Jars of Clay, minus the flood and soggy socks

Jars of Clay, May 2009. Photo by dustin Faber (me)

I had the utmost blessing to see Jars of Clay in concert at Toad Suck Daze in May 2009 in downtown Conway, Ark.

I was amped beyond belief that my favorite band would be doing a free outdoor concert just 200 yards or so from my place of employment, so I rearranged my work schedule to attend and get front row seats (I even wrote a column in Conway's newspaper about my happiness at seeing the band that saved my life).

So what happened that Sunday afternoon? The angels and saints had a massive water balloon fight. Their game lasted all weekend, drenching all of us on planet earth. It rained so much that I thought the concert would get cancelled. Thankfully, that didn't happen, and Jars of Clay came to town and created beautiful sounds

Jars of Clay is good. Like, really, REALLY good. I really think that if they had marketed themselves as a "secular" band, Jars of Clay would be considered by mainstream media as one of the five best bands in the last 20 years.

So yes, I take pride in the fact that I stood in the rain for nearly two hours to stay in the front row. Was I miserable? Of course! I was drenched! I can't remember if I had an umbrella (and if I did, it was a flimsy little thing), but I definitely lacked a rain coat. Just me and my camera, and a lousy illness to keep me company the next day. But I kept telling myself that I'll look back on this memory and be proud of my endurance, and two years later, I'm very happy that I stuck it out.

After that experience, Jars of Clay isn't the only one who can sing about being in a flood. I had the soggy socks to prove my devotion.

Dan Haseltine and Matt Odmark of Jars of Clay, May 2009. Photo by dustin Faber (me)

And now, I have the opportunity to see the band again in Shrewsberry, Pa. on Saturday. This time, I won't have to stand in the rain, since it will be indoors at a church instead.

The 26 letters in the alphabet can't put together a word to describe my excitement for this concert. My fiance Allicia was able to get VIP passes to the show, which also includes America's favorite Catholic, Stephen Colbert Matt Maher. Right now, I'm trying to decide what kind of cookies to whip up for the band. I'm leaning toward chocolate clouds, but classic chocolate chip cookies might do.

Regardless of the baked goods I decide on, I'll definitely have photos and video this weekend of the event.

Bands I've proclaimed as my favorite have come and gone. When I was a kid, it was dc Talk. During college, U2 had my heart. And after college, I stayed up countless nights listening to Pink Floyd. But, as I detailed in the newspaper column earlier, the music of Jars of Clay really uplifted me in one of the darkest times of my life.

Yes that's a cliche. We all have dark times, and most of us get out of them banged, bruised, but better off. But since August of 2006, the music has carried special meaning. Perhaps everyone has that special connection with one band, when you can find a nugget of wisdom in each track.

It's the band I go to when I'm happy, and when I want to slam my head against a wall. It's the band that comforts me, reminds me of a God who loves me despite my being a sinful pile of shit.

An album I've listened to over and over is The Shelter, which was released in the Fall. There are so many good tracks on this album, such as the title track here.

I could go on and on about this band. And I'm sure I will in the future. But I'll leave you with the lyrics to "Eyes Wide Open," a song that has really slapped me in the face with the way it describes my life and my hopes/fears/prayers about my upcoming marriage.

Talk to me, ‘cause I’ve been talking to myself
Help me get these thoughts out of my own head
I don’t believe, most days I don’t believe
Mercy is true, it’s hard to live with the things I do

So God, bruise the heels we’ve dug in the ground
That we might move closer to love
Pull out the roots we’ve dug in so deep
Finish what you started
Help us to believe

Keep our eyes wide open
Love is kind and love is daring, everything we need to keep our eyes
Keep our eyes wide open
Love is kind and love is daring, everything we need to keep our eyes

We can’t go on, it seems this conversation’s done
It’s so hard to win these fights and love you at the same time
So take my hand till grace makes her way to bend
Till the things I’ve set to ruin only lead to my own end

Draw us in, send us out
Draw us in, send us out
Draw us in, pour us out
Help us to believe


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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