I had no idea what to expect. I was not supposed to be in town and I found myself driving to University of Texas Arlington’s College Center to help with the Reach Record’s Unashamed V concert. I knew that I would probably see some of the show, but I didn’t plan on it.
Shortly after I got there, I was told that I could go and enjoy the concert and that I was relieved of my t-shirt selling duties. This allowed me to get a spot on the floor at the very front of the stage (I was literally leaning on the rail). The arena was empty and I had no clue what was about to happen. I kept second guessing if I should stay that close because I know how crazy fans can get. I stayed. I experienced an Unashamed concert up close and personal. There were many things that I can touch on, but I’ll stick to the highlights.
It was 8:01 PM and the crowd was ready for the concert to begin. The music was low and the lights were still on in the arena. Then we heard D.A. Horton get on the mic, “Are ya’ll ready for the Unashamed Tour Dallas!!” Immediately, the crowd burst into chants of “one one six!” If the packed out arena was not already buzzing with anticipation, D.A. Horton decided to share that after the announcements, the Reach Records crew would be filming the music video to their tour single “Now They Know.” The excitement in the room was almost tangible. The lights were off, smoke machines were going and the artists were on stage with their backs to the audience. As soon as the beat dropped, I knew I was in for a memorable show.
Reach Records has always been known for their excellence and they continued to strengthen that part of their brand at this concert. The stage presence and energy from each member was very polished and captivating. I was also very impressed by the videos that went along with each artist’s set. Sometimes it’s the little details that change everything. The videos for the artists (especially KB, Derek Minor, and Andy Mineo) added to the overall production and kept the audience engaged. DJ Aslan and their drummer, Nate Robinson did an amazing job as well. I was blown away by the excellence presented on stage that night.
When I think of Reach Records, I expect them to do well. I do not always have a critical eye, but I do expect them to do well. I remember when I first saw KB perform at the Man Up Conference in Atlanta, GA. I was a little shocked then because his stage presence seemed like it lacked control. That night, KB showed how much he’s grown as an artist in many different ways. His delivery was sharp, he transitioned well, and he really ministered in between songs. He did a wonderful job as the first act of the night.
Derek Minor did a wonderful job staying true to the new sound that he’s been going for. His entire set was a little more laid back and not as hyped as it may have been years before, but it provided balance. He shared about how his song “Champions” was dedicated to a boy that ended up dying from cancer. The story prior to the song made the lyrics much more powerful, and when he performed it, the crowd was truly worshipping. After, a kid next to me told me how that piece of his set reminded him of his Grandma that died from cancer and how that song hit home for him. It was a wonderful thing to see and be apart of.
Another moment that I will not forget was during Tedashii’s set. He had just performed “Go Hard” and had his little son on stage with him as his hype man. We were full of enegery, and then he transitioned from that song to share a very vulnerable moment. He mentioned that he originally wrote “Last Goodbye” for people who have lost family members in the military. He went on to tell us how that same song helped him get through the death of his son. It was a very touching moment and he even cried at the end. You could feel the shift in the room from sheer craziness to a serious moment of reflection and truth. He used the few moments he had after, to talk about how his hope in Jesus was the only way he was able to make it through. Tedashii blessed many in the room through that very sensitive and transparent moment.
After Tedashii, Andy Mineo came out. I remember a while back when Alex Medina was working on Andy’s album, he tweeted something about how “Uno Uno Seis” would be a severe problem in future concerts. He was right. The crowd was insane and I was too close to the front to escape it. Everyone had brought great energy to the stage, but Andy took the entire arena to a completely different level. I knew the song was fun and exciting, but it was just unreal in that arena during that song.
Last, but definitely not least was Lecrae. This highlight was a little different for me because I finally saw what some of his accusers may have been getting at. He performed “Church Clothes” and when it came to the part where it says “choir members probably havin’ gay sex,” I looked around right away. I thought to myself, “I wonder what young kids just shouted out those lyrics and I wonder if their parents have discussed the song with them.” I don’t think he was wrong to perform that song, but it definitely made me aware of why some people are frustrated with his new direction. However, he continued to let his fans know that he’s still sold out for Jesus all throughout his set, just in case anyone had other thoughts. He did a great job encouraging believers to stay unashamed and reach the lost.
Overall, this was a phenomenal experience. Prior to the concert, I heard testimonies from many people, from a guy over 30 to a kid in the 8th grade. They talked about how the music Reach Records puts out has helped them in their walks with the Lord. The artists did a great job ministering throughout their sets and Tedashii even did a Gospel presentation at the end of the show. Dallas was the last stop of the Unashamed V Tour and I think they put on a remarkable show that pointed people to Jesus.