“This tour is like a traveling festival,” says Newsboys keyboard player Jeff Frankenstein of Winter Jam.

“It is a lot of bands and speakers and all sorts of stuff going on. It is pretty cool that in this sort of economy you can get a 10 dollar ticket to see a big bill like this. That is pretty unheard of.”

The tour will stop in 44 cities and features some of the top artists in Christian music. They’ll be in Fayetteville on Jan. 9 at the Crown Coliseum. Bands like Third Day, Newboys, NewSong, Tenth Avenue North, Fireflight, Sidewalk Prophets, Robert Pierre, Revive and guest speaker Tony Nolan will be rocking the Crown with a variety of music and activities.

In their more than two decades of performing the Newsboys have earned five gold albums, sold more than six million records, had 25 number one radio hits, several Dove Awards and Grammy nominations. Frankenstein has been a member of the group since 1994. In that time, the band has weathered many changes yet maintained a high level of success and popularity.

The most recently happening has been the switch over in their lead singer. Peter Furler is moving away from the mic to pursue interests in producing and songwriting and DC Talk’s Michael Tait is stepping up to fill the positi12-30-newsboys.jpgon.

According to Frankenstein, this is a very exciting time for the band. With a new lead vocalist comes a new sound that they are eager to share.

“It will be a good opportunity for everyone to come see what the new band is like and the new changes,” said Frankenstein.

“There are some pretty obvious changes. We went from a white Australian (singer) to a black guy from D.C. Mike is obviously a world class singer. He is probably a top five vocali,st in the world really, and he has been a friend of ours for a long time. He is an incredibly talented vocalist.”

To showcase their new sound the band has been in the studio working on their next album which they hope to release this spring. Their current concern though is how to crunch 20 years of music into the few minutes they will have on stage at Winter Jam.

“We’ll throw in a couple of old D.C. Talk songs and mix it up,” said Frankenstein.

“I think we only play for about 35 minutes compared to two hours a night when we are on tour.”

Luckily, there will be no shortage of entertainment between the musical talent of so many established and award-winning bands and the quirky comedy of Tony Nolan.

“Our vision has always been to bring together great music, the Gospel message and a low admission price in some of the biggest venues in the country,” said Eddie Carswell, NewSong founding member and Winter Jam creator.

“We want families and youth groups to enjoy a night of top-notch entertainment that serves a greater purpose.”

The fun starts at 6 p.m. call 438-4100 or visit www. atthecrown.com for more info.

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