Since its inception in 1995, the tour is put on each year by the band NewSong and has featured many of the biggest names in Christian music such as Third Day, Newsboys, Skillet, Jeremy Camp, Steven Curtis Chapman, David Crowder and more.
A unique characteristic of the tour is the fact that there are no tickets sold. All that is required is $10 at the door to gain entrance. This being the case, the sidewalks around the Forum and the plaza were jam packed with fans, some as early as 2PM for a 5PM entrance, hoping to be among the first inside to grab prime seats.
Once the general admission doors opened at 5PM, fans were treated to a pre-show with new or up-and-coming artists such as Capital Kings, Jason Castro, and OBB. Just before the official 6PM start time, the doors of the Forum had to be closed as every seat in the house was taken. Those who were not able to get in (by some accounts up to 3,000 people) didn’t get shut out, as a stage was created in the plaza area and those fans were treated to free music by several of the artists as they waited their turn on the main stage inside.
Inside, the rocking was started off by Royal Tailor as the Pop/R&B/Hip Hop band played their fan favorites such as “Hold Me Together”. Following Royal Tailor were Sidewalk Prophets, NewSong, Jamie Grace, Red and Matthew West. The wide range of talent offered up music for people of all tastes.
The hard rock/heavy metal group, Red, brought the crowd to a frenzy with their intricately designed industrial set, explosions, flames and pyrotechnics. Release The Panic is their latest album and is set to release on February 5 in stores and online.
The final artist of the night was of course the man who is headlining this tour, TobyMac. The Grammy Award winning artist is well known to those who follow Christian music. First as the front man for the Grammy Award winning trio, DC Talk that was formed in 1987 and then for his equally successfully solo career. Between the two careers, he has sold over 10 million albums, has had six #1 Christian radio hits, and five singles have topped Billboard’s Christian Songs chart.
Toby performed many of his latest chart toppers including “Made to Love”, “Me Without You”, “Forgiveness (feat Lecrae)”, “Favorite Song (feat Jamie Grace)” and “Steal My Show” to close out the show.
TobyMac’s antics of running wild around the stage and playfully bumping into his band-mates led to a brief moment of humor probably missed by most of the crowd in attendance. During his performance with Jamie Grace he playfully bumped her and she playfully responded with a bump of her own. The bump sent Toby close to the end of the stage (or so thought Jamie) and a brief moment of panic seemed to come over her as she feared she might have sent her friend and colleague off the stage. All was well as they both recovered and continued the song.
The show ended as all the artists joined Toby on stage during “Steal My Show” as a deluge of confetti rained down on the stage.
The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular - 44 cities, 10 artists, $10. Spectacular indeed.