Denton, Texas-WoW, what a fantastic experience my most recent concert was. Would have never guessed that such an opportunity like this would fall into my lap especially after just arriving in Texas from Florida in mid-May.
Though a good friend who works in radio in Pensacola, Florida, who also had a radio contact at KTYL 94.9 radio in Dallas, Texas I was able to attend Celebrate Freedom, a Christian concert held at the Texas Motor Speedway in FortWorth, Texas. Thanks to some VIP seats, a few concert t-shirts, and a VIP parking pass. For me that was awesome. But going to the concert was a great true surprise and it was enjoyable seeing TobyMac perform with the diverse city band behind him.
Toby McKeehan (born Kevin Michael McKeehan; October 22, 1964), better known by his stage name TobyMac (styled tobyMac or TOBYMAC), is a Christian hip hop recording artist, music producer, songwriter, and author.
The music of TobyMac is labeled hip-hop by members of the press who write about his musical talents but that description is not exactly accurate when talking about his musical style of Christian music. So it’s not fair to this great musician to put that label to the music he does and leave it. Even though hip-hop can be found in his tunes this man of God performs. There are also ballads and eliminates of blues and jazz mixed in. It’s delivered by some of the most outstanding musicians to take the stage at a Christain concert.
When this Virginia native now transplanted to Franklin, Tennessee puts on a show it brings true entertain value for the whole family. The experience is not just about the music itself. And that was evident Saturday, June 30, 2018, in North Texas.
A true Christain artist who makes you feel as if he’s talking directly to you when he speaks. TobyMac began is a singing career as frontman for DC Talk with Kirk Fraklin, another popular Christian artist’s. The very talented performer was first known for being a member of the Christian vocal trio DC Talk, staying with them from 1987 until they went on hiatus in 2001. He has since continued a successful solo career with the release of six studio albums.
The music, musicians, and arrangements are just one part of what created an awesome evening of music at Texas Motor Speedway.. The staging and the interaction of the DiverseCity Band and TobyMac with the audience are also very much a part of the energy and joy of the performance.
This Grammy-winning Christian artist hit the stage like a firecracker welcoming the crowd of people then he went right into the opening set with “Me Without You” his first released single for the album “Eye On It” which was released on June 12, 2012.. This hit song comes from his fifth studio album and was the 10th most played song on the air for the week of June 2, 2012. This song is a fantastic hip-hop song, that outlines how he feels his life without faith with its emphasis on tight rhythms and driving beat, the song seems to introduce the band calling attention to each member of the band by bringing in a driving drumming beat, a funky driving beat on base and the syncopated cords all together for a great sound.
Being a fan of TobyMac’s music and regular attendee when he performs anywhere. He delights in getting as close to concert-goers as he can and part of the staging includes a runway that extends into the audience. He and his band go right to the end of a runway and seem to get to get more energetic with people as the concert progresses on and there were a lot of them-who were right at the edge of the stage.
It is the music, though, that has created his reputation, and the music is riveting.
His greatest success has been the music he creates that has developed his reputation, and the music riveting. With that said leader not a follower in the Christian music industry. He is extremely popular with his fan base and that group of people seems to be getting larger and larger with each concert he does. His music is impacting and off the chain.
What creates an evening of impactful music, though, is what TobyMac does with his arrangements, blending hip-hop with other styles. He and his band brought house down. And by mid-concert had concertgoers up and dancing to his songs.
“Light Shine Bright” is an excellent example of his genius.
The heartbeat-like rhythm typical of hip-hop underlies the music, although it is a slower beat than is typical of hip-hop. That rhythm, though, is the only element of a hip-hop style in the song. Throughout the song, there is a repeating choral pattern that frames the lyrics of the song — that the lights of a city can mean many things
The music, as good as it is, as captivating as it may be, is one part of a performance package that makes for a memorable evening.
“Eye on It” takes the idea of a total entertainment package to a new level.
The arrangement begins the experience of the song. The sound appears to be hip-hop-like with a driving, syncopated bass line and keyboards with a very electric sound playing the chords. But the drums — and in this case, there are two drummers on stage — are pounding out a marching band rhythm . . . and TobyMac and the entire Diversity band march right up to the runway into the heart of the audience.
It is rousing; it is exciting and delivers everything expected and more.
As good as the music was, the vocals may have been even better. TobyMac’s voice is right on point for every song. The backup singing was fantastic.
Despite singing a number of songs off “Eye on It” which is a very good album, he played some newer songs like “Move-Keep Walk-in” and “Backseat Driver” off his “This Is Not A Test” a more recent album than “Eye On It” And he did belt out the song “Speak Life” But going back a ways I wish he had done one of my favorite TobyMac tunes “Boobin”. This song holds a special place with me. It was the first TobyMac song I ever heard when introduced to his music by a true TobyMac fan and Georgia native. Another oldie but goodie song by TobyMac is “Feelin So Fly” and I would have loved to hear “MacDaddy” Maybe next time.
But for all you TobyMac Fans out there, there is a new album in the works due out sometime in the Fall of 2018.
TobyMac Tour Dates
MAGIC SPRI- Theme and Water Park
Hot Springs, AR
SUNNYVIEW EXPO CENTER
PULSE FEST-Friday 07.13
Morris Performing Arts Center
South Bend, IN
SOUTHERN PINES N.C.
Pinecrest High School
Southern Pines, NC
Ozark Empire Fair
Ozark Empire Fair