I’ve never come across a Christian musician whose work as meant as much to me as Derek Webb’s. He’s the Charlie Peacock of our generation (and oh how I wish Charlie recorded more. I don’t care for his voice or style, but his lyrics are amazing…). However, my history with Derek Webb’s music is a little rocky.
I listened to Caedmon’s Call (the group he used to be in) a lot around 6-7 years ago. So we I heard Derek was launching a solo career in 2003, I rushed out to buy his first album, She Must and Shall Go Free. Only to discover… I hated it. A little too country for me, really not what I expected, but mostly I just didn’t get it. Some of his music made me uncomfortable, but I’ve since learned that’s the beauty of Derek Webb. (I now love the record… wisdom comes with age, I guess.)
So when his second album, i see things upside down, came out, I didn’t purchase it right away. I think I finally picked it up late in 2005, ready to give him a chance, and his lyrics affected me in a great way. He was sharing much about himself and the Christian subculture that I myself was going through and having my eyes opened to. More than anything, it just felt good to know someone else out there felt like I did and had seen what I had seen.
Then came the great Mockingbird, & One Zero, and somewhere in between these two CDs I picked up The House Show. While personally I love i see things upside down the most, Mockingbird is by far the superior album, both lyrically and musically. I love One Zero because it feel like he is sitting next to me singing. I love The House Show because he shares the stories and reasons behind the songs.
When I discovered Derek would be in Lincoln last Friday, I immediately made plans to go. I took the afternoon off work and stayed with my friend Suzie. It also gave me the change to introduce her to his music.
It snowed about 12 inches in the eastern part of the state, but thankfully the concert was still a go. We drove around the Haymarket to find a parking space (usually a challenge in the downtown area of Lincoln) and as we drove through a section of parking right by the bar where he was playing, Suzie stopped for two people crossing the street. (No easy task considered the horrible road conditions.) As she slide to a stop, narrowly missing these two guys, I immediately recognized him. Yes, we almost ran over Derek Webb. This would only happen to me, I assure you.
After located a parking spot and trekking through the snow, we were able to enjoy a tremendous evening of beautiful music in a really cool old historic building. He played three new songs: This Too Shall Be Made Right, I Don’t Want To Fight, and I think the other song was called The End. He opened with This Too Shall Be Made Right and went into a set of:
A King & A Kingdom
Rich Young Ruler
My Enemies Are Men Like Me
I Don’t Want to Fight
Nothing is Ever Enough (special request from an audience member, which Derek was afraid he might not remember. But of course he did fine.)
Nobody Loves Me
Saint and Sinner
Of course it wasn’t enough it nearly hit the guy, because as we left the bar, Derek was leaving at the same time. Dying to meet him, I introduced myself. Derek was flattered I’d driven an hour and a half to see the concert and I never would’ve guessed it, but that man has the biggest, most magnetic smile I’ve ever seen. It’s like twice as big as his head. Completely awesome. He was very sweet, and running down to Scooters for coffee. It was still snowing a little and very windy so anything to warm up was a good idea. Derek told us he comes to Lincoln a lot because his brother and some other family live there, so he’s come to expect it.
All in all, it was a wonderful night of music and it was completely awesome that not only did I almost run him over, but I also got to meet him. How lucky am I?