Day two of Purple Door kicks off as festival attendees slowly trickle back in to the fairgrounds. It’s a cool vibe at Purple Door. There is a good mix of people, both young and old all here to experience a great day of music & art.

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The band Breezewood plays to a still waking up crowd, but does a nice job warming up the crowd with their catchy choruses.

The Road To Milestone was a very nice surprise. If I had to describe them in one sentence I would say, picture the Backstreet Boys with a chip on their shoulder. Catchy hooks and choreographed moves that got the crowd jumpin’. The guy playing the Apple computer played it with conviction and as though it had 6 strings. The electronic samples sprinkled throughout added a very cool element to their music.

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Ace Augustine killed it. They seemed to have quite a following singing along to many of their songs. The pit came alive during their set complete with mohawks, gas masks, and I think I even saw a mime doing their thing in their somewhere:)  Lancaster, PA has become quite a hotbed for some hardcore heavyweights. Ace Augustine contributes to the pool of Pennsylvania talent in a big way!

Indie rockers Mike Mains & The Branches played the Relevant Stage to a packed house. The straight up rock n’ roll sound and well crafted songs made this a stand out band that I will definitely follow more closely.

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Ascend The Hill from Florida & The Ember Days from New Zealand were there for one purpose; to bring us into the presence of the Lord. It was a very spirit filled time focused on the goodness of God, his love, his grace, and his wonderful mercy to his children. I left the worship experience with a greater appreciation for the heart of our Heavenly Father. There is something aboutworshipping with the masses. It did my heart good. Real good.

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As Hell Retreats from Hendersonville, TN and I The Breather from Hagerstown, MD both lit up the LBC stage with a high energy metal core show. There was no shortage of low end, ribcage rattling tones to keep you on your toes all throughout their shows.

I stopped by the Come and Live Lounge to hear an interview with Aaron Gillespie formerly with the band Underoath. He shared the journey that God has taken him on over the past couple of years, to leave the comfort of Underoath and move into the unknown in obedience to God. He shared how lives are being changed because of his willingness to say  “yes” to God. A little later Aaron and his piano player led worship for a packed out audience. It was raw, genuine, and simple. Aaron sang his heart out in front of a stripped down drum kit, playing guitar and the kick drum during most of the set. It was very unique, and it worked. It worked very well.

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For Today was the stand out band for me this weekend for a number of reasons. First of all, well because they rock. And rock hard! They embrace the crowd and give tons of opportunities for crowd participation. And the crowd participated in full force. Second of all, Mattie is a gifted and passionate communicator of God’s Word. He knows the Bible and it’s obvious that he “smokes what he sells.” He is passionate about awakening this generation to make a difference for Christ. As they walked off the stage after their last song, the crowd began to cheer for an encore. Mattie and guitarist came back on stage and dedicated their encore to Jesus and led the crowd in a worship song telling Jesus, “He’s worthy.”

Mattie got back up on stage shortly after their show and preached a powerful 45 minute message on developing a deeper faith. He gave an opportunity for people to respond to the challenge of going after deeper faith, and many people went forward to indicate that they wanted their life to make a difference for Christ!

Because of the rain, the party was brought indoors for the remainder of the festival. Unfortunately, I had to leave a little early so I could be in good shape to preach Sunday morning. I wasn’t able to catch Project 86, Disciple, or Underoath – all of which I’m sure delivered an incredible show for the crowd. It’s been fun to report from Purple Door Festival 2011. Until next time. Peace.

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