The Hits Deep tour shone at University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Baxter Arena Friday night. The empowering worship service was headlined by contemporary Christian artist TobyMac, Britt Nicole, Finding Favour, Capital Kings, Building 429 and American Idol’s Colton Dixon.
Christians came together for a night of worship, and with the loud music and bright lights, packed Baxter Arena full. Dixon kicked off the show with a rock concert-type feel featuring red lights, and starting the night with the song “Our Time Is Now.”
The audience screamed as he mentioned performing his newest single, “Through All Of It,” at the American Idol finale. He played on the piano, transitioning into “Never Gone,” a song he wrote with artist Brandon Heath, which was premiered during his time on the American Idol Tour after the eleventh season.
“The world puts limitations on us based on how old we are, the color of your skin, maybe with what you want to do in life. Omaha, we know better though, right?” Dixon asked the crowd, to which screams filling the area responded. “Because we are walking with the Holy Spirit. That means we are limitless,” Dixon added before performing “Limitless.”
The next performance came from Capital Kings, a group that reminded me of techno music with a dance edge. It’s the kind of music you’d want to blast and dance around your house to.
Building 429 took the stage after them, proudly sporting Maverick colors, a nice homage to performing on UNO’s campus. They performed around six songs, including the title track of their newest record, “I Am Not Ashamed.”
“I wonder if there’s anybody left here in this beautiful state of Nebraska to be willing to say because my Savior was unashamed of me on a cross called Calvary where He won my victory, I’m ready to live my life…unashamed of Him?” lead singer Jason Roy asked.
On the count of three, people who made the commitment to live “#unashamed” held up the flashlight on their cell phones and screamed.
“It is not us against the world,” Roy said. “It is Jesus for the world through us.”
Britt Nicole kicked off her pop music set with her single “Gold,” which encourages people to know their self-worth, followed by another single, “Lost Get Found.” Nicole then paused and reflected on her time in Nebraska.
“I love the people here,” Nicole said, to screams of approval from the crowd.
Nicole believed that God was in the Baxter arena.
“You’re gonna hear his voice,” Nicole said. “I believe that tonight. You’re gonna hear Him, you’re gonna see Him, because He’s real.”
Nicole continued, saying that God has a plan far bigger than what any of us could ever imagine.
“Be the person that God has called you to be in your school, in your community,” Nicole said. “He’s gonna use y’all to change the world.”
Nicole entered into worship singing her song “All This Time,” a song that detailed her own relationship with God when she was a little girl. Nicole closed out her set with the song “Together We Can Be The Change.”
After a sermon and a break, TobyMac took the stage to thunderous screams with blinding lights, loud music and multiple styles of music including reggae, hip hop, soul and rock.
“It’s usually like this big old pot of musical gumbo,” Mac explains, telling the crowd his “recipe” of musical gumbo. “Whatever you do, whatever you do, please do not leave out the funk.”
While Mac has a diverse style, he stays true to his Christian roots. While working for over a year on his latest single, “This Is Not A Test,” he said he would constantly pray.
“… before I wrote a single lyric, before we played any, any music at all, I stayed true every morning to this one prayer,” Mac said.
He would then ask God to hollow everything out of him, so that God could work through him as an artist.
“Breathe something through me that is literally beyond me,” Mac finished his prayer before diving into more music.
Mac played a variety of music including several singles from his previous albums and currently. Hits included “This Is Not A Test,” “Made To Love,” “Speak Light,” “Steal My Show,” “Lose My Soul” and “City On Our Knees.”
Mac took liberty of the stage design, performing not only on the main stage, but also walking and dancing down the stage aisle to a smaller stage near the middle of the room. He then played an acoustic version of his single, “Steal My Show.”
Mac mixed his love for worshipping with performing. With several styles of music all rolled into one, pausing to pray with the crowd and telling stories about songs and even his Maverick red shoes, he encompasses everything I was hoping to find in that night. I finally made it home at 11:30 p.m., tired, hoarse and yes, my ears were ringing, but for only $15 a ticket, it was most definitely worth it.