Air 1 “Positive Hits” tour arrives in Oxnard to a packed house

By Michael Hernandez, story 9-22-15

OXNARD—An exuberant sold-out Performing Arts Center was the site of Tuesday’s Air 1 “Positive Hits” tour featuring FindingFavorDavid Crowder, try Lauren Daigle, Finding Favour, NF and 3 For 3 (a California group that opened up the concert).

The Oxnard Performing Arts Center which seats 1,600 was sold out more than six weeks ago for this Christian concert sponsored by the all-music, no commercials national radio network that can be heard locally at 92.7 FM and which was sponsored by Food For The Hungry.  Most of the night the crowd was on its feet clapping and waving their hands.

David Crowder’s latest album Neon Steeple (May, 2014) features songs like “Come As Your Are” and “I Am.”  Crowder mixes folk, bluegrass, and electronica with worship music, which many have referred to as Crowder CrowderDavid2.0  “The past three years have been some of the most beautiful and trying of my life,” said Crowder, a crowd favorite.

“I couldn’t be happier about how the worship anthem “I Am” (off Neon Steeple), speaks of the power of the presence of being in the name of God,” said Crowder.  “For me that is one of the greatest hopes of the Christian faith No matter where you are in life, you live and breathe in the very presence of God and He has given access to himself.  The Creator of the universe has given access to us,” said Crowder.  Five crowd favorites the band sang were “Here’s My Heart,” “He is Holy,” “Come As You Are,” “I Fly Away,” and “How He Loves.”  “I just want you to feel like this is our front porch,” said Crowder to the Oxnard audience at the beginning of their stage act and before lasers went off.  The lead act electrified the crowd with their country bluegrass music set.

Lauren Daigle’s deepest desire is to write music that opens doors for people to encounter her Savior.  “If I can help people, 3for3NFeven if it’s with a three-minute song, just experience God, you never know how that will change the rest of their day or the rest of their life,” said Daigle.  “I just want people to be able to experience Him.”  Lauren’s songs include “How Can It Be” and “First.”

“Jesus says, ‘Go and sin no more, I don’t condemn you.’  No condemnation is found in Christ.  That is why we can stand and marvel and choose grace,” said Lauren.  “I don’t know what you walked in here with, but let us lay it on the feet of Christ.” Lauren was an “American Idol” contender in 2010 and 2012.   Earlier in high school, she overcame a serious, contagious virus that caused her to be out of school for nearly two years.

Finding Favour’s new single “Say Amen” is a song about the never-ending faithfulness of Christ.  “Say Amen” is a reminder of God’s undying faithfulness,” says lead singer Blake Neesmith.  “He’ll never leave us!  He’ll never forsake us.  So let us take the good and the bad and remember that God has a purpose and a plan.  In the fire, in the storms, or even in the calm, we can stand and ‘Say Amen.’”  Possibly the best received song of the night sung by Finding Favour was “Cast My Cares.”

Each band member in Finding Favour, was raised in Christian homes in Georgia.  Their debut hit was “Slip On By.”   “Once in awhile, you hear a special song that immediately takes you somewhere,” said Gotee Records co-founder and president, Toby Mac.  “It causes you to think and feel.  And without preaching at you, it reminds you of the things that really matter.”

Blake Neesmith shared the story and photo of Sammy (a Guatemalan boy who was on tour with Finding Favour in Canada)—a baby left with strangers for the first four years of his life and then  who lived on the streets for another four years before his life was saved two years ago by Jesus Christ.  Today, Sammy lives in a Christian home and attends a Christian school after being adopted by a family through the ministry of Food For The Hungry, sponsors of the Air 1 “Positive Hits” tour.

Alexis and Raul Meza, an Oxnard couple, were one of many in the crowd who responded to Blake’s plea by sponsoring Juan, a four-year Peruvian boy and Dip, a seven-year old boy from Bangladesh at $35 a month each.   “We felt we had to do something to help,” said Alexis.

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NF (Nate Feuerstein), a Christian hip-hop artist born in Michigan and relocated to Nashville, Tennessee writes songs that express his true feelings.   “I write to beats…the beats bring out the emotions that I’m feeling.  Whatever I’m feeling, that’s what I’m going to write.”  NF’s song “I’ll Keep On” can be heard from his nationally released album “Mansion” (2015).

Nate believes God gave him music as an outlet for the anger he still deals with from painful life experiences (such as child abuse and his mother’s death from a drug overdose when he was 18 in 2009).   “Some people go to drugs, some people go to music, said NF.   “Music has definitely been that for me, like my entire life.  It’s always been like medicine to me.  I Air192.7started doing it because I was angry.  When I first got into rap, I would listen to it all the time.  That’s all I listened to and it was almost like a relief,” said NF.  “Not a day passes that I don’t deal with something.  I have anger all my life.  I still have anger.  I just want it  to be real.”

The Air 1 “Positive Hits” tour was in El Cajon (San Diego) on Sept. 17th and is heading to Roseville (Sacramento) on Sept. 25th to Fresno on Sept. 26th and then to the Grove in Anaheim on Sept. 28th.  The Air 1 “Positive Hits” tour goes nationwide in October.   The listener-supported radio network takes calls from those wishing to connect with a pastor and is also known for allowing listeners to determine which song is next or played the most.

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Blake Neesmith of Finding Favour with Mike (author) & Jeanette Hernandez and David Crowder at Air 1 “Positive Hits” Concert at Oxnard Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Sept. 22nd

 

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Those wishing to contact Michael Hernandez, a co-founder of the Citizens Journal and a former daily newspaper religion and news editor can email [email protected] or call(818) 263-9881 for questions, or to share your story about “engaging culture” or “fighting for religious freedom.”

 

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