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POD at Mercy Lounge in Nashville

posted May 25, 2012, 3:22 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated May 25, 2012, 3:40 PM ]

When I found out that POD was going to be in Nashville, I immediately bought tickets; the fact that RED, Love and Death, and Icon for Hire were also playing was just a wonderfully added bonus!


POD reached mainstream success with their third studio album, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown (1999). The rap/rock single “Rock the Party” exploded across rock radio and MTV. Their fourth studio album, Satellite (2001) featured hit singles “Alive” and “Youth of the Nation.”


It was the Satellite album that I remember listening to over and over again when it came out. I even had a heated argument with my friend over who was better, POD or N*SYNC—the music video for “Alive” had just beaten out “Pop” by N*SYNC for the number one spot on TRL and I was gloating (Don’t worry, I eventually converted her to rock!).


But even though all of that was a decade ago (I’m getting old!), I had never seen POD in concert, so I was extremely excited as I travelled up interstate 24 from Chattanooga to Nashville. I was finally going to see Christian rock legends POD!


Icon for Hire, out of Decatur, Illinois, kicked off the show, performing songs from their debut Tooth & Nail album, Scripted. Their in-your-face pop/rock sound is as bold as front-woman Ariel’s hot pink hair and hand-made rockin’ clothes (check out her ETSY page here: Icon of Hire’s positive lyrics encourage listeners to get over their past and be proud of who they are, to stand up and “Make a Move.” During the song “Up in Flames” the track transitioned to “Jump Around” by House of Pain.  Ariel  and guitarist Shawn Jump divided the crowd in half to see which side could jump the craziest—Ariel’s side won! Their set ended with hit single “Make a Move.”


Love and Death, Brian Head Welch’s new band took the stage next. Fans of Korn will be pleased to hear the musical direction that Love and Death is taking with their new EP Chemicals. Heavy, melodic and slightly dark, Love and Death’s sound is fairly unique in the Christian realm. The band members’ affinity for dark make-up and creepy contacts have been a bit of a controversy in the Christian scene. But everyone puts on a costume when they get out of bed—I dress up in outfits to go to concerts that I wouldn’t wear anywhere else. Instead of focusing on their look, pay attention to their deeply honest lyrics about struggles and trying to live for God.


RED performed next. This is the third time I’ve seen RED in a year, and their concerts never get boring. They started their set with “Feed the Machine” quickly followed by “The Outside” both from Until We Have Faces (2011). For me, seeing RED live has become very much of a worship experience. Songs like “Let Go,” “Already Over,” and “Not Alone” have such strong spiritual lyrics that before I realize it I’m singing to God. RED played a variety of songs spanning their three studio albums including “Faceless,” “Confession,” “Shadows,” “Death of Me,” and “Breathe into Me.” The crowd loved every minute of it.


And then, the highlight of the night, POD walked onto the stage. During the first song, “Boom,” lead singer Sonny Sandoval climbed out into the crowd and declared, “If you’re going to just stand around go to the back door!” POD played a assortment songs including “Set if Off,” “Southtown,” “Without Jah, Nothin’,” and “Youth of the Nation.” They played several new songs including, “Murdered Love,” “On Fire,” and “Lost in Forever,” promoting the new album Murdered Love, set to be released on July 10—and I cannot wait! The songs are classic POD—rock, rap, metal, all mixed together with a hint of maturity that only comes from writing and performing music for as long as POD has. They ended the night with “Alive” and then Sonny got the crowd to chant “Love is what I got, I said remember that.”


The one disappointment was the crowd. The audience seemed kind of dead. I moved toward the back for POD because I expected the crowd to get rowdy—while I love to jump and dance around, I didn’t want to get hit by a flying elbow. But, despite Sonny’s efforts to energize the several hundred fans into a frenzy, the crowd just wasn’t getting into it like I expected. And seconds after POD finished, a majority of the crowd turned around and left, instead of waiting around and trying to convince POD to come out for an encore!


Overall, the night was great! I got back to Chattanooga at 3:45 a.m., but it was totally worth it!
Words by: Sarah Brehm
Photos and videos by: Sarah Brehm, unless otherwise noted
Related articles:


Icon for Hire "Off With Her Head"


Love and Death "Paralyzed"


RED "Feed the Machine"


POD "Boom"

video by: youtube user lilchau