IF YOU GO
* What: Winter Jam concert.
* When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14; doors open at 6 p.m. (4:30 p.m. for Jam Nation members).
* Where: McKenzie Arena, 720 E. Fourth St.
* Admission: $10 ages 2 and up (cash or checks made out to NewSong Ministries).
* Phone: 423-266-6627.
* Website: www.jamtour.com.
Attendance at Sunday night church services may drop dramatically this weekend, but the praise and worship will simply have moved to a single venue.
Winter Jam, the Christian concert extravaganza founded by NewSong in 1995, will fill UTC's McKenzie Arena on Sunday, Jan. 12, with fans of 10 contemporary Christian acts plus speaker Nick Hall. Some of the artists are established, some are up-and-comers, but all put their faith as the focus of their music.
Early arrivals will hear Love & The Outcome, Everfound and Derek Minor in the Pre-Jam Party. They'll be followed by main acts Newsboys, Lecrae and Tenth Avenue North, along with Thousand Foot Krutch, Plumb, NewSong and Colton Dixon.
Tenth Avenue North drummer Jason Jamison recently described the tour, which is famous for its sell-out arena crowds, as a massive "traveling church" with music to appeal to all comers.
"Winter Jam is designed for the family, for the youth group and everyone with a different taste," he told The Global Dispatch, an Internet news source. "Rock, rap, worship music - it's great. It's electric."
Since its inception, the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular has been based on the idea of removing cost barriers, so more people could attend, be encouraged by the music and hear the gospel, producers say.
With its $10 ticket, it isn't the highest-grossing tour, but in attendance it has outpaced any other tour, in any genre, for the past three years, according to industry tracker Pollstar.
DID YOU KNOW?
Newsboys: The group's latest record, "Restart," released in September, might be compared to pushing a reset button. Members say the spirited pop manifesto is a reinvention that reminds them that music, like the walk of faith, is worth a little risk-taking.
Lecrae: His 2008 sophomore album, "Rebel," was the first Christian rap album to ever reach the No. 1 position on Billboard's Top Gospel charts.
Tenth Avenue North: On various songs on its third release, "The Struggle," the band included recordings of fans singing with them onstage.
Thousand Foot Krutch: This trio of rockers has infiltrated almost every facet of pop culture, from ongoing ESPN appearances to various NASCAR, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, World Wrestling Entertainment and National Football League airings, along with the "GI Joe" movie trailer, WGN's "Smallville" and EA Sports' NHL 2010 and 2013 video games.
Plumb: Formally known as Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, she has affirmed her place as a multifaceted musical force with multiple No. 1 singles and albums on the Christian, Mainstream and Dance charts, a songwriting career and song placements in movies and television.
NewSong: This top-selling group is also the architect of Winter Jam, traditionally one of the year's top-selling concert tours. The band founded the annual concert extravaganza in 1995 and see it as a way to use music to reach souls. "A three-minute song can move us in ways a 45-minute sermon never would," says frontman Russ Lee.
Colton Dixon: He finished seventh in Season 11 of "American Idol," a cut judge Steven Tyler deemed "beyond shocking." But the Murfreesboro, Tenn., native saw his elimination as an opportunity to pursue music true to his faith. The release of his debut album, "A Messenger," and a tour with Third Day followed.
Love & The Outcome: Husband-and-wife duo Chris Rademaker (bass) and Jodi King (vocals) sold most of their worldly possessions and hit the road from their native Canada to pursue their musical vision, a balance of his rock influences (U2, Coldplay) and her love of melodic female pop artists (Amy Grant, Sheryl Crow).
Everfound: Hardships suffered by their forebears in their native Russia motivate these four brothers, who immigrated to Denver as youngsters, to be bold about their faith. They say they gain inspiration from such stories as their great-grandfather spending 20 years in prison for owning a Bible.
Derek Minor: The Nashville-based rapper once went by the moniker Pro, short for Prodigal. His latest album, "Minorville," was inspired by the 1998 film "Pleasantville" to describe music with an idyllic exterior but layers of riveting subject matter underneath.
Nick Hall: The evening's speaker is the founder and primary evangelist for Pulse, a Minnesota-based ministry leading the largest student-led prayer and outreach efforts in America.