Winter Jam returns Feb. 27

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(Courtesy of Eric Brown) Christian hard rock band Skillet will headline the 20th year of the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City Feb. 27.

A mix of hard rock, hip hop and soul music is forecasted for Bossier City as the Winter Jam 2015 Tour Spectacular takes over the CenturyLink Center Feb. 27.

This popular Christian music tour is an all-in-one show featuring artists from different genres music all on one stage…for one night…for only $10 at the door. GRAMMY ®-nominated platinum-selling rockers Skillet will return to the famed Winter Jam stage to headline the blockbuster tour’s 20th year.

The tour, founded and hosted by GRAMMY®-nominated NewSong, will also feature Jeremy Camp, Francesca Battistelli, Building 429, for King & Country, Family Force 5 and evangelist Tony Nolan. The LifeWay Christian Stores Pre-Jam Party will showcase the talents of Blanca, About A Mile and VERIDIA.

Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country hit the road with Winter Jam three years ago, the first tour they’ve been part of.

“This tour has been very, very special to us. We’ve had a great time,” Luke Smallbone said. “It has been a reunion of sorts with a few of these guys.”

Winter Jam has grown to become the No. 1 touring event during the first quarter for the past three years in terms of attendance. Luke said the tight knit community of Winter Jam fans is what sets the tour apart from any other tour of its kind.

“We want music to be hopeful. We want it to say that the world we see isn’t the end. Our hope is that our music will encourage people and impact their hearts for eternity,” Luke said.

WinterJam logoFor King & Country recently picked up two Grammy awards — Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for the duo’s part in Lecrae’s “Messengers” and Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for their album “Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.”

“We had a good friend who had worked with Lecrae for a number of years. He came to us and asked if we had any songs that could work for him. We sent him the song “Messengers” and they basically reworked the verses and kept the chorus,” Luke explained. “Out came this song that was unexpectedly fantastic. I don’t think any of us expected it to do what it has done.”

At the time of the song’s revision, the brothers hadn’t even met Lecrae, who is best known for his rap and hip-hop style. Luke said they had no idea the final song would go in the direction it did.

“God moves in mysterious ways. We give a lot of credit to Lecrae’s guys because they heard it and thought there was something there,” Luke said. “Sure enough, it’s fantastic!”

Luke encouraged Winter Jam fans to bring as many friends as they can, noting the $10 price tag to get in the door.

“I can tell you that the money you spend will be very well spent,” he added.

Winter Jam’s upbeat vibe via positive music and message will be highlighted by Family Force 5. The Atlanta-based group is known for its party vibe with big beats while also offering moments of “sincere inspiration.”

Derek “Chap Stique” Mount along with Jacob “Crouton” Olds, Joshua “Fatty” Olds, Nathan “Nadaddy” Currin and Teddy “Hollywood” Boldt make up the quirky group whose mission is to bring people closer to faith.

Derek Mount said Family Force 5 is a very unique group of guys.

“There’s a unique combination of genres — hip-hop, funk, dance, electro, rock, metal, punk and rap. A lot of that comes from the fact that we grew up surrounded by all kinds of music,” Mount said. “We’ve been making music for such a long time and have had a blast doing it.”

With its diverse music, Mount said they are able to reach audiences in many ways.

“It has really blown our minds to see how we connect with people,” he explained. “We’ve been able to play in different countries and one of the biggest things people tend to resonate with is the humor and the fun of Family Force 5. Everyone likes to smile and have a good time. I think people see it as an escape and a way to break down barriers.”

The ultimate goal, Mount said, is giving people joy through words and rhythm.

“We try to take them on a journey and play through moments that may tug at the heart strings a little. Then there are moments where we just party,” he said. “Ultimately, we hope people will find something special and unique that they can connect with. When you have such an array and diversity in music, we’re excited for the role we play in helping people have a great time.”

For the second year in a row, fans can access tour information and exclusive content via the Winter Jam App on their smart phones. The app offers interactive venue maps, free Winter Jam radio, giveaways, Jam Nation membership purchases, and a Winter Jam store. The app can be downloaded at jamtour.com/app.