audio Adrenaline, it makes the tour a better opportunity to see them play.
“For Christian music, these are two of the biggest bands right now. For them to come to Abilene I think is a good opportunity for all of us to go watch them.”