“No concert like this has ever been here,” exclaimed a reveller at the end of the Hillsong London concert.
In a much-anticipated show at the Kigali Arena on Friday evening, the choir proved yet again that they are the kings of live-recorded music – something they’ve done for over 20 years.
As usual, one of the things that really stand out during Hillsong performances is the sound: clear, crisp and meticulously engineered.
This was coupled with a grand touch of stage lighting interplayed with splendidly displayed lyrics and visual effects on the gigantic screens of the
Arena; not mentioning the crafty art of the instrumentalists and the mellow vocals of the singers themselves.
The show kicked off at around 7:40 pm. However, Hillsong was invited to stage almost an hour later after some quite exciting curtain-raising performances from local artistes AimeUwimana and Rene Patrick.
Hillsong took to stage at about 8:40 pm and for close to 20 minutes the stage lights were off as they were setting up the technical aspects of sound, lighting, instruments and other aspects according to their style.
By the time the choir belted out the first song, it looked clear that it was going to be no ordinary night.
The young and energetic Hillsong team started the show on a high with their fast-paced and sturdy songs warming up the crowds.
Honestly, Hillsong did not have to invite anyone to stand up – the enthusiasm in the Arena was too much for the revellers to stay seated as Hillsong belted out the robust “This is living now,” “Take it all,” and “One-way” tracks.
The band did not just sing but stirred the crowds with an active and energetic performance, shortly before they paused the music and delivered a brief message,
“We are here for one Name – the Name of Jesus. Tonight, it's not about the music, it is about encountering God in this place. It's not about anyone here. We are here to worship Jesus. Just be ready to call upon His Name,” said their main-lead before the choir took time to engage into slower worship music.
People were still on their feet to enjoy the fervent moment as the band sang “Then Sings my soul/Behold,” “Hosanna,” “I surrender,” “As you find me,” “All I need is you,” “Cornerstone,” among others.
One of the fascinating things about the concert was that people were acquainted with many of the band’s songs.
Often times the revellers could tell which song is coming up by just hearing the instrumentalists play the introductory tune.
The crowd involvement made the concert smoother. The people were singing along and cheering at almost every ending of a song.
Within about an hour or so into the performances, the show looked to be nowhere near the end if you are to judge by how the Christians were hungry for more.
With a couple of slower songs like “From the inside out” and “The stand,” the choir kept the night fervent and tranquil for people who wanted to have a quiet time of prayer or meditation before God.
The choir lead took some time to tell about Jesus and what it means to take a decision to be in relationship with Him,
“The thing is I know there will be people in this room who have not made that decision. Or maybe you made that decision but you came here feeling distant from God. Friend I want to tell you that God has never left you. God has always been there. Sometimes we find ourselves away from God usually through our wrong choices and wrong decisions, but you know we serve a faithful God, and tonight I want to give people an opportunity to step into relationship with Jesus,” he said before he invited people to pray a prayer of confession to follow Jesus.
A few moments before the concert could wind up, the band sang the legendary “What a Beautiful Name” and later sang a couple of paced tracks, ending the night on a high.