The Sidewalk Prophets following God's path through music
Creative, spiritual praises are acceptable forms of expressions for one Christian band group, Sidewalk Prophets.
Band members Dave Frey (lead vocals), Daniel Macal (lead guitar), Cal Joslin (bass), Blake Bratton (keyboard) and Travis Laws (drums) are on the road for their 2018 Something Different Tour (in 3D).
The Sidewalk Prophets, with special guest Bonray, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, April 13, at Antrim Brethren in Christ Church in Chambersburg.
Frey, 35, based in Nashville, Tenn., said the band wants to inpire people to tap into the playful side of Christianity.
“We want to make sure that people realize you can have fun worshipping Jesus, too. Sometimes we forget that, we usually only come to Him with our problems, but we want to come to him with our joys, too,” Frey said.
The tour, named after their 2015 album titled, “Something Different,” is a mixture of music genres including rock ’n’ roll and gospel, and sounds of the ukulele and ballads, all arranged for a purpose.
“It really is just about standing out from the world and being a representation of Jesus. I think every song on the album goes towards that message of being a light in the darkness,” Frey said.
Inspired by their shared love of the ’80s, Sidewalk Prophets incorporates visual effects for half the duration of all of their performances and will provide 3-D glasses to audience members.
“If you take those old ’80s 3-D glasses, the blue and red ones, and you watch our content … it’s kind of layered in 3-D so when we’re performing behind it, it seems like the screen goes on forever and it’s really kind of a neat thing,” Frey said.
He believes that despite adversity in the world, as a group they are meant to be a guide for others to follow Christ.
“Even though (with) the atonement in our world, we were made to stand out in it and be the light for Jesus and bring people to him while we’re here,” Frey said.
The group’s aim is reflected in some of the songs off the “Something Different” album, which are about the acknowledgement of Jesus’ presence.
“‘Come To The Table’ is our latest song on the radio and it really does touch me when I get to sing it every single night,” Frey said. “It’s just a song about acceptance, about sitting down and spending time with Jesus every day, it’s so important.”
Another song, “Everything in Awe,” pays tribute to God’s creations.
“‘Everything in Awe’ is about stepping back and loving the splendor and majesty of what God has created and that one, definitely whenever I listen to it, just goes back to just spending time out in the great outdoors and looking up at the stars and being in awe of what God has created,” Frey said.
By helping to spread the messages of Jesus, Frey believes these actions is what defines Sidewalk Prophets.
We just want to be men that are listening to God, by getting in the word, by praying every day as well as speaking the truth about life and to us that’s what a Sidewalk Prophet is,” Frey said.
The name itself, Sidewalk Prophets, came from the idea of Ben McDonald, a former band member and now the manager for the group.
“(Ben) loved to read the dictionary and the word ‘prophet’ was the word of the day and it simply said something that tells the truth about life and I really loved that definition, it’s simply amazing. That’s who we want to be, we want to be men that are telling the truth about life which to us is just the love of Jesus,” Frey said.
He said that the inspiration to include the word sidewalk came from a song by another Christian band, Jars of Clay.
“They’re one of my favorite bands and (one of their songs) says, ‘images on the sidewalk speaks of dream’s descent,’ and I pictured a man walking down the sidewalk and right there in front of him is what God wanted him to see, but he was so worried about himself that he didn’t take time to listen to what God was saying and he walked right by what he was supposed to see,” Frey said.
When writing songs, creativity comes through to each member by a combination of factors such as Christian scriptures or personal experiences.
“We all love music so we’re always listening to music, whenever we do we always bring the Bible with us and we also bring something else that we’re reading and we usually just sit and talk about what’s going on in life, like what God is doing in our hearts,” Frey said.
With their commitment of faith, Sidewalk Prophets also remains dedicated to their style of music.
“We don’t try to copy what’s going on in trends. Sometimes we like to be against the trend because sometimes the trend gets overdone, but at the same time we just want to write from our hearts,” Frey said. “Sometimes we write a great song, sometimes it’s not as great, but we just keep on the next day with writing again and really enjoy the creative process, that’s one of my favorite parts of what we get to do.”