Derek Webb II

I went to the Derek Webb concert Friday night. He was playing at Revolution Hall, in Troy, NY and sponsoring Justice for Children International. I had never of this organization before, but was very impressed by their ministry after seeing a short clip on what they do. “Hundred Monkey Theory” opened for Derek.

He was inspiring (as usual). Webb’s music speaks in an edgy way, challenging contemporary Christian norms on social issues such as poverty, war, politics, liberty of conscience, civil government, doctrinal labeling, etc. These songs touch the conscience and strengthen our Christian convictions, encouraging his audience to examine their hearts. However, he also has a devotional voice in his repritoire, entertaining and edifing the soul, while reminding us of our first love. No matter what Derek sings, he calls us all to renew our faith and preach with our practice.

Along with his music he is always good for some comedy relief. Some of his quips included:

1) Invitation to the bar: He stopped to ask if the bar was selling drinks, or simply non-alcholic beverages. They told him drinks, and so he encouraged the audience to go get something to drink and support them, afterall we were in their house so that’s what we should do.

ParaQuote, “While I do not approve of drunkenness, I definitely approve of drinking so go get a drink. I like Amstel Light, so go get an Amstel Light.

2) Heuy Lewis and the Power of Love: He was telling us how he did a whole 45 minute show in DC earlier that day for XM Radio. He said that he was ‘stuck’ in studio 100, but wanted to be in studio 8 were they played the 80’s, which is his favorite kind of music. He then began to play “Power of Love”. The audience loved it.

ParaQuote, “How did I get onto that tangent? I did the tangent, and played Heuy Lewis, and without Caedmon’s. They’d be proud of me for that one. I’ll have to tell them.”

3) Derek watches YouTube and guess who he was watching: I’m thinking that Derek has really pushed the button on politics in the last 2 albums he has produced, so I was hoping, even anticipating that he would at least announce in some form who he actually liked… and he did! He was talking about how exciting elections are, getting someone who you want to support or root for, even though we really cannot put confidence in men. So this 08 Election is looking very interesting, yet he qualified all things with a potent hymn reminding us all that, “we’ve never had a Savior on Capitol Hill”!

ParaQuote, “I couldn’t sleep and so I was up all night watching YouTube. I was watching speeches and interviews given by Ron Paul. I don’t know what you think about… anybody know Ron Paul? I just like Ron Paul” to which I (and I think only I) shouted a ‘woo hoo’!

Derek also said that he writes songs about mainly two things. And these two things, he has been most passionate about, and the least expert in: God and women. But since he has been married for 7 years he has since sung about God and Woman.

I was able to speak with him afterwards. I was concerned that it wouldn’t happen, especially because he didn’t come out for a while, but I patiently hung around. We shook hands, and I introduced myself. I told him that I met him in 99 in Grand Rapids, and gave him some books. He said he could remember vaguely, but that it was coming back. I reminded him what Cliff got. And them he remembered. He said that if he took me into his house, he could go to the very bookshelf to those books. He then said that he remembered the qualifications on the books. I would give them to him if he promised to read them. I smiled and asked if he did, to which he replied, “well some of it for sure, but it’s like 5 volumes.” I was very happy to hear that. He said, “Those books have meant a lot to me, they really have.” And then told me the title, A Christian’s Reasonable Service. I was estatic. How great is that… he actually remembered! So then I said the most stupid lame thing, which I kept telling myself not to say… “I’m a big fan of yours. I really love your music.” D’oh! Oh well. He thanked us for coming out. I’m so lame.

It was a great concert. I think I will email him, now that there is a renewed connection. I did email Caedmon’s after they performed at Calvin College, but they never responded. I think I asked them about their views on the biblical principle of worship. What…it could happen?

2 responses to this post.

  1. That’s pretty sweet that he remembered the books. To be honest, I’ve never heard any of his music, but he certainly sounds solid. The fact that he likes Ron Paul definitely works in his favor.


  2. hey shawn,

    great story about reconnecting with derek. you should definitely shoot him an email. he reads them all, but he responds to very few. i know him pretty well, but even i almost never get a response, so don’t take it personally :)

    love the banter as well, hope you get to see derek out with caedmons in the spring, you’ll enjoy it.



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