Area Concerts Take Shape for New Year

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

rendcollective235 Rend Collective performs March 12 at Sunshine Community ChurchAfter starting 2016 with a bang thanks to the huge "Winter Jam" tour, the West Michigan inspirational concert calendar is settling down a bit. But more events are on the way, stretching right through the winter and into the spring.

Some of the music artists are making return visits.

Among those is the Irish worship band Rend Collective, coming to Sunshine Church in Grand Rapids at 7 p.m. Sat. March 12. Just last November the energetic band opened for Chris Tomlin at Van Andel Arena.

But at their March concert, lead singer Chris Llewellyn and the band should be able to expand well beyond the six songs they were limited to as Tomlin's opener. Rend's opening act is Urban Rescue. Tickets range from $18 to $40. Visit Online.

Also returning to the area after last year's visit is All Sons and Daughters, a worship-based duo anchored by David Leonard and Leslie Jordan. They perform Fri. March 4 at Dimnent Chapel at Hope College in Holland. Tickets are $15, but discounted for Hope students. To purchase online.


The biggest "splash" in area worship/concerts is the Outcry Tour, coming Tues. April 19 to Van Andel. It features an impressive list of artists. Kari Jobe, Hillsong Worship, Elevation Worship, Jesus Culture with Martin Smith and Brian Houston (Hillsong Church's senior pastor) are all part of the line-up.

Hillsong Worship is a collection of worship leaders from the huge Hillsong network of churches, based in Australia. Kari Jobe is an award-winning singer-songwriter-worship leader connected with the multi-site Gateway Church in the Dallas, Tex. area. Elevation Worship is from Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C. Martin Smith was a founding member of Delirious, the British worship band that ended its run several years ago. (The band Jesus Culture, from California, will be without singer-songwriter Kim Walker-Smith for the local event).

Each of these artists heads their own concert tours and have church responsibilities as well. So it's remarkable for them all to be part of a single tour. View a promo online.
Tickets range from $29 (upper bowl) to more than $100 for areas nearest the stage; available via and at Ticketmaster outlets.


Again this year Community Reformed Church in Zeeland is getting a flock of concerts thanks to Kathleen Bobeldyk of Community Concert Connections. Over the last several years the 1,100 seat-venue has become a prime spot for national artist tours as well as a showcase for local and regional artists.

"Once we get an artist here (for a concert) they love the venue, tech support and the more personal experience they have with the audience and it makes it easy for us to get them to come back," said Bobeldyk, who has coordinated concerts by Michael W. Smith, Matthew West, Matt Maher and many other major artists.

In December the church hosted a Christmas concert featuring Mark Schultz and Love & The Outcome. Concert-goers donated more than a thousand pounds of food to His Harvest Stand, a Zeeland community food pantry.

"One local (radio) DJ dubbed Zeeland as West Michigan's 'hotspot' for Christian concerts," she added.

On Sat. March 5, Josh Wilson, Jason Gray and JJ Heller come to Community Reformed. Tickets are $12, Online. At that show Bobeldyk will announce the line-up for this summer's W.O.W. (Worship On the Waterfront) Sunday night series in downtown Grand Haven, which she also helps promote.

"West Michigan has an amazing group of Christian concert supporters, but we also draw music enthusiasts from Canada, Ohio, Illinois, & Indiana," she noted.
Community Reformed (corner of Felch and 104th Ave.) is also hosting a women's conference on Feb. 19-20 featuring Jill Savage and Tammy Trent


Two of summer's major Christian music festivals have announced headlining music artists.

The Big Ticket Festival (June 23-25 in Gaylord, Mich.) will bring in TobyMac, Switchfoot and Jeremy Camp to its mainstage. The entire artist roster is not yet complete, but check for updates at Single day and full festival passes are available, as is nearby camping.

Meanwhile, the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon hosts For King & Country on Fri. Aug. 12. Newsboys and Switchfoot also are headliners at the Aug. 10-13 festival, which includes a free-admission day on Wed. Aug. 10. Ticket and other info available at


*Jon Plair; 6 p.m. Sun Jan. 31 at City Life Church,. 574 Division Ave. Grand Rapids. For more info online.

*The Afters, Chris August, Unspoken; Fri. March 4 in Fremont High School, Fremont. Tickets $12. Order online.

*Gaither Vocal Band with guests; Fri. April 8 at Sunshine Community Church. Tickets to be announced.

*Big Daddy Weave and Plumb; April 24 at Sunshine Church. Tickets $20, group discounts available. Visit online.
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Author: Terry DeBoer
Terry is a journalist/feature writer for newspapers, magazines and websites, with a background in radio broadcasting. His usual beat is arts and entertainment, specializing in Christian/gospel music. A married father of two, he is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan Contributing Writer: West Michigan Christian News August 2011 – Present Feature writer: (website and various newspapers) 1988– 2016 -Spotlight New Christian Music Magazine 1997-2008 -Church News Editor, Church Herald Magazine 2004-2009

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