LifeLight RESET Tour hits Mitchell
Derek Mount views "Christian" as more of a noun than an adjective.
That's one of the reasons Family Force 5, the band in which Mount plays guitar and sings background vocals, doesn't always fit neatly in the "Christian music" label.
"We are Christians, and that's a huge part of who we are and what we do," Mount said. "We don't sound like most bands that fall in that category. We certainly hope that what we play and write brings people hope and joy and laughter."
Some of their influences include the likes of Rage Against the Machine and Depeche Mode, but Mount noted the group also incorporates many hip-hop elements to their work.
"There's definitely a bounce to our music that we try to keep," he said.
Family Force 5 is one of the faith-based groups that will visit Mitchell today, as part of the LifeLight RESET Tour, which also includes the Building 429 "We Won't Be Shaken" tour. The RESET Tour also includes band Hawk Nelson and speaker Josh Brewer. The show starts at 7 p.m. at Mitchell Wesleyan Church. Pre-show with special guest Lybecker starts at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $10, and $5 of each will go to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Mitchell Area. Tickets are available at www.lifelight.org or through Mitchell Wesleyan Church at 996-8172.
LifeLight is perhaps best known in the region for its free music festival, held annually in Worthing over Labor Day weekend.
Josh Wiley, student ministries pastor at Mitchell Wesleyan, said while parts of the evening are geared for youth -- like the after party with Family Force 5 in the church's youth center -- the concert is for everyone.
"We want anyone in the community who likes this style of music to come and join us," he said.
The church has seating for about 600 to 650 people, Wiley estimated, and said about 500 tickets had been sold by Thursday afternoon -- and he expected strong sales to continue through the time of the concert.
"It's not sold out, but we're really feeling that we're going to have a good turnout," he said.
Building 429 is a Christian rock band, as is Hawk Nelson, while Family Force 5 is an eclectic blend of styles, listing itself as a rock/crunk/punk/pop band.
"I really don't know another band that does what they do," Wiley said, noting he is a fan of the band, as well as the others performing tonight.
Mount, who said Family Force 5 has been touring since 2005, said that blend of styles likely stems from each of the band's five members contributing as a writer.
"We never sat down and said we're going to be this weird conglomeration of things, it just kind of naturally happened," he said.
It makes the group hard to categorize, Mount said -- even as a faith-based group, Family Force 5 isn't always as "overt" in its lyrics as other groups in the Christian music realm. But that approach has given the band a way to play a different role than other bands, he said. He referenced the scriptural "body of Christ" analogy, where church members are called to serve in different capacities.
"We're very comfortable in who this band is, and we personally feel there's been an incredible connection with a ton of people," he said. "We enjoy our role and feel it has been effective and exciting and led to some beautiful relationships."
They're able to express their creativity through their music videos, which Mount described as part of the "heartbeat of this band," which can be seen on YouTube.com/FamilyForce5.
He described the group as a hands-on band, the type that at a music festival is on the lawn with the fans making s'mores and playing with the kids. The group is active on social media -- they have a Family Force 5 Facebook page, as well as a Twitter account, and Mount said the group tries to respond to people personally.
"I just think this band is greasy and dirty and hands-on, and we get our feet wet," he said.
They're excited to visit Mitchell, with Mount noting they strive to put on entertaining, high-energy shows.
"We've been known to be over the top," he said with a chuckle. "We have a lot of fun."