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MercyMe at Meadow Brook, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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“Lifer” is an apt title for the latest album by Christian rockers MercyMe.

Since forming during the mid-90s and particularly since signing a national recording deal in 2000, the group has been one of the genre’s most popular with nine No. 1 Christian albums (including “Lifer,” which came out during March), one of which is double-platinum and seven of which are certified gold. It’s also won a pair of American Music Awards and eight GMA Dove Awards.

Riding “Lifer’s” coattails, MercyMe is headlining this year’s Summer Lights Tour, making a case as one of the brightest lights in the Christian music world...

• The “Lifer” album’s success builds off 2014’s “Welcome To The New,” another Christian chart-topper and gold album that saw MercyMe’s members rededicate themselves to the band. “That record was kind of a watershed moment for us,” bassist and co-founder Nathan Cochran, 39, acknowledges by phone from his home near Nashville. “We weren’t sure before we made that record if we were even interested in making another record or wanted to keep touring as a band, to be honest. We’d been doing this for 23 years and after awhile we felt like we were just cogs in a machine that was just rolling along, and that began to take its toll on us. We began doing things just to keep rolling, and it got to the point where it felt like it wasn’t worth leaving home anymore to do this. So we set out to make a record of just songs we wanted to make. There weren’t any concerns about pleasing anyone, labels or radio or anything. We just set out to do what we wanted to do, and I think we made one of our favorite records and we were surprised at the reception it got. People seemed to latch onto it pretty quickly, and we had come to a point where we were enjoying what we were doing again.”

• “Lifer,” then, was made from a more positive collective frame of mind. “For us, that last record was about our identity in Chris, what that actually means for us and trying to be honest about it,” Cochran explains. “Lifer was just a continuation of that. We had a message we were passionate about again. We’d reached a destination and realized, ‘Oh, we can keep going. Let’s continue with the same thinking,’ so that’s how we approached it on (‘Lifer’).”

• Being part of this year’s Summer Lights Tour has been a nothing but a positive experience, according to Cochran. “The fun part of it is we get to hang out with some friends for a few weeks; It’s kind of like summer camp for adults to go on a tour like this,” he says. “The thought behind it was to have a festival that travels with five or six bands, the same lineup day after day, but it feels like a festival. And we can make a difference and not just a show.”

If You Go

• Summer Lights Tour with MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Natalie Grand, Meredith Andrews and Jimi Cravity

• 6 p.m. Sunday, July 9.

• Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills.

• Tickets are $29.50-$95 pavilion, $29.50 lawn.

• Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.apalacenet.com

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