by Tony Copple

First stop on their short Canadian tour of May 2007

Let me state immediately that it was a triumph. I said to a staff person as I left the stadium that I had never seen a better performance by anyone since I have patronized this venue since it opened. For this one we were in row 13 and the sound quality was crisp. And it wasn’t too loud.

Delirious? is in my view in the top five performing rock bands in the world, based on the quality of their music, their words, and their presentation. And certainly they are the world’s foremost Christian rock band. In the UK they have a large secular following.

We felt so privileged to see them. Laurie-Ann and I saw them before at Creation ‘99. In 8 years they have continued to develop, mastered the art of rock sound reproduction and used their creativity in powerful ways.

Before the performance a friend was wondering if there was a way that we would be able to follow the so powerful words. As the opener began, almost as an answer to prayer we were treated to animated presentation of their words on the small but adequate screen. Most of their songs used this unique technique. History Maker had most of the words presented as newspaper headlines. Unless you see this you wouldn’t appreciate the effectiveness. What a joy to know exactly what a rock singer is singing. The way their words are presented is a graphic art form, and I have never seen this done before.

Every song was a beautiful gem, and Martin Smith held the audience in his hand as he wove his spirit-filled magic. The musicianship was superb, Stu Garrard was masterly. Often concerts offer a pale distortion of a recorded performance, but not tonight. Every song was fresh as if Martin was able to make all things new like his Saviour. At one point he spotlighted the audience literally, making us all feel a part of the song. At another he used a red megaphone to emphasize his words.

His Bible came out as naturally as a guitar as Martin expounded parts of the Gospel to this admittedly receptive crowd. God’s Word seemed a natural part of the program, and he is able to use it with power.

Normally I am a sitter at concerts. But here there was no way any were sitting, and not just near the stage. The band was so great, so relevant, playing such tuneful and immediate music with a message in every line.

Since this first ever visit of Delirious? to Ottawa seems to have come and gone without comment or enthusiasm by just about everybody I know, and I doubt the Ottawa Citizen had anyone in the audience, I feel it incumbent on me to report on it – which is a joy because that is exactly what the concert gave to the approximately 2,500 (my guess) who attended.

Delirious? were the climax to a night of praise and teaching with “Change 07” as the focus. The evening was started by Brock Tozer of CHRI, followed by Steve Outhouse of Citywide Worship and Prayer, Geoff Moore expertly presented Compassion Canada, with his own excellent band and a passionate and eloquent call for child sponsors. Faytene Kryskow promoted the concept that 40 years after the summer of love, society was ready to repent and would do so at The Call in Nashville on 07/07/07. An unannounced and unnamed praise and worship group performed a vigourous theatrical and music performance.

All in all a great evening. Just wish more had been there to experience it.

Best Ottawa concert 2007 - The Citizen printed my vote.
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