A music band from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is singing songs about hope and purpose in 40 concerts in various venues during the Olympic Games. The band, Evergreen, played last night (28 July), and Forever was there to get the vibe.
The atmosphere was set. Paintings on cardboard-box canvases lined the room in the café on Brick Lane, London, speaking of life’s journey of pain, fear, joy and excitement that come with seeking after a life worth living. The lights were dimmed as people sat in couches, sipping coffee. Evergreen’s four members – Colin Gruetzmacher (lead singer/guitar), Nathan Sperry (bass), Andy Sloan (keys/guitar), and Eduardo Lopez (drums) – started the show displaying their musical talent as well as telling a story through their music. This being their first show during the Olympic Games, their aim to sing a message of purpose and direction.
When asked about the message they are communicating, Sperry spoke of the heart of the band. “We have a lot of hope and love to share and we want to pass that to people through music. During this Olympic season of shows, we want people to experience true joy and true love. In whatever capacity that looks like, whether through serving others and being a positive influence in the music scene or building community and creating friendship with other musicians. We want the music and our relationship we build to point people to the same hope we have experienced and found through Jesus.”
As the show continued people began stopping in to listen to the live music that could be heard from the streets. Those already in the audience tapped along, listening to lyrics that spoke of finding hope in the middle of a storm. Gruetzmacher commented, “We want to write songs that point to something better. Often the songs we hear only talk about what’s wrong with life. We want to sing about the hope on the other side of those storms while recognising the fight we still have to get there. Hope, that’s what we want people to hear. “
After the last song finished and the night came to an end, Evergreen began to mingle with the crowd and join in with banter. Lopez discusses this moment, “After the concerts it’s so great to be able to thank everyone for coming out. It’s really amazing that people come and listen to us play. I also like just sharing my life and purpose with others. In a world that is consumed with selfishness, it’s cool to go out and actually care about the people attending the concert and genuinely wanting to know who they are and what makes them, them. I think people are sometimes shocked by it, but I think in part caring about them is showing them how my life is fulfilled and that the answer to true life satisfaction is Jesus.”
Although people didn’t seem to want to leave the cozy café at the end of the night, the staff was forced to close down the party. With a newly-released album and merchandise for sale, some picked up a few items on their way out. Evergreen packed away their gear and loaded up the van, excited about the night. Sperry said, “that’s the most fun we have ever had playing at a show.” They love what they do and what they do is play music. Music that inspires and music that shares a story of life’s realities and hope no matter what the circumstances.
To see Evergreen in concert, check out their website www.evergreenband.co.uk.