"That's a song I wrote when I proposed to my girlfriend when I was 19 years old," recalled Wade during a conference call from the band's Los Angeles recording studio.
"It didn't show up until our third album six years later."
The melodic song was one of mainstream radio's top hits of 2005 and re-established the band's impact made with its 2001 debut smash, "Hanging By A Moment."
"You and Me" still echoes at nuptials around the country. "We've played it ourselves for at least three weddings," said Wade. "And we've been asked to help guys propose on stage when we play it at shows.
"I think it's interesting that a song that started so personal to me and my girlfriend – now my wife of 16 years – became a wedding anthem."
The Lifehouse musical catalog is infused with spiritually-connected themes and lyrics. Although never calling itself a Christian band, Christian radio has featured many of the band's songs which relate to people of faith.
Wade and Lifehouse are on tour with fellow California band Switchfoot. And the road show stops in West Michigan July 31 with a concert at Frederik Meijer Gardens.
THE LIFEHOUSE JOURNEY
Wade was born into a Christian missionary family which served throughout the Far East, including Hong Kong. After they moved back to the U.S. his parents divorced, a blow which sent him reeling.
"Music came at a pivotal moment for me as a teenager," he said. "I could have gone down a dark path if I hadn't known ways to transmute all the negative emotions I was feeling. Music kind of saved me in the sense that it gave me an outlet to communicate."
Spiritual references are woven through the band's music. For example, the songs "Storm," ("And I will walk on water, And You will catch me if I fall"), "Take Me Away" ("....it's never enough, it keeps leaving me needing you") and the more pointed "Everything," from their debut album with its prayerful, "You hold me in your hands, You won't let me fall."
"That's a spiritually-based song that a lot of churches adopted and it became this beautiful anthem to a younger generation," Wade noted. "We have a lot of Christians at our shows and a lot of the songs resonate."
Which makes the Lifehouse tour pairing with the faith-based Switchfoot an especially interesting one.
A FAITHFUL COMBINATION
Wade says he was in Nashville doing songwriting sessions when his manager called saying Switchfoot asked about a joint concert tour. Lifehouse was on hiatus and not planning to hit the road.
"I had this feeling it would be a great opportunity and I loved the band," Wade said of the possible collaboration. "I asked our guys if they wanted to do it and they dropped what they were doing to get it together." (See Jason Wade with the Switchfoot tour announcement and his own acoustic version of the Switchfoot song, "Dare You To Move." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ztJNdInxk&feature=youtu.be).
"We've always been fans of Switchfoot's music – it seems like they write very honest lyrics and are spiritual in nature," Wade added.
Another impetus for the tour is the release of a Lifehouse "Greatest Hits" album – a chronological presentation of the band's radio singles over their 16-year recording career. The collection represents the heart of their seven-album, multi-platinum success, starting with their seminal "Hanging By A Moment."
It provides a kind of cap on their career so far, a milestone which Wade says offers some perspective.
"We're at the age where we can look back and appreciate how lucky we were. We got into (music) at a young age and have kind of seen the whole evolution of the industry," he said.
"It's kind of a nostalgic feeling for us to play these songs – some written 17 years ago - and see fans we grew up with, and now they've got families and kids of their own. It's amazing we're still doing it."
Don't expect Wade to break out a worship anthem during a Lifehouse concert set. But the artist does follow the genre. "I love the stuff that Bethel (Bethel Music of Redding, Calif.) does – some great worship music comes out of there," he said. "And also, the Hillsong United guys I love. There's some really solid, great worship music out there today."
Lifehouse and Switchfoot – "Looking For Summer" tour
6pm Mon. July 31 (gates open at 5)
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E. Beltline NE, 616-957-1580
Tickets: $67 and up. At press time, several outlets reported the concert as a sellout
link for ticket inquiries: http://www.startickets.com/search?q=Lifehouse&Itemid=124