|Dedicated Hard Core Christian Soldier!!
P.O.D. (Payable on Death) is a Christian Hard Music band and I have been listening to their music for about two years now. I was reading some festival reviews in HM Magazine (Heaven's Metal) and I came across a mention of P.O.D. as having a VERY strong live act and being able to perform live off of each other like "jazz musicians". My being involved with a Legendary Jazz Musician in the form of drummer Chico Hamilton, I had to investigate and managed to track down a copy of their then current album called BROWN.
Now to be honest being that I am a little older than their typical audience, their music at first was sometimes too HARD for my tastes, but seemingly I was always drawn back particularly off of that album to "Selah" where they had the BRILLIANT idea of mixing of their usual HEAVY sounds with acoustic guitar interludes which just knocked me out!!
The next album they released at the beginning of 1998 was a live album from a Christian Music Festival and myself being in the business I WAS impressed with the energy of the live album from Tomfest but honestly the sound left me a little cold as I think it was a board recording and was not made originally with the intention of releasing it. In other words P.O.D. sounds better than THAT album does.
Then I heard that P.O.D. had been signed to the mainstream label Atlantic Records and was excited to hear what they would come up with next, but in the meantime I saw the ad for THE WARRIORS EP and the subsequent "Warriors Come Out And Play Tour" I was definitely hooked by the title!! One of those things maybe you cannot understand "Why would I be a Warrior?" but you know IT IS MEANT FOR YOU!!
Firstly I bought the EP, and I thought GOODNESS, this sounds so GREAT and rocks so HARD!! This band was REALLY coming into their own in terms of being a GREAT band in a classic rock and roll sense- the tight rhythm section, the ability to play off of each other, the edginess!!
So in my life at that moment- though my life has been an amazing BLESSING- but for a while my spirit had been stagnant, and if you have ever been there I am sure you know how much that bites!! Real life (mine) is more the BOMB than it has been for quite a while- working with my family's manufacturing business as well as with Chico. And at THAT time everything was good with production, everything was good with MY level of sales, and with Chico our new album coming out, live work is coming in real steadily and not TOO many complaints... except...the SPIRIT in me cries out to be STRONGER!! So I figured I needed to do something, and believe it or not, I had never been to a Christian music concert and I decided I was going to catch as many shows from P.O.D.'s 1999 "Warriors Come Out And Play" tour as possible, with Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Lansing, Ft. Wayne, Indianapolis, Toledo, Akron, Columbus, Nashville, and St. Louis all being within striking distance of where I live. I have actually done something like this before when I saw one of my other music heroes the Modfather Paul Weller in London, New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis on his HEAVY SOUL tour back in '97.
Anyway, my life conspired to make me miss EVERY date until the only one left was St. Louis so I GOT IN MY CAR AND DROVE!! What a powerful show P.O.D. put on that night, and my ONLY real regret was that I did not catch more than the one show, because being involved in the industry you have a REAL strong tendency to be an observer the first time you experience something new like this, and I would have enjoyed to have had the opportunity to get past THINKING about their show and gotten to just FEELING it!! I was for sure the oldest person there with the average age probably being 17 years old, and I had never been to a "younger" show like that with a mosh pit and crowd surfing, the whole nine yards. What a powerful witness, and a wonderful ministry P.O.D. is!! The set contained mostly material from Brown- "Know Me", "Selah", "Breathe Babylon", "Preach", "Full Color", "Draw the Line" from the first album, and a smattering of new songs including (I think) "Hollywood", "Outkast", and "Set Your Eyes To Zion".
By this point I was so looking forward to the new album, because I wanted to hear how P.O.D. were able to luxuriate in a massive sound on a well funded album and THE FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF SOUTHTOWN released in August 99 was the MASSIVE, HARD & ROCKING album I expected it to be!!
As things worked out at the end of that week the new album was released I had a business trip to NYC, and I could not imagine but on my last evening in NYC it turns out that P.O.D. is performing at the Mercury Lounge in an industry showcase for their new label and YOU KNOW I GOT'S TO BE THERE!!!!
They played a short set, just 6 songs all off of the new album- "Southtown", "Hollywood", "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)", "Set Your Eyes To Zion", "Outkast", and "Bullet the Blue Sky". P.O.D. ROCKED MASSIVELY!! In NYC the audiences are quite reserved, you know the "come on and prove it to me" attitude. Many times the only movement people make at a rock concert in NYC is to tilt their head from one side to the other. Plus being an industry crowd I think they REALLY did not know what to expect. So, even being calm little ole me, I was the loosest person at this show, wearing my WARRIORS t-shirt, I went straight up to the stage and stood in front of Marcos the guitar player, threw my hands up in the air and rocked the house!!!! It was so funny, finally the crowd took the cue and came alive!!
At the first show in St. Louis I just stuck around long enough to pay respects to Marcos and Traa the bass player and congratulate them on a rocking show, but this night in NYC since it was so early especially thought what the heck I am going to hang out, so I said hey to Marcos, had a nice but brief convo with Sonny the singer who hugged me when he saw the WARRIORS t-shirt, said respect to Wuvy the drummer, and then had a nice long conversation with Traa again. The most deeply touching thing is how sweet these guys are- I mean playing this MASSIVELY HEAVY music, coming from Southtown San Diego, covered with tattoos and piercings, and they are just the sweetest bunch of guys you could ever imagine meeting!!!! Also, being the second show I have attended I was able to be less of an observer and more of a participant, and my SPIRIT felt refreshed!! MY SPIRIT CRIES OUT THE SAME WAY P.O.D.'S music does!!
I cannot wait for the NO DOUBT Fall tour which will be to come and this time I will MAKE every show possible!! It is required!! I am still stagnant but not as stagnant as I was two months ago, and what can I say but when you are put here to strive HARD and thrive HARD then stagnant just isn't acceptable!! I feel a feeling coming on, and yes I did it for myself with God's help, but P.O.D.'S shows and P.O.D.'s music sure have been a big help there at THAT moment!!
Plus this band, these guys, and this music is so GREAT IT DEMANDS YOUR SUPPORT!! I will be there at every available opportunity to represent for P.O.D.!!
Keep the Faith.
Since I wrote the above I have been BLESSED to be able to make it out to several more P.O.D. shows around the Midwest, so here is my mini-review of each show:
Nashville Nov. 99- A last minute addition to the Fall FEOTS tour at the well-known Nashville music venue called the Exit/Inn. It had been more than 2 months since my last P.O.D. show in NYC over the Summer, and I was READY!! And the band came out BLAZING with that Instrumental opener, and plowed thru a powerful set of material from both the Brown and FEOTS albums plus "Draw the Line" thrown in for good measure. I remember this as being a VERY emotional show for myself, probably the first time seeing P.O.D. where I got past my music industry observer role, and TRULY got with the VIBE!! I hang out afterwards to say "Hey" to Marcos and Wuvy, and have a nice brief fellowship conversation with Sonny.
St. Louis Nov. 99- Just a week or so after the Nashville show once again I was all revved up and ready to go for this show, albeit having been slightly under the weather earlier in the week. When I arrived at the Side Door there was already a line around the corner, and I decided that having been sick I would sit in the car until I saw the line start moving. Little did I know that the part of the line I could see was only about 1/3 of the people waiting to get in for the show. After standing in line for more than an hour I was one of the last people to make it in to this small club, so full of people that you were touching the person in front of you, the person behind you, and the person to each side of you!! P.O.D. hit the stage to a thunderous roar and stormed thru their first number, after which Sonny started speaking to someone at the edge of the stage- I was unable to see who he was talking to because of all the people, even though I was just 4 or 5 rows back from the front of the stage. We could here him asking this person "Are you getting crushed?" The Sonny continued, "Do you want to sit on the stage?" Everybody has gotten kind of quite not knowing exactly what was going on, and then we could see Sonny picking up a young girl and setting her on the stage, and then he leaned back over and picked up her wheelchair and took it to the back of the stage setting it behind Traa's bass rig. And now we all knew what the deal was, and people were shouting, "That's our P.O.D. boys!!" The place went crazy and P.O.D. tore back into their set, with a particularly rousing rendition of "Tribal" by request. This show was the evening before Thanksgiving, and P.O.D. really raised the roof of this little club and we all had some SERIOUS church!! My fourth P.O.D. and my last P.O.D. of 1999!!
Cincinnati Feb. 2000- This show was from the tour with P.O.D. opening for Primus, my first P.O.D. show of 2000, and more than 3 months since my last show at the Side Door in St. Louis, so I was definitely PRIMED!! The band hit the stage POWERFULLY with that instrumental opener and then straight into "Outkast" and then the first time for me hearing them perform "Image" live and it ROCKED!! Two new songs were played, "Ridiculous" and "Don't Play Me Out" which were both VERY cool!! I am now getting to the point where each and every P.O.D. show is reaching deep down into my soul- HARD MUSIC CHURCH FOR SURE!! What a moving, inspirational, and hard rocking band!!
St. Louis March 2000- This show on the tour opening for Sevendust was pretty special, as I has been asked by Dan Sandoval, Sonny's father and Wuvy's uncle to give them a message for him should I speak with them. Once again a slamming show starting off with that instrumental opener and then into mostly material from FEOTS with "Draw the Line" thrown in, and the two new songs again. There was a STRONG showing of Warriors at this show and once again the P.O.D. vibe reached DEEP into my soul, VERY stirring and VERY inspirational!! Afterwards I hung out and talked to a couple of people from the P.O.D. website forums, Ryan from Springfield and StlWarrior which was nice. After quite a while Sonny and Wuvy emerged from their bus, and I gave greetings of "Aloha" from Dan to Wuvy, and the same to Sonny and told him that his father had asked me to tell him he missed him!! Such warm and genuine down to earth guys always greeting those they recognize with hugs!! This band is such a LOVE thing, and a tonic for a world in which there is not enough LOVE!! A WONDERFUL ministry they have!! Warriors Worldwide!!
Now I find myself in the middle of May looking forward to catching several Midwestern shows on the MTV Return of the Rock tour, TOTALLY PSYCHED!! My life being more feelings than thoughts, I am strong in the VIBE which this band inspires in me, and I will continue to SUPPORT them and catch as many live shows as I can for the foreseeable future. Like I said above, a band this GREAT, and a ministry this WONDERFUL, demands to be supported. I will keep doing HARD MUSIC CHURCH with this band knowing that the deeper and deeper I go into this vibe, the further I continue my walk down this path, the FEELINGS will strengthen until they become the THOUGHTS the Lord intended to place upon my mind by bringing this GREAT band into my life!! So if you EVER have the opportunity, Catch the Vibe, come along for the RIDE, and learn what is up with this TRIBE!! It's all about LOVE, and this band gives it up EVERY NIGHT!!
In the meantime, I am ROCKING HARDCORE to the newly re-mastered and reissued P.O.D. first album "Snuff the Punk"!!
The journey continues...
Keep the Faith.
Well, six months has gone by since I last updated this page, and events have conspired to keep me away from several P.O.D. shows in my area. THANK GOD I did make it to two shows, and my P.O.D. experience continues to deepen. Every show for me now is HARD MUSIC CHURCH!! Truly*indeed and truly!!
Indianapolis June 2000- Having had to miss the previous weeks show in St. Louis due to the sudden death of my artist's son, I was THANKFUL for the opportunity to catch this show, my first time seeing P.O.D. in Indianapolis (and now the 5th different city I have seen them in!!). I was REALLY primed for this show too!! Only six months into a year which will be filled with highlights and low points of unimaginable contrasts, in addition to more than 20 trips for me. June in particular has no less than 5 trips in it!! So I am ready for some serious HARD MUSIC CHURCH, and P.O.D. reaches deep down inside me during this show and fans the flames!! Opening with "Outkast", the band rips thru a set that includes all the familiar favorites, plus the two new songs "Ridiculous" and "Don't Play Me Out", as well as the "Punk's Rock" from BROWN!! Good time hanging out afterwards talking with Wuv, brief convos with Traa and Marcos, and a nice long chat with Sonny about the upcoming Summer shows on Ozzfest. Also met another few folks from online which is wonderful!! I come out of this show feeling my soul refreshed and ready to take on the world again for a while!!
St. Louis Nov. 2000- Which is a good thing, because the second half of my year is even BUSIER than the first half of my year was!! And a PRETTY AMAZING year it has been as well for P.O.D., with the recent appearance on the "Tonight Show", topping of things like a GREAT run for "Southtown" on MTV, and Sonny having appeared on "Politically Correct" (this appearance making the first time I have ever watched this show!! Haha*).
I had intended to catch the October shows in Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, but ended up being ill during this period, on top of being exhausted, so I had to wait it out until this show in St. Louis, strangely enough 1 year to the day from last years November show in St. Louis. Once again, I am PRIMED for this show, kind of a reward to myself for having lived thru this year, and managed to drag positively out of negativity time and time again. It is a kind of personal irony that this tour is titled "Kings of the Game"!! Once again I am ready for some serious HARD MUSIC CHURCH, and this band reaches deep down inside me during this show and fans the flames!! As always I am off to one side of the pit on Marcos' side of the stage, and throughout this show I feel the spirit moving deep within me, to the core. I feel anger, doubt and frustration stripped away. I feel refreshed and renewed and reminded of all the MANY blessings the Lord has poured out upon my life!! Once again my cup overflows!! The band hits hard with "Outkast" and Sonny plunging into the crowd and literally hanging from the rafters. From there through a blazing set which includes "Lie Down", "School of Hard Knocks", "Draw the Line" (which I, YES I, get to sing one line of "Brothers and sisters', how's that for MAD CRAZY!!), praise worship with "Set Your Eyes to Zion", "Hollywood", "Southtown", my first time hearing "Freestyle" live, "Tribal", "Punk's Rock", and "Rock the Party". Somewhere near the beginning of the show in between songs there is something playing over the P.A. from a film I think, and after a while a voice can be made out saying "Jesus Christ can change your life" and we in the crowd pick up this chant. HEAVY, HEAVY, HEAVY!! After P.O.D. leaves the stage, a P.O.D chant goes up which slowly turns into a "Selah" chant. After a few minutes Marcos comes back out and starts playing the intro to "Selah" and the place goes crazy!! Up last is an intense "Bullet the Blue Skies", at the end of which just before P.O.D. exits the stage I can swear I see Marcos look straight at me and say "AMEN"!! Ya think?? I don't know actually, but I can tell you that is exactly how I felt!!
Special props also go out to Project 86 who were one of the opening bands on this tour, and who threw down a blazing show drawing exclusively upon material from their most recent release on Atlantic "Drawing Black Lines".
P.O.D. continues to inspire and amaze me with their musicality, dedication and sincerity!! As I was exiting the club, and older lady (well you know, my age) approached me and said "Hey, I am not the only one older than 21 here tonight?" Speaking briefly I did cast some dispersion upon her assumption that I was older than 21, but finally relented and we both commented on what a wonderful show P.O.D. had put on!! As it was raining rather heavily, I decided the better part of valor this evening was not to try to hang out to chat with the guys, but to head back to my hotel. More than ever now, I would like to see this band perform several nights in a row, maybe 4 or 5 nights would be remarkable!! As I spend this time over the Holiday Season reflecting upon my year, and planning for my next, I think this will have to be one of my goals for next year!!
Until next time, remember, I have said it before and I will say it again- a band this GREAT, and a ministry this WONDERFUL, DEMANDS to be supported. Catch the Vibe, come along for the RIDE, and learn what is up with this TRIBE!! It's all about LOVE, and this band gives it up EVERY NIGHT!!
Keep the Faith.
Well, it's been a WAY TOO LONG P.O.D. break for me, not having been
able to catch up with them live since the end of 2000!! Each and every
time that they were hitting somewhat close by on the "Satellite" tour in
2002, I was busy working with my artist on our own live shows. The
first opportunity of 2004 to catch up with the boys was when they played
Nashville with Linkin Park at the end of February, but the press of the
workload at my family business prevented me from making it down, and
though I had purchased tickets for the St. Louis show the week before
this show in Pittsburgh, as it turned out I had only the day before returned
from NYC working with my artist. So I was FIRED UP to be out on the
road traveling to catch up with the P.O.D. crew in Pittsburgh and Columbus!!
I was definitively READY TO ROCK!!
And I was in dire need of some HARD MUSIC WORSHIP, having been
pouring myself out into my work with my artist (who had recently come
back from the most serious type of open heart surgery and was back on
stage in less than 10 months, a virtual miracle for a man 80 years old) as
well as my family business where business has been BOOMING so much
since the beginning of 2004 that my typical work week day has been 11
or 12 hours each and every day and my putting in another 10 to 12 hours
over the weekends just trying to stay caught up!!
So, I was up and at it at 4:30 AM the day of the show getting myself together
and to the airport for the flight to Pittsburgh. On the flight I finally had the chance
to break in my Rio Karma MP3 player BLAZING thru both the new "Payable
on Death" album and Blindside's new "About a Burning Fire" album. I had
first seen Blindside opening up for P.O.D. at my VERY FIRST P.O.D. show
at the Mid-Rivers Baptist Chapel in St. Louis in 1999, and last caught up
with them in NYC doing a double bill with Project 86 at the Bowery Ballroom
in 2002 and I'd REALLY grown to LOVE both their "Silence" and "About a
Burning Fire" albums!!
By early afternoon I was settled into my hotel which was in the same complex
as the venue for tonight's show, had a little nap and then was off to the venue
late afternoon for the Blindside & P.O.D. Meet & Greet. I LOVE watching the
kids at events like this, they are always SO reserved and shy, but then they
start interacting with the guys and open up. First was a short Q & A session
and then we line up to walk past the tables and get autographs and whatnot.
P.O.D. was at the head of the table, and this was my first time meeting Jason,
told him he sounded GREAT on the album and asked him if he was having
fun so far, then Wuvy was next and he immediately noticed the t-shirt I was
wearing, which was one I picked up at my VERY first P.O.D. show!! You old
schoolers will know the one says "Warriors" on the front!! Told Wuvy that his
playing ALWAYS sounded AWESOME and that I was proud of them, and next
up was Traa and then Sonny who also took note of my Warriors tee saying "That's
an old school shirt dude" and giving me a hug!! I also told Sonny how proud I was
of them, then moved on to the Blindside boys telling each of them how much I like
the new album.
Back to my hotel to grab a bite to eat, and then back to the venue...the crowd
was pretty hyped up by the time Blindside hit the stage with a POWERFUL
show, opening with "Eye of the Storm" from the new album and then straight
into "Pitiful" from the last album!! The rest of their set included "Follow You Down",
a POWERFUL "Caught a Glimpse", the recent single "All of Us", "Shekina", into
a RAWKIN' "Sleepwalking", and a RAWKIN' "Cute Boring Love", then "Swallow",
and closing out their set with the AWESOME album closer "About a Burning Fire"!!
Christian mentioned that Blindside would be undertaking a headlining tour over
the Summer so I will look forward to catching a couple of shows from that, by this
band which keeps growing and getting BETTER & BETTER!!
Just a few more minutes for P.O.D. to take the stage, and I am READY deep down
into my soul- READY for some HARD MUSIC WORSHIP!! The band hits the stage
one by one, opening with an instrumental song, and then HITS it HARD straight into
"Boom"!! WOW, straight off of the bat it's clear that P.O.D. has continued to grow,
hasn't missed a beat with the new guitarist, and is EVEN MORE than before a moving,
inspirational, and hard rocking band!! WOW!! Next up is the perfect "Will You" from
the new album, and it SLAMS!! My soul is stirring at this point, and things become
emotional, and I am transported away on the P.O.D. magic carpet ride!! I also have
to say, as loud as these two bands play, Blindside & P.O.D., it is SO CRAZY how
loud the audience is singing the words!! Even standing close to the stage as I was
for both bands, getting hit by the stage sound AND the PA sound, I can hear the
crowd singing ALL the words to EACH and EVERY song!! The band goes from "Set
It Off" from the last album into "Wildfire" from the new album, into "Satellite", then into
the GREAT "Sleeping Awake", "Freedom Fighters", "Without Jah, Nothing" segueing
into "Execute the Sounds", and the pit REALLY gets going as the band tears into
"Lie Down"!! Sonny is out in the crowd as usual, letting us sing on the mic, even in
spite of his recent rib injury!! Next up is "Revolution" from the new album, "Space",
and then again the pit goes CRAZY as the band tears into "Southtown"!! It's COOL
the way Jason doesn't just copy the way Marcos played the older songs, but he
does them in his own way. On "Youth of the Nation" Sonny literally just throws the
mic into the audience for the choruses, into the POWERFUL "Waiting on Today"
from the new album, and then closing off the set with "Alive". P.O.D. comes
back for an encore which includes the RAWKIN' "Asthma" from the new album, and
the I am SO HAPPY that they close out this show with MY FAVE RAVE from the
"Satellite" album, "The Messenjah" which is RAWKIN' RAWKIN' RAWKIN'!! The
boys exit the stage, but Sonny comes back and kneels at the foot of the stage and
we lay hands on him, HEAVY!!
Also HEAVY, and impressive, is the way P.O.D. melds together material from three
diverse albums in a seamless seemingly effortless projection of THAT P.O.D. sound
which has maintained an AMAZING energy even now after more than 10 years of
playing out!! HEAVY BEAUTIFUL!! P.O.D. has REALLY coming into their own in
terms of being a GREAT band in a classic rock and roll sense- the tight rhythm
section, the ability to play off of each other, the edginess!! Done all of that and then
upped it a few notches, this band is such an AWESOME inspiration!!
As I leave the venue this evening, I am drained, drenched, and while REALLY
dreading being up at 6 AM in the morning for the flight to Columbus to catch up
with Blindside & P.O.D. again, I am PSYCHED to be catching them two nights
in a row!! I wish I could take a whole week off sometime and do some HARD
MUSIC WORSHIP four or five nights in a row!! Unfortunately, it's not to be this
time around, with the Columbus show being cancelled due to Sonny's injury to
his ribs, and the two band's buses are actually leaving out for the show the next
night in Atlanta just as I am walking up to the Columbus venue!!
But I will catch up with the boys again on this tour, maybe in Cinci, definitely in
Indy, and as I ALWAYS say- a band this GREAT, with a message this AWESOME,
DEMANDS to be supported. So catch the VIBE, come along for the RIDE, and learn
what is up with this TRIBE!! It's all about LOVE, and this band gives it up EACH &
Keep the Faith.
I had to bail out of going to the Bogarts show in Cinci a few days before this show in Indy, so I was pretty psyched for this one!! I was late getting out on the road that morning, so I couldn't make it in time for the Meet & Greet, but arrived at The Murat shortly after the doors opened. I had seen P.O.D. here back in 2000, and remembered this place fondly, but I was struck by a kind of coldness when I walked into the room this time. There was even a HUGE spacing between the stage and the audience, so much so that Sonny couldn't even jump across to the rail!! The audience itself was rather dull as well, and the first two bands really had trouble making a connection. Finally Blindside hit the stage with another POWERFUL show!! For myself, as soon as I heard "I think I've stayed for the last time, GOODBYE", I was a goner!! The boys put out a tremendous amount of energy with this listless crowd, and they lifted me right up and my spirit was just floating all night long until the last note from P.O.D.!! It was another RAWKIN' set from Blindside, basically the same set list played my last show it Pittsburgh, and I REALLY am getting into all the new material!! I hope to be able to catch a couple of shows from the headlining tour end of this Summer, maybe St. Louis and NYC, and I CANNOT wait to catch another set from by band which keeps growing and getting BETTER & BETTER!!
One funny thing is a young girl beside me is heartbroken because she is unable to snatch some of Simon's guitar picks when the roadie throws them out into the crowd, and as we are waiting for the stage to be switched over for P.O.D., I look down and notice two of Simon's picks at my feet. So I pick them up and give the young girl one (she freaks, LOL!!) and tuck one into my pocket for myself!! Before long P.O.D. takes to the stage, and I am READY deep down into my soul for the second time in two weeks- READY for some HARD MUSIC WORSHIP! Like Blindside, P.O.D. puts out a tremendous amount of energy tonight, and as in Pittsburgh the boys hit the stage one by one, opening with an instrumental song, and then HIT it HARD straight into "Boom" followed by a RAWKIN' SLAMMIN' "Will You" from the new album!! I think in a way, the band fighting a listless crowd, the large gulf between them and the audience, a cold venue, and not that great sound tonight, actually made them a HARDER RAWKIN' band!! And since I was right up front I was just getting carried away from the AWESOME vibes coming off of that stage, as P.O.D. went into "Set It Off" from the last album into "Wildfire" from the new album, into "Satellite". I loved the single but have to say that "Sleeping Awake" is one of my FAVE RAVE P.O.D. live tunes!! Up next is "Freedom Fighters", "Without Jah, Nothing" segueing into "Execute the
Sounds", and then FINALLY the pit REALLY gets going as the band ROARS thru "Lie Down"!! Next up is "Revolution", "Space", and then again the pit goes CRAZY as the band tears into "Southtown"!! For me one of the HIGHLIGHTS of this evening is when Sonny asks for young kids to come up on stage and help out with "Youth of the Nation". All of them had the typical bashful kid reaction to being on stage, except for this one kid who was only AT MOST 5 years old!! He's singing into the mic when Sonny passes it by him for the choruses, but this kid grabs ahold and won't let go, and when Sonny's singing the verses you just watch because this kid knows all the words and is mouthing them all and signifying, and he's just AWESOME!! Finally Sonny just hands this kid the mic and then lifts him up on his shoulders while he closes out this P.O.D. ANTHEM!! I will tell you this, THAT little kid was RAWKIN'!! The boys close out the show with a POWERFUL "Waiting on Today" from the new album, and then closing off the set with "Alive" which is RAWKIN' SO HARD that even the security guys are singing along. Once the band is gone this night, they are gone, no encore.
So my little run of HARD MUSIC CHURCH of the past two weeks comes to a close, my spirit feels enriched, elevated, quieted, and peaceful!! I am READY for the challenges yet to come!!
And I am also ready to catch up with Blindside again over the Summer, and hopefully P.O.D.
again in the VERY near future, it's all about LOVE, and this band gives it up EACH & EVERY
Keep the Faith.
Chicago & Phoenix 2008
It’s been four years since I’d last caught up with P.O.D. live. Even writing that fact now, I can hardly believe it. In this period of time I have been able to catch up with Project 86 in October 2004 @ the Wonderland Ballroom in Elgin, IL, and three times with Blindside, in August 2004 @ CBGB’s in NYC, in August 2005 @ Rocketown in Nashville and in October 2007 again Rocketown in Nashville. So I was pretty psyched at the news that P.O.D. would be previewing material from their forthcoming album, "When Angels and Serpents Dance," during a tour of Hard Rock Cafe venues to benefit the “Musicians on Call” charity. And in an amazing turn of fortune, the shows in Chicago and Phoenix coincided with a business trip I had planned. I had downloaded the songs “When Angels & Serpents Dance” and “Addicted” and was really looking forward to a full dose of P.O.D., and now with Marcos back in the band!! I am REALLY READY to be deep down into my soul TWO TIMES in the same week catching up with P.O.D.- READY for some HARD MUSIC WORSHIP! Both shows were AMAZING. The Chicago show had perhaps a slightly less conducive atmosphere, being that the pit and crowd surfing were BANNED, and the crowd was kept a little away from the stage and more spread out. The Phoenix Hard Rock café is fairly small, and the intimacy and a nice pit going added to the overall energy. Between the two shows, what a BLAST to hear SO MUCH material from the new album: “Addicted”, “Shine With Me’, “Condescending”, “Kaliforn-Eye-A”, “When Angels & Serpents Dance”, and maybe a few others I cannot remember. And of course, all of the older GREAT P.O.D. songs: “Southtown”, “Set It Off”, “Boom”, “Youth of the Nation”, “Alive”, “Without Jah, Nothing”, “Lights Out”, and an encore each evening of “Bullet The Blue Sky”.
So, after four years I get in two doses of HARD MUSIC CHURCH in one week, and my spirit feels enriched, elevated, quieted, and peaceful!! Once again, I am READY for the challenges yet to come!! And challenges they do come, since these early Spring shows, because of work obligations I’ve had to pass on catching P.O.D. live again twice in the past two weeks- at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville, and the Du Quoin, Illinois State Fair. Hopefully, they will be doing a headlining club tour come this fall, and I look forward to catching up with the MIGHTY P.O.D. again in the VERY near future. It's all about LOVE, and this band gives it up EACH & EVERY NIGHT!!
Keep the Faith.
Nashville May 2012
Well, four years has gone by since I last updated this page, it hard to believe that I have gone SO long without catching up with the Southtown crew. The shows I have noticed have been far away, and with the demands of my work especially since 2009, the only way I could make it work to catch up with the MIGHTY P.O.D. is if I was traveling someplace on business where they were doing a show. It didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen, and it didn’t happen. I was SO HAPPY when the news started to percolate about the new album, MURDERED LOVE, and STOKED beyond belief @ the news that P.O.D. was coming back to Nashville to do a show @ Cannery Row. THANK GOD!! As mentioned previously in this blog (I didn’t even know that’s what this was called when I started it!!), every P.O.D. show for me is HARD MUSIC CHURCH, and I am primed for the SPIRIT to reach deep down inside of me during this show and fans the flames!!
Started getting into the mood with the opening acts Icon For Hire & Brian "Head" Welch, and then the coheadliner RED, and we were all revved up and ready to go by the time P.O.D. hit the stage RAWKIN’ straight into "Boom" which sent the crowd into a frenzy. As always I am off to one side of the pit on Marcos' side of the stage, and throughout this show I feel the spirit moving deep within me, to the core. At least 5 new songs are played this evening, and I think I have them right though @ the time of this show, the new album hadn’t dropped yet so I had to try to remember these songs later on. But I believe first up was the SCORTCHING title track "Murdered Love", then into a couple of fave raves from SATELLITE, the frenetic "Set It Of" (scream @ the top of your lungs, RISE, LET YOUR SPIRIT FLY!!) and "Without Jah, Nothing". Then two MONSTER tracks from the new album, "Eyez" and "Babylon the Murderer", the latter of which I could have sworn Marcos introduced as their "rockabilly" tune!! Then into "Roots in Stereo", "Youth of the Nation", and throwing it down with "Southtown". Sonny is out in the crowd like the good ole days, we get hand slaps and to sing into the microphone and to hold him up in the air while he’s singing, and that old feeling is starting to well up in me just like I knew it would. We are encouraged to "drink as much from my cup as you require" in "On Fire", and then into a RAWKIN’ "Panic & Run", and the future single "Lost in Forever". Closing out the set is a revelatory version "Alive" followed by the Sublime cover "What I Got".
I almost always try to wear my Warriors come out and play T-shirt to these shows, purchased @ my very first P.O.D. show @ the Four Rivers Baptist Chapel in St. Louis, MO 13 years ago!! And invariably one of the band members takes note, at the end of this show Sonny jumped into the crowd slapped my hand and hugged me before turning to talk to some of his crew in the crowd that evening. AMAZING!! 13 years down the line, and this band is still RAWKIN’ HARD, putting on an AWESOME live show, and I have said it before and I will say it again- a band this GREAT, and a ministry this WONDERFUL, DEMANDS to be supported. Catch the Vibe, come along for the RIDE, and learn what is up with this TRIBE!! It's all about LOVE, and this band gives it up EVERY NIGHT!! And now we are the WHOSEOEVERS, and I find that I’ve come back into the P.O.D. house and my spirit’s been SET ON FIRE!! A month later MURDERED LOVE in all of it’s hard music GLORY, BLOWS my mind!!
Jeffrey Andrew Caddick
Shreveport May 2013
As INSPIRING as the Nashville show was, and as STOKED as I was by the new album MURDERED LOVE, most of the live dates P.O.D. has played over the past year have been opening for other acts, and I was biding my time for some headlining shows. Finally, I noticed this show in Shreveport The Warehouse and two days later another show in San Antonio, and fortune was smiling on me because I had been planning a business trip that had me in the same area, so I simply planned my trip around being able to make this two shows!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!
This Shreveport show was pretty special too, GREAT small venue, small stage, very intimate with only a railing between the band and the crowd. The only downside was that in Arkansas apparently you can still smoke in clubs, ARGH!! Opening acts Rise to Shine and Aranda warm up the crowd, and by the time P.O.D. hits the stage we are all revved up and ready to go. The familiar instrumental opener and then straight into the single "Lost in Forever", POWERFUL POWERFUL POWERFUL stuff!! Next into the SATELLITE claassics "Boom" and "Set It Off" (have I mentioned screaming @ the top of your lungs, RISE, LET YOUR SPIRIT FLY!!). Then into three HARD RAWKIN’ tunes from the new album, "Eyez", Murdered Love" & "Babylon the Murderer". At some point Sonny is standing in front of me and slaps my hand then he goes down on one knee and first bumps me on my chest in recognition of my Warriors come out and play t-shirt from my very first P.O.D. show in 1999!! Now 14 years ago almost this month, CRAZY!! Then into "Roots in Stereo" from TESTIFY, then old school into "Southtown", "Youth of the Nation" with the mircophone handed off to the crowd, and then into "Strength of My Life" which segues into "Panic & Run". Then into "Higher", and then things are slowed down with some awesome testimony from Sonny and then the new single "Beautiful", which is all beautiful hard music all wrapped up into one!! I am feeling it down deep @ this point, and the tears are welling up into my eyes, LET YOUR SPIRIT FLY!! Sonny dedicated the next song to the beautiful weather than day, "West Cost Rock Steady", and then closing out the set are a ROUSING "Satellite" and "Alive" with the "What I Got" by Sumblime tag. Somewhere in the set was "On Fire", and I tell you this track sums it all up for me what this band is all about, ‘Come into my house and I’ll set you spirit on fire, drink from my cup as much as you require!" GREAT band, GREAT crowd, GREAT venue, memorable evening reconnecting with the P.O.D. crew. We are the WHOSEOEVERS!! I'd LOVED to have hung out after the show, but duty called early the next morning so I headed back to my room.
San Antonio May 2013
I wish I could catch up with this band on stage live every night for a week, but I’ve never been able to make that happen. But 14 years in I am SO THANKFUL to be able to catch up with the MIGHTY P.O.D. twice in one week in the course of a business trip for my family business. After a GREAT night in Shreveport, tonight’s show is has a different vibe but still the boys put on a POWERFUL show. Backstage LIVE sounds like an intimate venue, but in fact it’s cavernous, with a large separation of probably 5’-6’ between the stage and the crowd. AND some team called the Spurs were playing down the street in the NBA conference finals. But I was on a mission this week, to get back that LOVING feeling, so thru two warm up acts and we are PRIMED and READY TO ROLL!! Very similar set to two nights earlier, the instrumental opener into the single "Lost in Forever", and then into "Boom" and "Set It Off" (screaming @ the top of your lungs, RISE, LET YOUR SPIRIT FLY!!)., three POWERFUL new songs "Eyez", "Murdered Love" (REMEMBER ME WHEN YOU STEP INTO YOUR GLORY) and "Babylon the Murder". As the boys kick into "Roots in Stereo", "Southtown" "Youth of the Nation" , "Strength of My Life" and segue into "Panic & Run", I am struck by the AMAZING continuity of these songs which come from albums which span over 14 years now!! SIMPLY AMAZING!! Next up is "Higher", and then things are slowed down with a brief testimony from Sonny about a broken, hurting and dying world and then the new single "Beautiful", which I will say again is all beautiful hard music all wrapped up into one AMAZING vibe!! No "West Cost Rock Steady" for us tonight, but the mind blowing set closers "Satellite", "Alive" and "What I Got". Same as two nights ago in Shreveport, somewhere in the set was "On Fire", ‘Come into my house and I’ll set you spirit on fire, drink from my cup as much as you require!" GOD AS MY WITNESS, after two nights of HARD MUSIC CHURCH this week with the MIGHTY P.O.D. I feel just a little less thirsty in one way, but FOCUSED & RENEWED in so many other ways as P.O.D. continues to inspire and amaze me with their musicality, dedication and sincerity!! We are, we are…the WHOSEOEVERS!! Ha!! Had you going on that one. Proably the first P.O.D. show I have ever been to where Sonny wasn't out in the audience doing his thing, but @ there was a moment of recognition when Sonny was pointing @ me and I realized he had seen my Warriors come out and play t-shirt from my very first show in 1999!! I wanted to hang out afterwards, but with having to work early the next morning I headed back to my room. I know the band is off for Europe over the summer, but I am surely hoping deep down in my soul that sometime this fall I will be able to catch up with this AWESOME band again!!
Jeffrey Andrew Caddick
New York City July 2013
Well, back in May of 2012 I’d gone four years without catching up with the Southtown Crew, and now a little more than a year later I’ve managed to catch four shows. After catching up with the Southtown crew for two shows back in May, it really started to weigh upon my mind how the demands of my work (which I LOVE!!) has distanced me a bit from my deeply felt passion for music. Times like this demand only one course of action, start listing to the post summer of 65 recordings of John Coltrane. Truly documents of a soul yearning, searching, imploring, beseeching & seeking. "Transition", "Living Space", the European live recordings from August of 65 including "Love Supreme Live @ Antibes", "Om", "Kulu Se Mama", "Sunship", "First Meditations", "Live in Seattle", "Live @ The Village Vanguard Again", "Live in Japan", "The Olatunji Concert", "Stellar" Regions", "Interstellar Space", "Expressions". While traveling in my car, at work, at the house. And then God smiles, and I plan my first "vacation" since 1987, to catch 7 live shows in 8 days, starting with the MIGHTY Payable on Death @ the Highline Ballroom in NYC. The Highline Ballroom is a GREAT venue, and I was COMPLETELY STOKED to be catching up with P.O.D. again in NYC, 13 years after seeing them for the first time in NYC doing a showcase @ the Mercury Lounge in support of their major label debut "The Fundamental Elements of Southtown". Nice sets from two openings bands, and then a GREAT set from Flyleaf, and we are PRIMED and READY TO ROLL!! P.O.D. hits the stage with a fiery ferocity opening up with "Boom" followed by "Murdered Love" ("REMEMBER ME WHEN YOU STEP INTO YOUR GLORY"!!!!) , and the NYC crowd responds like an old school crowd, getting a pit going and crowd surfing. Next up is the powerful "Lost in Forever" into the classic "Set It Off" (screaming @ the top of your lungs, "RISE, LET YOUR SPIRIT FLY"!!), into "Panic & Run" into an intense "Eyez". Then "Roots in Stereo" into "Young of the Nation" which features cameos from Sonny’s two sons. Tonight’s guest feature is the GREAT JR of the Bad Brains reprising his vocals on "Without Jah, Nothing". The intensity goes back up with "Babylon the Murderer" and "On Fire" ("Come into my house and I’ll set your spirit on fire, drink from my cup as much as you require!"). A brief testimony from Sonny about a broken, hurting and dying world and then the new single "Beautiful", which I will say again and again and again is all beautiful hard music all wrapped up into one AMAZING vibe!! Things get intense and frenzied again with "Southtown" into "Alive", and the show is closed out with "Strength of My Life" and a POWERHOUSE "Satellite". Somewhere in the set is "West Cost Rock Steady", renamed "East Coast Rock Steady" in honor of this NYC show. For the first time in many years I hung out after the show for a bit, having a brief chat with Traa, and then having a brief chat with Sonny. I tell him what a GREAT show it was, and Sonny says "I saw the T-shirt" in recognition of my "Warriors Come Out & Play" T-shirt from my very first P.O.D. show @ the Four Rivers Baptist Chapel in the St. Louis area back in 1999. I replied "It’s from 14 years ago, can you imagine that??" Gave him a hug and reminded him of "how much we love them", and then was on my way back to my hotel to turn in. What a BLESSING being able to come back into the P.O.D. house and reconnect with this band four times in a little over a year, and three times already in 2013 and have my spirit be SET ON FIRE!! Hopefully I can keep the energy up and catch some more shows this Fall, because the HARD MUSIC CHURCH is good for my SOUL, and helps me to be FOCUSED & RENEWED. Make no mistake about it, we are, we are, the WHOSOEVERS!!
After returning to my room one evening during my live music "vacation", as usual before turning in I read from "Forward Day By Day", mistakenly reading the wrong reading for that day. But check it out. It was talking about mental health, "The Israelites did not know about synapses and serotonin, did not that that much of mental illness can have a physical cause, but they did know that the best thing to do for Saul was bring him a gifted musician. They knew that music had power. Music can bring relief and it can heal".
Jeffrey Andrew Caddick
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