OK, so I’m not the biggest CCM listener.
Sure, I like some CCM artists and know a lot about different bands, but I don’t regularly listen to contemporary Christian radio. But when I got a chance to go to the Dove Awards last night (thanks, Rachel!), I was oddly excited.
Of course, this is a televised awards show, so it is a production. And it’s an award show for Christian music, which makes it kind of weird, since we aren’t supposed to be storing up treasures in this world (but most of the people accepting last night acknowledged this fact). But before the televised portion of the ceremony went live, a guy came out on stage and led the entire auditorium in prayer, focusing on God and the gifts and talents He has given to people and acknowledging that ultimately this night (and our lives) are about Him. That was a cool moment for me. Other cool moments:
• The new artist category was introduced by allowing the nominees to all come on stage together and perform snippets of one of their songs. I was excited because this included Remedy Drive, a band I think is really cool, Francesca Battistelli (a friend of a friend), and Tenth Avenue North (which oddly, is my office’s street address). Remedy Drive got to perform first and knowing what kind of sound they have, I was like, hmm, this will be interesting. Also knowing they like to jump off all equipment on stage while performing—pianos, amps, etc.—I thought the Dove audience might be in for a show. They sang “Daylight,” and the lead singer began by standing on his piano. After he jumped off, his brother jumped up on an amp. The bass player brother eventually jumped up on the amps in front of the drums. . . .and lost his balance. He sort of fell into the brother playing the drums. The Dove audience seemed kind of quiet and confused. It was funny! And I was a little sorry Remedy Drive didn’t win at least one award.
• Steven Curtis Chapman winning artist of the year and his acceptance speech. Actually, him singing “Cinderella” was pretty awesome and tear-jerking, too. In his acceptance speech, he discussed his family’s recent loss and the fact that he figured it had something to do with why he was being honored. He admitted that it’s been a tough time, then said, “But it’s all true,” continuing by saying that there is a God who holds you and won’t let go, even in the dark times that you don’t understand. There is a God who loves so much beyond what we can understand. And that one day, SCC and family would be reunited with the daughter they miss in heaven—and that they can’t wait to get there. It was a beautiful moment of a grieving father. In the depths of grief at my grandmother’s death, I told God He couldn’t possibly understand how this felt. Then, the overwhelming knowledge that He did came over me. God is the God who gave up His Son at great cost to Himself for us. Jesus is the God Man who endured suffering for me. God is well-versed in grief and pain—and in the end, His love covers it all.
• Sandi Patti actually sang. OK, Sandi can sing, still. It’s kind of amazing. She and Larnelle Harris and others took part in a tribute to songwriter Dottie Rambo. It was sweet and beautiful. Her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter sang during this, too, and it was very touching.
• The lead guy from Decemberadio has changed his hair. Again. No wonder I didn’t recognize him!
• Mark Hall of Casting Crowns twittered throughout the night. Actually, he began before the show by making predictions. (My favorite prediction? Mark Hall: I predict there will be 10 scarves worn on stage tonight. Juan says 12. A scarf may even win an award!) [As an aside, there were a lot of scarves worn on stage and at the Renaissance this year as GMA participants gathered. LOTS. And skinny jeans! And when Decemberadio came on stage to present last night and two of the guys were wearing scarves, I had to try very hard to keep from laughing!)
• Ten Avenue North’s families were sitting behind us at the show. When the band won Best New Artist, they went crazy. But it wasn’t in an annoying way. It wasn’t prideful or anything. Just parents who are legitimately happy to see their boys pursuing lives that mean something and doing something good. As it should be.
• Advice should you go to the Dove Awards: eat before you go! I didn’t, because I got caught up in something before Rachel came to pick me up. So, I grabbed something really quick at the concession stand at the Opry House. And ate it really quickly because we couldn’t take food into the auditorium and wanted to get in there. Eating fast is never a good thing for me. I had a stomachache for the rest of the night. Fun times!
• Brandon Heath’s performance of “Give Me Your Eyes” was amazing. There were dancers and everything. Totally enjoyed it.
• Blind Boys of Alabama: I want to hug them! That was really cool. And the finale was fun. And I just have to say it: Mandisa looks amazing. She’s lost a little weight and is as beautiful as always. You go, girl!