Event Recap: “All Things Work Together” Tour | Silver Spring, MD
Lecrae’s “All Things Work Together” Tour hit the midway point recently in Silver Spring, MD. The Wade-O Radio Team was among the attendees in the packed venue excited to see how it would be. I wasn’t prepared for what was ahead.
Reach Records’ newest artists 1K Phew and Aha Gazelle were the opening acts giving us a sneak peak into what the new generation of Reach artists would bring to the table. Being one of the youngest artists on the label, 1K Phew didn’t hesitate to tell us his testimony, despite his youth. Through tracks like “Long Way,” the crowd could hear and feel his story. 1K Phew’s new Atlanta sound then brought us along to celebrate God’s work in his story, as he energized the crowd with tracks like “Fettucine”.
Aha Gazelle brought us on a personal tour of Louisiana through some of his hits. “Momma’s House”, “Keep it in the Family”, and “All White Party” were already songs hype and skillfully written enough to legitimize his fan base in attendance. Once DJ Promote switched it up and played classic Juvenile and Mannie Fresh instrumentals for Aha to perform these tracks over, you were a fan then if you weren’t before.
Aha Gazelle remained on stage to be joined by Lecrae and perform “Whatchu Mean” as a transition into the show’s headline performances. If you read our site’s earlier album review of “All Things Work Together”, you’d know that the album was distinguished by its transparency, versatility, and masterful lyricism. It didn’t take long for the concert to distinguish itself from his previous ones with those same markers. A short introduction video to the concert cycled through recent news headlines and interview excerpts that
have not only characterized the past couple of years for our country, but have also colored the world Lecrae as a person has had to navigate. It was helpful context as Lecrae performed songs like “Facts.” “Facts” was performed shortly after “Whatchu Mean” and acted as Lecrae’s assurance to his fans that he “ain’t really changed, it’s the same old rebel.”
As the crowd erupted to Lecrae’s proclamation that he “was waiting for the right time,” the ambiance felt more like family that had his back as opposed to merely fans hearing him rap. The high energy persisted in “Broke” and “Blessings.” Ironically while some might think those two titles are contradictions to each other, Lecrae preached to us of the riches he found in the valleys that we too easily look down upon. He boasted in God’s ability to raise up resourcefulness, resilience, and endurance during times when we’re most broke and in God’s ability to teach him critical lessons in each loss that he can now count as blessings.
On that same note of resourcefulness, resilience, and endurance, I really admired the time Lecrae intentionally took out to acknowledge and appreciate women. He performed and dedicated “Lucked Up” to the women who’ve held him down, whether his wife or the broader grace of women to humankind. I certainly took note of his counter-cultural intentionality in carving out the appropriate space to recognize women.
As I recognized his reflective gratitude for women in that space and for the riches of his lessons from losses, it was an appropriate feeling to transition into what Lecrae gave us in performing “Come and Get Me.” If that song already addressed his critics and enemies with the confidence of one who has endured a trying season, then being in the crowd felt like we were Church Mothers affirming and encouraging a saint during testimony service. It was community, it was testimony, it was transparency.
These themes continued into some of the deeper songs from the album. “Cant Stop Me Now” felt like a small window into the real life person behind the Christian Hip-Hop superstar. Depression and doubt are unfortunately too often subjects that we only touch on when immediately attached to fast-forwarded testimonies of betterment. Lecrae’s performance however had no issue of spending time there and allowing his journey with it to be laid out before us.
It was as if he remembered that Christ’s resurrection occurred only after multiple nights in the grave. It was as if he recognized that the disappointment and depression that was undoubtedly experienced by Jesus’ followers during that time in the grave was just as real and sanctifying as the joy they found upon his resurrection. That level of realness resonated with attendees. It not only resonated, but it also ministered to us in a way that made resilience and strength seem a bit more attainable.
The hope and encouragement in that moment was what he left us with in continuing on to “I’ll Find You”. It was the perfect
encouragement to hang on in mindfulness of what’s to come. The future of what’s to come was the central and hope-filled focus of how the entire concert was brought together. The performance of “8:28” was our joyful celebration of what Christians are promised in Romans when we’re instructed that “all things work together for good.”
This focus of all things working together was not only the central message of the album, but was emphasized in a special way at the concert. What emphasized the themes and distinctly amplified the concert was not the amped up graphics or choreography, but the element of freedom. Lecrae performed with a sense of freedom that illustrated his escape not only from critics and enemies, but from the pressure, condemnation, and conventions from himself. He used this freedom to not forget these issues, but to allow his journey with them to minister to us as explicitly and clearly as some of his previous albums’ Gospel presentations.
Perhaps that integral extension of the Gospel is why this concert felt so special. The “All Things Work Together” Tour seemed to master the Gospel understanding that sometimes Christ-centered, God-glorifying music means more than just proclaiming the things about God that we would traditionally rejoice in, but also being real about the difficulties in our walk following Christ. As Lecrae in “Cry for You” tells us to “hear a broken man ’til your healin’ happens,” I’m reminded that even though we often only focus on the last two words of that line about healing, in reality God is just as present and redemptively working in the first part in the outplaying of us being broken men. And that extension of the Gospel is what “All Things Work Together” is about.
All images credited to Hunter Lied (@hlied116).