Peter Furler at Selwyn Outreach Centre

It doesn’t get any better than this. How do you describe a performer of Peter Furler’s calibre? The former front man of newboys and now a solo artist, came to Peterborough on Monday night to give it all to the crowd.

Besides Peter Furler, there was a great band line-up. Opening band Me In Motion had a very short, three song set to start things off. This pop/rock band from Ohio began in ’06, but their release of their self-titled full length album brought them a lot of attention. Too bad this band wasn’t allowed more time on stage. I guess it’s always tough when you are the newest kid on the block, the new band always gets short-changed. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in the audience looking for more.

Levi McGrath of Australia was next up. He offered a number of acoustic driven folk/pop tracks. He has a great voice, but the songs failed to draw my attention.

Building 429 has become a mainstay in Canada over the past few of years, playing numerous Canadian dates. They’ve developed a huge and devoted following for their rock sound. Building 429 lead vocalist and guitarist, Jason Roy has fronted the band since 2000. Building 429 has drive and talent which was certainly evident on the tour with Peter Furler. This band has a remained a youth event favourite over the past ten years, which is where I have seen them perform on several occasions.

For those who are curious the band name comes from Ephesians 4:29 which states: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

The big man, Peter Furler finished up the night accompanied by former newsboys bass player, Phil Joel. It was a real treat having two former newsboys on stage together. Joel was a key player in newsboys when he left the band back in ’06. The comaraderie Peter and Phil share was evident throughout the show. The back up band also featured a dynamic guitarist and excellent drummer to round out the sound.

The only possible negative of the concert was Furler’s mike cutting out for three songs at the start of the set. He bounded over to Phil Joel and the two ended up sharing a mike even after Furler’s was repaired. Not only did the capacity crowd enjoy tracks from Furler’s solo release On Fire, but he and Joel also performed a multitude of newsboys tracks including, “Shine”, “Breakfast”, “Entertaining Angels”, “Something Beautiful” and my personal favourite “He Reigns”. The audience vocals were louder than even Peter Furler’s through most of the songs.

Peter Furler didn’t neglect play some tracks from his new solo album. It was great to hear “Reach” and “I’m Alive” performed live.

It seemed to be forgotten by all of the performers at Selwyn Outreach Centre that this was a “Christmas” tour. Even though no Christmas tunes were played, it was enough of a present to enjoy great music by some extraordinary bands.

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