On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, Winter Jam came to EagleBank Arena at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. This is the largest annual Christian Music tour in the United States, and it has been running annual since 1995. This year the lineup for the East Coast dates featured For King & Country, Matthew West, Crowder, Lauren Daigle, RED, NewSong, Sidewalk Prophets, KB, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Stars Go Dim, and We Are Messengers, along with speaker Tony Nolan. These artists covered many genres, including rock, country, pop, and rap. Doors at the arena were scheduled to open at 6:00, but fans were allowed in the venue soon before that. The seats all filled up quickly, with only a few scattered around the venue as the music got underway.
One band that I have been wanting to see for years is RED, and Winter Jam was a perfect opportunity for me to finally see them. Although their set was short, consisting of only four songs, the band packed a lot of energy into it. Pyrotechnics were used, and RED was the first artist of the night to use them. Fire shot out of a few different places on the stage. At the end of the set, small fireworks flamed out by the dark trees that decorated the stage. For the song “Take Me Over,” the band, excluding the drummer, ran to a platform at the opposite end of the floor area and played most of the song from there. During the song “Darkest Part,” off of RED’s most recent album, of Beauty and Rage, a person dressed in a black cloak, similar to the one pictured on the album’s cover, came out and walked around the stage. Also during that song, lead singer Michael Barnes ran through the crowd, going up and down the steps that lead through some sections of the seats. Even though their set was short, due to the amount of artists that performed that night, RED made the most of the space that they had, drawing the crowd into the music with them.