The Tour Begins…

By   •   July 16, 2009

9:58pm

That’s it! The show is over. What a day. Tons of people, tons of music and tons of sun. The bands were awesome, Franklin shared the Gospel and lives are being changed forever. We’ll be posting more updates, videos and photos in the next few days, so keep an eye out for that. Make sure to keep telling your friends. We’re hitting St. Louis next and we can’t wait to see you there!

9:35pm

We’ve now got a worship medley going, with members from a bunch of the bands singing together and praising God. It’s been a really long day, but this is a fun way to bring things to a close.

9:12pm

Franklin returned and challenged kids to take a visible stand for Jesus by raising their hands. Arms went up across the field, signifying a decision for the Son and His love. Anthony Evans is now doing a worship set as the evening sky is sporadically lit up by distant lightning.

8:04pm

Flyleaf just got on stage, welcomed by thunderous applause from a crowd of thousands. The air is cooler, but the energy is definitely heating up with their heavy-meets-beauty one-two rock punch. Lacey is starting to share her heart a bit, telling the story behind the song “All Around Me.”

6:48pm

RED killed it on stage! The bass was pounding, the guitars were blaring and the drums were kicking. They put it all out on the stage and held nothing back. They were followed by Hawk Nelson who brought their Great North spin on pop-punk to the Baton Rouge masses. The kids were on their feet and bouncing along to their punchy tunes.

After their set, lead singer Jason Dunn introduced Franklin and hugged him as Hawk Nelson left the stage. Franklin continued his message of our need for God and the possibility of knowing Him through His son Jesus. The call for taking a new step of faith went out and the good news continued to be shared by counselors out in the pit.

Mary Mary are now performing their R&B hits, bringing a cool vibe to match to freshly cooling weather. Some clouds have rolled in, but it hasn’t dimmed the enthusiasm of the crowds one bit. We’re five hours into the concert and everyone is still going strong!

3:56pm

Franklin just finished sharing his heart for the first time with the crowd. The invitation to come and know Jesus has gone out and counselors are meeting with those who’ve come up to the front of the stage. It’s quiet across the Levee Lots and on the jumbo screens, but I have a feeling that it’s about to get wild again in just a few minutes.

Pray for those who will be attending the Rock the River concerts:

2:43pm

Heeeeeeere we go! The mayor of Baton Rouge welcomed everyone and then Superchick rocked the Levee. Canton Jones is emceeing, making sure everyone is getting into the action. The sun is baking, but the music and crowd are cool to the core.

Franklin Update @ 1:15pm

Franklin’s backstage and ready to get this show underway.

Saturday Update – 10:51am

The big day has arrived and it’s a hot one! The stage is being set, sound checks are happening and a buzz is in the air. We just had a chance to hang out and chat with the guys from Untitled Skateboards. They’re going to be running an exhibition for everyone out here today, so make sure you don’t miss that.

There’s a lot of preparation going on right now, but it’s just a tiny piece of all the work that’s gone into this event. Even the students themselves have been training for this tour. Check this out as Allee and Anri talk about the need for youth to witness for Christ:


Friday Update
What’s up everyone? It’s the official day-before-the-tour and it is hot and humid here in Baton Rouge.

We had a great interview this morning with Ryan Wells, a youth pastor of a church in Central, LA. He shared his heart both for his kids and the other churches and youth groups across the area. We’ll be posting some of that video soon.

Speaking of pastors with a heart for the next generation, check out this piece with Matthew Robinson.

That’s about it for now! Time to head over to the concert venue for a run-through and maybe some more interviews. Keep praying and telling your friends about Rock The River. It’s almost here!


Thursday Update
Welcome to the Rock The River Tour Blog: Baton Rouge Edition! It’s been a long and winding road to this new festival format, but the beginning of the tour is right on top of us. My name is Jeremy and I’ll be your Internet guide here on BillyGraham.org as Rock The River rolls out.

I work on all of BGEA’s social media efforts, so if you’ve sent a direct message to us on Twitter, commented on Facebook, or asked to be our friend on YouTube, chances are good I saw it on our end. I am stoked to be involved with Rock The River and I was incredibly excited when I boarded the plane for Baton Rouge this morning.

But even though I’ve just recently arrived, there’s been a whole team of people working in each of the four cities for the past year or so. Our field staff are the crew on the ground that get it done and make sure that churches and individuals partner up to make events like this happen. Combined with the efforts of our office staff in Charlotte, everyone at BGEA has been doing a ton of preparation for this summer.

It’s tough to properly sum up in just a few words, but if you want a behind-the-scenes glimpse, check out our TV Special page. The newest broadcast is all about Rock The River and you can watch the whole thing right here on your computer (or check the listings for your TV).

I’ll be back later, bringing updates and the latest news from right here in Baton Rouge. As always, you can also keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and MySpace. More soon…

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