BLU imports Rend Collective

Rend Collective Experiment, is coming to John Brown University, and students are invited to join the band around the “campfire.”

Rend Collective Experiment, known for its eclectic style of worship, will be performing at the University on Saturday, Feb. 8, on their tour, Campfire. The band members, who originate from Northern Ireland, are dedicated to maintaining a “homespun” and authentic type of worship, which led them to record their album “Homemade Worship By Handmade People” in their own living rooms and “Campfire” around an actual campfire.

“The best way I could describe it was that we didn’t want to get involved in any clinical, polished studio where things felt detached from normal life,” said drummer Gareth Gilkeson on the band’s website. “We wanted things to feel homey, and there was something intimate about that.”

The “Build Your Kingdom Here” performers are not only dedicated to writing “homemade” worship, but they are also committed to calling the Church to authentic worship.

“Our heart was ultimately to make music that was sonically creative and pushed the boundaries, but we also wanted to write something that really served the Church.” Gilkeson said. “It’s not us trying to do something crazy and different for crazy and different’s sake. It’s our response to a truly magnificent God with a wild imagination.”

This band will be sharing their experimental folk rock sound with the students of the University as presented by BLU Entertainment. BLU Director Mariah Shaw said that she and her team have been praying and preparing for this concert for quite some time.

“We’re excited to bring a Christian group, but nothing like we’ve ever had before,” said Shaw. “My big push is to let people experience God in a new way. For a lot of people, music is a really powerful way of expression, and I think we learn a lot about ourselves in worship and in the truth that’s in music. I wanted the people to go and experience that.”

BLU Entertainment has worked hard to make the concert ticket prices affordable for the students, Shaw said. BLU and Rend Collective Experiment have also agreed that $1 of every ticket that is sold for this concert will go directly to the University’s Northern Ireland missions team to help fund their mission trip this summer. Rend Collective Experiment, who are from Bangor, Northern Ireland, is excited to help aid the efforts of the missions team this summer.

Fellow BLU Entertainment Director Jonathon Estes is enthusiastic about the upcoming concert, stating, “Rend Collective is one of my favorite bands, so it’s extremely cool, not only to see them, but to get to work with them, too!”

Shaw and Estes are hopeful that this opportunity to hear Rend Collective Experiment in concert will engage not only the students at the University, but also the broader community.

“This sound and the diversity of it, I think, will get a bunch of people out of their dorm rooms and out of the community, even from Fayetteville and Tulsa, to come and be a part of this together,” Shaw said.

“I think it’s great that we’re bringing a band that is so firm in their faith and sharing the truth full heartedly,” Estes said. “I’m probably most excited about this concert bringing the community together, tighter than before and continuing to grow.”

Rend Collective Experiment will be performing music largely from their album “Campfire” in their upcoming concert at the University. However, students are hopeful that they will also share some new songs from their album “The Art of Celebration,” which is scheduled for release on March 18.

The concert will be held in the Cathedral of the Ozarks on Feb. 8 at 7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30.