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Welcome to the Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus - Click to view!I don't own very many CDs that come with a back that reads like a book jacket, let alone a book jacket that reads like a circus novel… "Come One, Come All! Ladies and Gentlemen, imagine a place of life. A place of mystery. A place of answers. A place of joy. And a place of rest and peace."

And so the pace continues to develop, culminating in the list of thirteen song titles. Among the collection of flying trapeze art on the CD jacket, I find myself wondering why this band chooses to call themselves the Rock and Roll Worship Circus.

I can understand the rock and roll aspect. These four band members from Washington State understand the musical art. They take great care to develop the exact sound they seek, a sound reflective of the beginning rock days when the Beatles were the newest sensation.

I can also understand their choice of the word "worship." The band's drive to mirror this lifestyle in music appears in almost every song. It's understandable when you consider their background. Gabe, Blurr, Solo and Zurn (all nicknames except for Gabe, short for Gabriel) led worship at Evangel Christian Fellowship years before the band signed with Vertical Music. With songs such as "Ride" and "Party Song," listeners can sing praises while moving to a good beat. You might have caught the band performing "Blood of Jesus" at the Dove Awards earlier this year. The band also serves up deeper moments with ballad-like tunes "Glorify The Son," "The Undiscovered," "Open the Gates," and "We Sing Glory." These songs contain the flavor of soft rock and a passion for touching the heart of God with song. Only a genuine worshiper, one who carries King David's desire to honor the Lord, can create this kind of sound. And believe me, these songs aren't your trite, modern, poppy-praise songs. Gabe writes, "And I can see / a color white / so bright / the earth trembles ... so be afraid / for He is coming / in more glory / than we have seen" ("The Undiscovered"). How many worship songs today warn us to have a holy fear of God?

So I could sense the worship... and the rock and roll pleased my ears... but the circus? Why the circus theme?

I found the answer in an interview with Gabe from their website: "Back in 1996 our church was going through a revival. It was always really unpredictable. There were drunks coming in to interrupt the service - and then they'd get saved. There was tons of crazy stuff... So when we'd invite people to our church, we'd always say 'you should come to our worship circus' as opposed to 'worship service', cuz you just never knew what God was gonna do... The Circus is the body of Christ and what happens when God moves on them when they worship Him."

And it all came together right then. This band did not seek to elevate themselves to a figurative platform. They desired to mix among the crowd - the "circus," so to speak - and worship God with the medium of rock and roll, a medium known for its rebellious roots. And I believe they succeeded in their endeavor.

If you were one of the chosen few to have bought this recording when it first came out, you already know about the 15-minute VCD included in the case. This homemade video shows the members of the circus in their own element: playing golf in the desert, chucking pennies at freeway signs, and racing shopping carts in parking lots. But more important than the antics are the shots from worship services. No, not concerts. Worship services.

Who would have imagined the rock sound being used to create an atmosphere where God's manifest presence can dwell? But it's happened with the Rock and Roll Worship Circus.

They warn on the back of their CD, "Are you ready?? Are you sure?" I believe the world IS ready for this sound, for this tent where we are all the same, where we can all spend time in the presence of our King.
- Hollie Stewart
September 2003
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