Saturday, August 6, 2011

Flamingo Bucket List: See Hillsong Live

We are in the middle of a jam-packed weekend here at Casa Flamingo.  Flamingo Joe is out of town for his 30th high school reunion (I typed "30th" as a joke, trying to make Flamingo Joe sound old and then I realized it really is his 30th high school reunion) -- so he's in Boise with all his ex-girlfriends.  When talk of the trip to Boise came up a few months ago, Joe wanted the family to go with him, but I wasn't so keen on flying across the country with the entire family so that I could embarrass myself making awkward conversation with people Flamingo Joe hasn't seen for 30 years.  I figured Joe would enjoy himself more without having to worry about me chatting up his old classmates about bankruptcy and homeschooling, the only two topics on which I currently am fully versed.

Shortly after the first discussion about the trip to Boise, however, we heard that Hillsong United was coming to Tampa the same weekend.  I'd skip my own 30th high school reunion for Hillsong United -- though I don't think we need to worry about that since I wasn't even invited to my 20th reunion a few years back.  

So last night, Heidi, Dez, Lauren and I went to see Hillsong.  Here are Dez and Heidi, who both thought that wearing black is appropriate attire for attending the greatest worship concert of all time:

Here they are again on the top level of the parking garage waiting for Lauren.

Lauren lives in St. Pete and usually gets around by bus, though last night I think she got a ride from a friend.  She is staying at my house this weekend for reasons I will reveal to you tomorrow.  When Lauren comes over the bridge to Tampa for the weekend, she has to bring stuff with her, of course.  A couple of months ago, she met us in Dunedin at Jollimon's and was going to ride home with us and stay with Dez for the weekend.  Jollimon's is adjacent to the Pinellas Trail, a paved bike path that winds its way up through Pinellas County.  So we are all sitting outside Jollimon's, listening to our friend Tito play in the band, and here comes Lauren, dressed all cute and in her high heels, walking up the Pinellas Trail (apparently having disembarked from the bus somewhere south of Jollimon's), rolling a big suitcase behind her.  Lauren usually travels pretty light so we were surprised to see her with an actual suitcase.  The band kept singing but kept their eyes glued on Lauren, trying to see where the cute girl with the suitcase was going to end up.  She strolled right past the stage and put her big 'ol suitcase in my car.  Dez' new apartment only has one bedroom now, so Lauren brought her air mattress with her in the suitcase.

So last night we waited at the car for Lauren to meet us so that she could put her stuff in my car.  She was bringing springform pans and a muffin pan with her, so I was really expecting to see her pushing her way through the crowd waiting outside the Ice Palace with her rolling suitcase, but she came with just two small bags this time.  

We got to our seats at about 7:10 and the concert was supposed to start at 7:30.  7:30 came and went and the crowd got a little antsy, but the place was full of Christians, so it was a very sanctified antsy and some kids started the wave.  That kept us entertained for four minutes and then we were back to practicing our best mommy faces.  Heidi won:

"WHAT did you say??"

And then Dez broke the arm off her chair.  But no one came to throw us out.

Then 8:00 came and went and the crowd downgraded from sanctified to just plain long-suffering.  Shortly after 8:00 some weird clips played on the big screens above the stage -- a montage of clips of old black and white TV commercials and shows.  We didn't understand the point and chalked it up to Hillsong United being an Australian band.  Clearly we just don't understand Aussie humor.


The band finally came out at some point close to 8:30 and everyone started singing along and did not stop until the concert was over.  I probably knew about a third of the songs, but sang with the rest of them anyway -- the words were on the screens and the music just filled up all the space around you so there was no resisting the singing.  I have never been in the midst of so many people singing together.  There were points in the concert where the band would start playing and singing and then back off the mics so that you could hear everyone in the arena singing.

It was flat out fantastic worship -- and it was just worship.  The whole night was definitely all about God and not about Hillsong.  No one in the band introduced themselves or anyone else on stage.  Every time anyone on stage spoke, they were either speaking about Jesus or to Jesus.  I found it fascinating that although all of the singers had great voices, none of their voices were so distinctive that you would say, "Wasn't that guy on the end great?"  Everything the band said or did deflected the focus from themselves and back to God.  Exactly how church is supposed to be.

So if you are so inclined to go places Christians go and do things Christians do . . . and even if you're not . . . if you ever get a chance to see Hillsong United live, do it.

Even if it means skipping your husband's high school reunion.

Especially if it means skipping your husband's high school reunion.


1 comment:

  1. We need to teach you how to crop pictures so the messy house those girls are standing in won't show so much.... :)


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