We are several days into May, but it's never too late for a currently post, right? Here's what's been up lately and then a few favorites I'm loving right now.
If you know me, this is of no surprise to you. NEEDTOBREATHE is my favorite band. I frequently joked that if I could follow them around forever, I totally would. Well, this year, I did that in my own way.
For the past couple of years, I have missed these guys when they have gone on the road. Due to different reasons, it always seemed that whatever show I was planning on going to, something would happen and I ended up not being able to make it. Instead, I would cling to the memories of the times that I had seen them and stalk the social media of all my friends who were lucky to be in attendance. And of course, listen to album after album non-stop.
This year, they went on their ALL THE FEELS TOUR. Which was three different legs: Under the Stars, Electric, and (for the first time ever) Acoustic. I knew I had to be at every leg to make up for the lost years of not seeing a show. I've never splurged so much on myself and had a slight panic attack the moment I paid for all those tickets. But, the day of fan pre-sale, I did it. Two tickets for each leg of the tour. (All I can say is thank you for tax refund and a paycheck in the same week!) I got tickets to the first show in Memphis, a show in my town, Mobile, and the last show of the tour, Nashville. Each was incredible and better than the one before it. Each literally gave me all the feels. I'm not sure how they will top it, but I'm sure they will probably find a way. Here are some of my favorite photos and moments from each show.
Leg 1, Under the Stars | Memphis, Tennessee at Mud Island
To have Memphis be their first stop on the tour was awesome for me, because it's where I'm from. My sister joined me for this show at an awesome venue on the Mississippi River. Also fun, because our parents used to see shows here all the time! Outdoor venues are always some of my favorites. Put that venue also on a river, in my hometown, I can't not love it. Gavin Degraw was set to be with them on this leg of the tour, but ended up having to cancel a part of his tour. This would be redeemed before the tour actually finished though, stay tuned for how that happened (or just scroll if you can't wait). The New Respects and The Lone Bellow stepped in as openers and in November, I went to Birmingham to be front row for The Lone Bellow. Also an incredible show.
Leg 2, Electric | Mobile, Alabama at The Saenger Theater
I was so excited to see this show on the list of places they would be touring! They haven't been to Mobile on a major tour ever, so to be coming to the place I now call home and literally ten minutes from my house, I wasn't going to miss it. This was also my first show to see at the Saenger here. It is such a beautiful place and I hope we hosted them well enough that they come back to see us here.
Leg 3, Acoustic | Nashville, Tennessee at The Ryman Auditorium
Ever since first learning about NEEDTOBREATHE back in college, they have been my favorite band in all the land. Their music is incredible, they put on fantastic shows, and they aren't afraid to be real. And ever since I fell in love with them back in my sophomore year of college, I have been (not so) patiently waiting for two things.
Honestly, my favorite part of any of their shows is their closing moment. When they come back out to take the stage, get as close to the crowd as they possibly can, and do an acoustic number. I remember them doing it back at the first show I saw and standing on top of chairs to get a better view. For me, it's literally the best moment of the night. Except when I realize that it also means the show is over and I have to wait again to see them.
An acoustic album from NTB is my dream. But, they just released their first live album, recorded at The Woods at Fontanel in Nashville. And now I have 100 minutes of live NEEDTOBREATHE to listen to. And it is magical. A mixture of old and new songs, with some dialogue thrown in about how the band hit a wall there for a little bit. They weren't sure what was going to happen or if anything was going to happen.
Well, I'm sure glad it did. I'm glad those rivers appeared in the wasteland and I'm glad this new live album is out. Tears of happiness I tell ya.
I can only imagine what my emotions are going to be when/if an acoustic album comes out.
Check out more from NEEDTOBREATHE here and on YouTube to hear more from the Live album.
Who is your favorite band?
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It's no surprise around here that I love music. I'm a firm believer that music can get you through a lot, there is a song for every situation, and it can instantly transform your mood.
For the past week, I've been listening to the album Campfire by Rend Collective on repeat. This is seriously one of the best worship albums I've heard in the past couple of years. Every song is fun and upbeat. Seeing as I'm on my way out to another youth even this weekend, I wanted to leave you guys with something fun for the weekend! So, take a listen to my favorite song off the album Campfire. It's a fun, new update to the classic hymn, Be Thou My Vision. Enjoy! :)
You Are My Vision -- Rend Collective, Campfire
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I learned about the 52 Lists Project at the beginning of this year. Just like the creator, Moorea Seal, I am a fan of lists. I've been known to write something on my to-do list that I've already completed, just to draw that sweet line through it. So, what is the 52 Lists Project? Every week, there is a prompt with a different set of things to list. Look for my list each week!
I absolutely LOVED doing this list. I am such a huge fan of music. I'm a firm believer that music can help to heal the soul and get you through any situation.
Season One -- All Sons & Daughters
The Carpenter -- Avett Brothers
Live at Eddie's Attic -- The Civil Wars
The Civil Wars -- The Civil Wars
K is for Karaoke -- Relient K
The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek -- Relient K
Mmhmm -- Relient K
Sweeter -- Gavin Degraw
Scars & Stories -- The Fray
Zion -- Hillsong United
Night Visions -- Imagine Dragons
Where I Find You -- Kari Jobe
Stronger -- Kelly Clarkson
Mountains Move -- Kristian Stanfill
The Lumineers -- The Lumineers
Babel -- Mumford & Sons
The World From The Side of The Moon -- Phillip Phillips
Red -- Taylor Swift
Metal & Wood -- Tyrone Wells
Live at the Banks House -- Will Reagan and United Pursuit
The Fourth Wall -- The Vespers
Campfire -- Rend Collective Experiment
Life Let Go -- SafetySuit
The Outsiders -- Needtobreathe
Daylight -- Needtobreathe
The Reckoning -- Needtobreathe
20/20 Experience -- Justin Timberlake
To see more of what I've been listening to:
There are tons of other albums that I could add to this list.
What are your favorite albums of all time?
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Warning: This might come off as a serious fangirl post, but that's okay.
I truly love this band like no other and I want everyone to know them.
Psst. All opinions are my own.
There is just something about music. It can touch the soul in a way that nothing else can. It can get you through breakups, late night cram sessions, fights with your best friend, or moves all the way across the country (aka long flights).
There are lyrics that hit you all the way to the core. That resonate so deeply and just stay with you.
When you come across a band like that, the only natural thing to want to do is pack up all your things and just follow them around the world forever. I'm serious.
What we can sometimes forget, however, is that those bands (or single artist) that we are so infatuated with, are indeed made up of people. Most likely, best friends.
And just like all best friends, they fight. Sometimes, it leads to the end...
Most bands will tell you the truth about life on the road. The ones who don't are lying to you. It isn't all sugar plums and candy canes. Rainbows and roses.
Oh no. It's long days and nights, driving across the country, shows every night, easily forgetting what city you are in.
It's time away from your family and friends and maybe even kids.
It's large amounts of time with the same people and very little private time/space.
It's lots of ideas coming together and clashing.
And everyone handles it differently.
I first learned about NEEDTOBREATHE my sophomore year of college. They came to my school and were part of a free event.
I will never forget hearing them for the first time. I didn't know who they were, but I will never forget standing on top of that chair as they played their last song of the night. Acoustically.
Something about just voices and soft instruments that make such a loud noise.
It was fantastic.
Then, of course, the night got better as me and my friends waited in line and bought every album that was out. We got to meet the guys and they signed our copies. We even took a picture with them. And we joked around with them.
I will never forget my quick, joking conversation I had with Bo. One I'm sure that after many cities and meeting many fans, he does not remember. But, I'm okay with that. It's one of the coolest memories I have.
I've listened to every NEEDTOBREATHE album about 50 times (maybe not quite, but close). I've seem them live 3 times. I've met them once.
And they never. get. old.
They are amazing every. time.
And they close out the way they always have and I hope they always will.
With an acoustic set.
We fans have been BEGGING for an acoustic album and hopefully it will arrive soon.
I will always love these guys. I will always have their records. I will always listen to them.
No one will truly know what NEEDTOBREATHE has done for me in my life.
But, it's definitely made it better.
One of the things I love and respect the most about the guys of NTB is that they are real.
They proved that more than ever when they filmed a short documentary during The Reckoning Tour.
Fans got to see a whole new side of the band.
It's hard to watch at times, but it's real. That is what makes it great.
I'm proud of these guys and all that they have accomplished. I'm thankful that they are willing to be real and open with their fans.
If you are a NEEDTOBREATHE fan at all, you need to watch this documentary!
And learn to "prove the poets wrong."
My favorite quotes from the film (all from Bo):
"Our faith is something that we're not the best at. It's that we look towards it. We strive for it."
"If you're not willing to fight for it, then how great is it?"
"The music we are making, I'm in love with."
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Let's keep the realness rolling, guys. And let's be honest when we say that the holidays can truly be THE. WORST. time to be single. Pumpkin patches, fall leaves, outdoor concerts, fairs, apple picking, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all look better when you have someone to stand by your side. Can you tell yet that my singleness has been hitting me square in the face OVER AND OVER again lately? It has. Just ask Kiki and Amy who got a very long e-mail from me last night. But, they are amazing and didn't seem to mind it too much. You girls are angels for accepting and actually reading that random e-mail. :) Single girl struggle bus. I know it's route very well.
But, it never fails that when this bus comes back around (and keeps me hostage), I never find myself alone.
The Lord ALWAYS meets us where we are.
And He speaks to me in so many different ways. Including books and songs. My favorite "devotional" that I have is My Utmost For His Highest. If you don't have a copy of it, I strongly urge you to pick up a copy. Oswald Chambers is one of my favorites and his words are just amazingly powerful and true. It can be a bit overwhelming though. There are days where I will have to re-read a page about 5 times before I truly begin to understand what I just read. Anyways, here is something that really stuck out and spoke to me. If you follow me on Twitter, you've maybe already seen this.
"When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness." Oswald Chambers
Guys, we HAVE to get out of the way. We HAVE to put ourselves aside and let Jesus be first. We HAVE to have faith that He is going to take care of us. We have joy in knowing that He is protecting us. That His goodness is reigning over us.
This time, this season, this journey that God has me in, that He has you in, will not be for nothing.
We go through the fire to be made pure.
"For such a time as this..."
This is my time to show HIS magnificence. To show HIS glory. To give HIM praise. To serve HIM. To love HIM.
This is HIS time.
His time to show His goodness. To show His faithfulness.
This is HIS time to crush me, exalt me, or anything else HE chooses.
This is HIS time.
After I finished reading and dwelling on the entry in My Utmost For His Highest, I was listening to Kari Jobe while folding clothes.
And Steady My Heart began to play.
Friends, just look and listen to these words.
Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy?
Why is pain a part of us?
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much
But You're here
I know I can trust You
Even when it hurts
Even when it's hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
'Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
I'm not gonna worry
I know that You've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way You plan
And I will run to You
And find refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
'Cause of everything You are
You steady my heart
I'm not gonna worry
I know that you've got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
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I was a giant fan of NSYNC. I mean, my room was decked out in all sorts of posters and anything that had the faces of Chris, Lance, Joey, JC, and Justin. I don't really remember being upset that they stopped making music (probably because I still have ALL of their albums and STILL listen to them). But, I was probably more upset that I never got to see them in concert.
I also have to admit that I was never a big fan of Justin as a solo act. Probably because my taste in music changed and I was no longer listening to pop, boy bands. My parents were most likely very happy about this. I just never listened to his stuff, not even Cry Me A River which, I admit, I only made fun of.
Then, JT was silent.
Then, I saw him in Trouble With The Curve.
And then came, The 20/20 Experience.
His first album in 7 years.
I have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of Suit & Tie when it first came out and was played ALL OVER the radio.
But, JT in a suit and tie? That's a different story.
And then I heard, Mirrors.
And I fell in love all over again. I decided to give the whole 20/20 album a chance and I have to admit, I like it. It took me a few listens of the whole album, but I think it's great.
So, you can imagine how excited I was when he was pretty much THE best thing to happen to the VMAs. (Not too mention the short, but sweet, reunion of our beloved NSYNC) And how Jimmy Fallon got to present a major award to his friend, JT. It was so much fun.
Anyways, all of this to say, that I am now a fan of JT, the solo act. I'm glad he's around and making music and films and making people laugh. I think he's great.
Oh, and how could I forget to mention that he is now married to another one of my favorites? Mary, from 7th Heaven anyone? Jessica Biel. And they are cute. Yes, it's true.
All that to say, that what I'm listening to right now is Justin Timberlake. I'll leave you with some of my favorites from the newest album(s).
What are you listening to?
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Don't you love how commercials lead you to discover new artists and bands? I do! And that is exactly how I came upon this group!
The Hunts are 7 brothers and sisters from Chesapeake, Virginia that combine stringed instruments and beautiful harmonies for some incredible indie-folk sounds. Plus, look how cute they all are! AND, they have done mission work in Haiti! I could definitely be friends with these guys. Have a listen below!
Check out their website here.
Follow them on Twitter here.
Like them on Facebook here.
Subscribe to their YouTube channel here.
Spread their music all around!!
The song that I first heard by The Hunts: Make This Leap
An incredible Bon Iver cover by The Hunts: Flume.
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Just a simple post today.
Hope this song encourages you to spend some quiet time with the Lord today!
This love is so deep // It's more than I can stand
I melt in your peace // It's overwhelming
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