Tobymac | Alive and Transported
I am taking a morning walk through my suburban neighborhood, but in my head, I am at the Ichthus Festival or anywhere Tobymac is presenting his backflipping, breathless show.
There's often a gulf between the thrill of a live show and the recording. But in the case of Tobymac's generous Alive and Transported, that is nary a trickle. Granted, there is nothing quite like seeing Toby, who headlines Ichthus Friday night. But this disc -- and the accompanying DVD in the tangible set -- really takes you there.
One chief way is by being a real concert document, taking you through the flow of the event, from hyper openers such as Boomin' and J-train to the Spanish-guitar-based Irene and the dc talk classic In the Light and the subsequent fever spike of Yours. He also gives us a rarity for the concert disc: the encore. On disc, he closes out the Houston concert with Diverse City and returns with a quartet of tunes, including Jesus Freak and Extreme Days, which no audience would let t-mac leave without doing.
In addition to Tobymac's music, with a dash of his old band, dc talk, one of the other strong suits of his concerts has been that it's a real band effort, with Toby many times giving the spotlight to his supporting players.
It's just like a Tobymac concert and, "bang to the bip, it makes me want to flip."
Big screen: This is a reminder that you can see Alive and Transported on the big screen at movie theaters across the country tonight, and in Kentucky at the Showcase Stonybrook in Louisville at 7:30 p.m.
Ichthus gets an early start: Since the Ichthus Festival moved from April to June, it has been pushing back the music's start time on Thursday earlier and earlier. Now, festival-goers who arrive early can get a full three days of music, and even some more.
There's the Gotee showcase on the main stage Wednesday night, and Thursday morning cranks up with the Ascenxion Scout Competition's Battle of the Bands at 9:30 a.m. on the Deep End Stage.
The battle will pit the 10 winners of the online Scout competition against each other to determine who will get the grand prize of a main stage slot for a couple of tunes on Friday night. The third-place winner will play the Edge Stage late Friday afternoon and the second-place winner will play the same stage Saturday night.
The competitors come from as far away as California, though Thursday morning should have a distinctly Kentucky flavor with bands from Louisville (mile 7), Somerset (Live Fish), Whitesburg (Thusia), and Justin Harris, whose Myspace page simply lists him as being from Kentucky.
After that, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Cincinnati's Divine Day will play the Deep End, their reward for winning a Battle of the Bands at Cincinnati's Underground club last fall.
Got tickets?: If you don't have tickets to Ichthus yet, and you want to go, fest officials advise that your best bet will be to wait until you get to the site. Online sales ceased this weekend, and since most of the Ichthus staff is out on the farm, your chances of getting tickets by phone, (859) 858-3001, are hit and miss.