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Manafest Brings the Party to The Warehouse

posted May 6, 2011, 8:30 PM by Sarah Brehm

Question: What do rock and rap have in common? Answer: Manafest.

 But before Manafest performed, the crowd was entertained by the sounds and spins of two local rap groups, Take Heart and Brando. Take Heart (Joey Whited and Zach Brandon) kicked off the party with songs about life and how “we all about the Christ.” One song really struck me: “More of You.” The song begins “I want more of You. I need less of me, cause when I’m in control I make a mess of me.” Simple words. Powerful message. One everyone can relate to. It’s only when we let go of control to God—that’s when we truly live.


While rap isn’t the genre I regularly listen to, I do appreciate entertainers, and Brando were most certainly entertainers; Brando wins the most epic intro to their set—the beat started, fog clouded the empty stage. The song switched to the “Imperial March” from Star Wars (you know, Darth Vader’s theme). People in the crowded started looking back. Standing just behind the crowd was a guy in a bright yellow suit and Darth Vader mask. The crowd obediently parted as he purposefully marched to the stage. I was a little disappointed this DJ didn’t keep the Vader mask on throughout the show. The singer for Brando wore glowing gloves and sunglasses. Brando had a reminiscent pop sound of the 80s mixed with popular hits today.


Interestingly, the Dove Award nominee Manafest (and band) bounced onto The Warehouse’s stage next (I was expecting him to headline). Manafest, whose real name is Chris Greenwood, originates from Toronto, Ontario, where he was discovered by Trevor McNevan, lead singer of rock band Thousand Foot Crutch. He started with the hit single “Avalanche” from his current album The Chase, but the crowd didn’t get really energetic until the second song, “4-3-2-1” from the album Citizens Activ. Every person in the crowd was on their feet, jumping to the beat, hands waving in the air. Manafest performed several other hits, including “Bounce,” “Impossible,” and “Fire in the Kitchen.” He reminded the crowd to follow their dreams, and God will show you what you’re called to do.


Following the fun of Manafest, local band Alive for a Day had their debut show. Young was the adjective that came to mind watching this high-school punk band. (Or perhaps I’m getting old). But they clearly were having fun, as were their friends in the crowd. Proud parents lined the walls, many with camcorders, capturing this moment forever. Their set ended with a punk version of “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.


Natural Habitz closed out this fun night. I challenge anyone to watch Natural Habitz perform and not smile; the positive energy this rapping quartet brings to the stage is infectious. They’re a delight to watch. Unfortunately, Natural Habtiz was having technical difficulties with their music—it kept skipping. But they kept on smiling and closed the night with the crowd clapping to maintain a beat and sang “Reason to Smile.” Because we believe in God, we all have a reason to smile!


Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos and Videos by: Sarah Brehm

Manafest "Avalanche" live at The Warehouse