Over 1,200 fans from around NSW awed two of America’s finest Christian alternative bands with their quick sell-out of a Sydney show this week.
Citizens & Saints and Kings Kaleidoscope, two bands on the Christian alternative scene, ducked over to play Sydney and Melbourne after appearing at Festival One in New Zealand.
It was the chance of a lifetime for Aussie fans, being the first time the bands have landed here since forming.
The gig wasn’t only the largest of the Live Loved tour but also the two bands’ biggest ever show together—which is high praise for Sydney fans given the popularity of the bands in the USA.
Aussie Gigs a Dream Five Years in the Making
Lead singers Zach Bolen (Citizens & Saints) and Chad Gardner (Kings Kaleidoscope) said the tour Down Under was a dream five years in the making.
“Festival One brought us all the way around the world to play,” said Chad. “And we were like, before our plane ride…’We have to go to Australia’. So, here we are.”
The two most-played artists on FRESH in 2016, the bands managed to sell out for their final show in Sydney, which called for a change in venue from the Factory Theatre to the Metro.
The show, advertised primarily through an event on Facebook, brought together 1200 people who sang along passionately to hymns and songs as the night grew dark.
“To know that there’s that many people that just bought tickets so quickly, that’s a pretty special thing to us,” Zach told Hope 103.2. “And it means so much, I mean, it would have been really hard to come here and play to 30 people,” he confessed. “It’s rewarding that people are hearing about it and coming out and want to support.”
Brothers Together in Music and in Christ
Our very own FRESH host, Sam Robinson, got a backstage chat with the bands’ lead vocalists while introducing them to the wonders of iced VoVos and lamingtons.
Neither Zach nor Chad expected such a successful Sydney show and were grateful for the crowd’s enthusiasm and passion. They put it down to not only their fans’ love of their music, but their “common bond through Christ”.
It’s a connection the bands share themselves, with members often playing in each other’s sets, switching between instruments, jamming together and singing praise.
VIDEO- Sam Robinson chats to Zach Bolen and Chad Gardner.
Kings Kaleidoscope singer, Chad Gardner explained the relationship between the bands as something like a brotherhood: “a tight knit crew… just an extension of each other”.
And it’s no wonder; the two Seattle bands share a long history. All the members of both Citizens and Kings K were originally part of Mars Hill Church, playing together in worship teams before becoming independent.
Zach Bolen, who has been a weekly guest on FRESH for the segment ‘Sweetness of Seattle’, found his Australian touring experience quite “humbling”.
He shared insights into what doing a DIY show meant for them, with hard work in self-promotion, setting up venues and a lot of behind the scenes toil.
“We do everything,” Chad said.
New Albums on the Way
The band talked about their plans for the future, which include a new album hopefully in 2017 from Citizens & Saints. According to Zach, they’re planning to “put out a lot more music over the next couple of years”.
The much-loved band is also set to return to Australia in September to play at the outreach night ‘Disrupt’, featuring David Platt.
Meanwhile Kings K is also in the studio, working on a new and intriguing mix tape. Lead singer Chad gave Sam an exclusive insight into the project, sharing that it will “involve a bunch of rappers”, with the desired release in autumn this year if everything goes to schedule.
The Kings Kaleidoscope team are still celebrating their success with their album, Beyond Control, after it was voted Album of the Year and Best Album in the 2016 Reel Gospel Poll.
Catch the Interview
Sam’s interview with Zach and Chad will air this Saturday (February 11) from 8pm on Hope 103.2 as part of a FRESH special featuring the music of both bands.