Gungor Live and The Brilliance

Over the weekend Jana and I got to catch the Gungor concert in Dallas. It was a belated Valentine's Day date.

It was a great concert. If you can, try to catch them on their tour which is just starting out.

Funny story about the concert. Although Jana and I weren't the oldest people at the concert we were in the top 2%. There were not a lot of 40-somethings.

Not that I'm particularly self-conscious about my age. It mainly had to do with walking into the venue and finding no chairs. No chairs! I'm sure this is typical at a lot of club venues, but it took us by surprise.

And here's the deal. I hate standing up. Hate. It. I try to sit down whenever I can. Jana isn't as philosophically opposed to standing as I am, but she doesn't like standing for long periods because it bothers her back. She's got a sensible physical reason for not liking to stand. My issues are more existential. Why stand when you can sit?

So the prospect of standing for four to five hours really knocked us for a loop. Jana is thinking about her back. I'm thinking about theodicy.

However, we spotted a long bench running alongside one wall. So we made for that and got a seat. But the trouble with this situation was that everyone would be standing in front of us and the stage was elevated. So seated here we wouldn't be able to see the band.

So we scan the room for other options. Jana spots a smaller stage to the left of the main stage. It was mostly full of tables, speakers and equipment. But there was a stack of chairs over there and some room in front of the equipment. What if we put those chairs out on the stage? Because this side stage was elevated and offered a great view of the main stage.

But would we be allowed to sit there? Would the staff chase us off the stage?

Not wanting to give up our seats along the wall, as crappy as they were, I crossed the room to set up some chairs on the sidestage creating Base Camp Bravo while Jana remained behind at Base Camp Alpha to hold our spots on the bench. As we were planning all this out the only other 40-something couple in the place overheard our plans and wanted to know if they could participate. Apparently, once you hit 40 you REALLY want to sit down. So, forming an alliance, me and the other guy head over and set out four chairs on the second stage. We sit down and wait to see if we'll get shooed away.

We wait until the concert is about to start and no one chases us off. More, about 20 other people follow our lead finding places to sit amongst the equipment on the second stage. Pulling the trigger I send word to Base Camp Alpha to pack up and come on over. The ladies fight through the crowd and make it to Base Camp Bravo on the second stage.

It all worked out. The old people had great seats. Jana's back was saved and I averted an existential crisis.

Beyond the awesomeness of Gungor the great discovery of the night was the opening band, The Brilliance. I strongly encourage you to check them out at their website and on iTunes. On their self-titled album The Brilliance stand out tracks include Breathe, Open Up, Mercy, Wounded Healer, and Christ Be With Me. On their Lent album standout tracks include Dust We Are And Shall Return, Now And At the Hour of Our Death, and Does Your Heart Break? From their Advent Vol. 1 album standout tracks include Light, Open Up (a different arrangement from The Brilliance album), and May You Find a Light.

The song Mercy from The Brilliance album may be the most beautiful, haunting, and theologically profound lament I have ever heard. And as a Winter Christian that's saying a lot. If you get the album or just the song, set some time aside to be alone with the best sound system you have. Get quiet and listen to Mercy.

Lyrics for Mercy from The Brilliance

When I think of God's great love
I think of Noah's time.
When love was not enough
and man was forced to die.
This God He sent the flood
to kill the race despised.
The children swept away.
I hear a mother's cry.

Mercy, Lord have mercy.
Mercy on me.
Every soul is searching for you.
Won't you save us?
Grant us peace.

O distant God above,
why do you make us blind?
With eyes that cannot see
we seek but do not find.
And if you are so near
why are you standing by
when peace has been long lost?
Please hear your children cry.

Mercy, Lord have mercy.
Mercy on me.
Every soul is searching for you.
Won't you save us?
Grant us peace.

Kyrie, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison.

Kyrie, eleison...

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12 thoughts on “Gungor Live and The Brilliance”

  1. What a great post Richard!
    It had a bit of everything: human interest, humour (your description of getting the side-stage set up was hilarious...), pathos AND a beautiful song-recommendation (which I am listening to as I type this – I will definitely purchase the album).
    Yours remains my daily go-to site; I just never know what I am going to get. You are providing a unique experience...
    Also, I always find irrational hatreds of mundane things really amusing - hating standing up is sublime :)  
    Thank you.

  2. Well now I'm bummed my wife and I didn't go to that gig. We thought seriously about it but having seen shows in that venue before we knew it would be standing only. And as I am also in my 40s I just don't relish that thought. Guess we should have gone. Gungor, Base Camp Bravo and the good doctor. It would'a been great.

    We ended up at the North Texas Irish Festival instead. Guinness in plastic cups and lots of old dudes in Kilts. Sláinte!

  3. I saw their tour-opener here in Austin on the 1st - fantastic AND there were seats! I had only learned about them HERE on your blog, Richard, and bought the tickets pretty much right away, lol! SO glad you got to see them (as I was going to email you to try to catch the Lubbock show if you could , but there isn't a way to email you on this site, apparently) ) - so am delighted you got to go and "all was well" with the seating ; )

  4. Is there a post where we can learn more on the theodicy of standing? As the guy always sitting during worship while all others stand I would love to know your deeper thoughts.

  5. I wanted to go to the Gungor concert so badly, but finances didn't allow. (I'd never heard about them until you mentioned them - love their music.) Glad to hear it was awesome! Here's hoping they come back to DFW again soon ...

  6. I really like Gungor's latest album. One of my favorites from last year easily. I will definitely check out The Brilliance, though.

    On a similar note, have you ever heard of Justin McRoberts? Check him and his blog out. He has a very simple, acoustic style, but I stick around for his lyrical content. He just finished a 3 EP series titled CMY(K) which is rings a lot of the same bells and whistles that this blog does. Here's a link to his vision behind the project:!prettyPhoto/3/

    And here's a behind the scenes blog post regarding more of the vision behind the project:

    Here's to good music!

  7. Also, I must share this article again for fans of Gungor, it is from their blog and it is, in my opinion, one of the best analysis of the Christian music world, a poignant read. Check it out here:!/2011/11/zombies-wine-and-christian-music/ (And with a title like that, how can you not at least be intrigued?!?)

  8. I'm really curious to check out these bands - thanks for the posting!

    I don't want to rain on this excellent parade, but extended periods of sitting can be unhealthy for you, as illustrated by this wonderfully over-the-top infographic:

    Here in DC, most of the venues for rock music are standing only, so we get our exercise that way.  Also, the clubs are recently non-smoking, so I don't feel like I'm dying when I wake up the next morning.  If they ban drinking and have the show over by 10pm, rock and roll will be a completely healthy activity!

  9. Wished I had known you were there and would have introduced myself. I was the girl who stood at the very front left edge of that side stage. Glad you enjoyed the show.

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