With temperatures in the 90’s, being outdoors doesn’t sound like the best idea, but for Fish Fest 2008, it was. The 7th Annual Christian Music Festival hosted by 95.9 The Fish provided a laid back summer atmosphere with music, food, and merchandise that didn’t disappoint.
This year Fest took place April 27 from 2:45 to 10:30 PM at Verizon Amphitheatre in Irvine. Unlike past events which stuck to featuring more pop based artists, this years show featured ten artists that ranged from Hip Hip to Indie and Punk/Emo to Acoustic. At first, the festival didn’t seem like it would be great. After all, who wants to walk around in heat? But if you were as lucky as I was to find some shade in the lawn seats and drink a giant lemonade, there was hope to have this day turn around. Between the breeze, smell of BBQ, and the sound of great music nothing was better than sitting picnic style on the lawn.
Superchick was one of the first acts seen at the festival. Mixing punk, rock, rap, and R&B this group was probably the most diverse of the bunch. Revealing songs off their new album that releases in June, the group also performed old favorites such as “We Live” that was happy and easy going.
After this performance, was Sixpence None The Richer who reunited after a split of four years. Despite Lead Vocalist Leigh Nash being sick, her voice still sounded absolutely brilliant. Nash’s songs are her canvas where she paints beautiful layers of whimsical vocals that overlay Guitarist Matt Slocum’s breathing guitar picking. Nash and the band performed songs “There She Goes,” “Kiss Me” and “Melody of You,” which she explained as her ‘letter to God.’
Switching over to the Edge Stage, was KJ-52 who got the crowd going with his dance beats and rap style sounding identical to Eminem but giving a Christian message. KJ used fun props from the audience like a squirt gun, poster sign, and toy car to create a freestyle rap about Christ.
Next to take the Edge Stage was Disciple. Never hearing their music before, I didn’t know what to expect but after their set, I instantly became a fan. With an energetic performance and Hardcore sound, Disciple was initially appealing but it was their reading of scripture from the bible that made them stand out even more.
Sticking to the Alternative category was Punk/Emo band Hawk Nelson whose performance was fun which their own rendition of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” and other upbeat songs. The only downfall was that their lyrics seemed vague when it comes to talking about Christ.
Finally, as the night came to a close Rock Harbor’s pastor Mike Erre gave a brief message and Acoustic Rocker Jeremy Camp finished the show. Taking the stage in 2002 as a new artist, Camp now led the festival as a headliner. Singing various songs from his four albums, Camp also shared his own testimony of his Wife’s death through Cancer which led him to write his songs “Walk By Faith,” and “I Still Believe.” Camp defines humility and is truly someone who loves Christ and loves leading others to worship Him.
The Fest also featured performances by Britt Nicole, Jadon Lavik, Rebecca St. James, and Starlit Platoon. The overall event was a success that is wroth standing the heat.