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Beyond belief

The most successful Christian rock bands often feel compelled to play a game of spiritual peekaboo with the masses. They want the diehard Christian community to embrace them, yet they want to keep enough distance from that community to avoid scaring off MTV. The best/worst recent example of this was Evanescence, whose members turned all shades of red whenever anyone yanked them out of the closet. All the while, Christian-rock aficionados assured themselves with a wink, “They’re one of us, they just can’t talk about it.”


Any group in their position is right to express annoyance at being tagged a “Christian band,” but at the same time, if spirituality is the dominant component of your life, why be sheepish about it? Did Bob Marley ever try to camouflage his Rastafarianism?

Fall Brawl Tour:

Staind and P.O.D.,
Taproot and Flyleaf

Fri, Nov 25
$29 (advance);
$32 (day of show)

Sunset Station
(Lonestar Pavilion)
1174 E. Commerce

The veteran San Diego group P.O.D. (Payable On Death) wears their faith on their acronym. Otherwise, however, they like to keep things vague, all the while patting themselves on the back for their courage. Take their breakthrough 2001 hit “Alive,” in which they brag: “Tell the world how I feel inside/even though it might cost me everything.” Well, it might cost them something, if they actually mentioned what they felt, rather than telling us about telling us. And when they swoon, “Now that I’ve seen you/I can never look away,” the true believers know what they’re talking about, but the rest of the head-banging world can blissfully assume they’re ogling a stripper.

It’s probably safe for them to loosen up a bit. Thirteen years after their formation and seven years after signing with Atlantic Records, this group’s biggest hurdle is not their love for Jesus, but their allegiance to a brand of bombastic rap-metal that went out of fashion faster than you can say “Fred Durst sucks.” But they hedge their bets musically too, with the occasional loping reggae groove that showcases their best asset: their rich, intricate harmonies. These guys have something to say, but you’ll have to take their word for it.

Gilbert Garcia

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