“Winter Jam” and Why I Know I am Aging

I went, I saw, I conquered.

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line I have turned a corner, I have changed and some of the things I enjoyed when I was young don’t have the same feel anymore.

Take the music thing, for instance.

Winter Jam 2017 occurred in Wichita and being a music lover and having a daughter who wanted to go but needed an alert driver afterwards (It would end at 11:00 p.m. and she would have been up since 4:00 am.!), I volunteered my services!

We went with a group from our church which made all of it worthwhile, especially because Duke wanted to stop at Taco Bell on the way down.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to go, I had a good time but I had to face the fact that somewhere along the line, either music has changed or I have and I think it is the latter!

I must put a disclaimer out there that I am not a certified music critic!

I took piano, played saxophone, sang some occasional solos at church but I never landed a gig with “The Singing Quakers” and therefore am disqualified from seriously weighing in on anything other than my own prudish, biased opinions.

After arriving at the concert site an hour early, we stood outside anxiously awaiting for the doors to open, only to discover we would enter through metal detectors, which I am pretty sure did not happen at Woodstock or at Jesus Fest 1973!

Having been traumatized by these machines at the Newark airport, and not wanting to read in the Wichita Eagle and Beacon “Pastor’s Wife Arrested at Christian Concert”, I guiltily removed my trusty Swiss Army Knife from my key chain and was told I had to either walk 15 miles back to the car (that is an exaggeration) and leave it there or throw it away.  I sadly, threw it away.

That was probably the worst part of the whole evening, next to the hip hop artist who skateboarded across the stage, but I will save that for later!

We hurried in to find seats and after walking up somewhere around 20,000 flights of stairs, found ourselves in the very top of the arena where we could have a great view of the specks performing on the stage! Did I mention that an older adult is writing this review?

Thankfully, there were screens that would display every angle of every artist so that those of us who couldn’t see in the dark of our purses to find our reading glasses could see them from afar.

The first group was “10,000 Foot Crutch (Krutch?)”. I am not a metal head and wasn’t even as a teenager, but from the looks of around 5 million young people seated near me, I think they were fairly popular.

Thankfully, Michele had handed all of us ear plugs at the beginning of the concert and these came in extra handy for those of us who had cut our teeth on Donny Osmond.

I don’t know whether the NYC hip hopper artist came in second or third on the stage but all I know is there he was and he was a prophet. I know this because he sang a couple of songs and then said “to you mother’s out there, I see your faces and you are wondering what is up with this. You need to know that your kids love this stuff.” So amazing that he could read my mind when we were at close to 20,000 feet elevation!

Anyway, this guy had a great beat that I could keep time to but I had no idea what he said and I really hoped he was rapping about Jesus because had it been about toothpaste or Aborigines in Australia, I would not have known the difference.

At some point, he skateboarded across the stage as he rapped and I was totally unimpressed because I had just watched a Fred and Ginger movie the night before where they danced and sang at the same time and I could understand every word!

Needless to say, the kids all loved it and I will give the man that! Maybe Jesus did too because He of course, would have understood every word and He is the one who matters!

Tenth Avenue North sang some of their favorites and shared a moving story about a young wife with cancer. One of our group liked them the best and I think they have improved over the years or maybe I am feeling young again?

Then that sweet boy, Colton Dixon graced the stage! I liked him on American Idol, season 7 because although the metal part isn’t my thing, he actually does some beautiful mellow songs that have some depth and he sings well and plays piano. The kid has talent and despite the threads that looked like he had gone shopping on Mars, I was good to go! He took a big applause from the crowd and an apparent favorite.

I usually like Brit Nicole but her band seemed to drown out her vocals and she didn’t sing anything that was familiar or her big hits. She had two dancers with her who performed some decent hip hop that was choreographed well and weren’t just randomly running around the stage. She joined Crowder at the end and had some impressive and powerful vocals not to mention a worshipful ending.

We closed the evening with Duck Dynasty’s David Crowder. What? You say he is not a part of the Dynasty? Well, what is up with that funky beard he is sporting?

Doesn’t matter, the guy has talent, writes some deep lyrics and probably my favorite of the evening. I loved the fiddle, the banjo and the blue grassy sound that flavors his music as well as his chilled demeanor. I love that he had words on the screen so that we could sing with him, especially since his lyrics are quite wordy. “He Loves Us” was a favorite and hearing the whole auditorium sing it together was uplifting. Even this old lady sang!

When it was time to go, our group had two who had fallen asleep in their chairs. One was a first grader and the other a sixty-something! That was the defining moment and a huge epiphany when I finally realized that no matter our age, or our music preference, we all get sleepy!

Daughter and I drove home, bleary eyed, ear drums still ringing and having enjoyed a fun time with sweet friends.

“Nicki, we aren’t supposed to pass a cemetery on our way home are we?” I asked as we barreled past our country road turn off.

“No mom, we missed our turn” she replied.

What a metaphor of my life. I don’t always see it coming but sometimes I miss the turn.






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