More than 150,000 individuals across the nation tuned in last night as some of the best artists in the music industry were featured in the Better Together streaming concert designed to unite voices and hearts across genres, race, and political divides. Hosted by the national organization American Awakening, the concert has been made available for a second night via free livestream at 8 p.m. eastern on the group's Facebook page and YouTube channel.
When the American Awakening movement launched 18 months ago to fight cultural division and despair, it originally planned a live show, but pivoted to a livestream format as a result of the COVID-19 crisis so that all Americans struggling in this global moment of strife could have access to the American Awakening message. The overwhelmingly positive response has shown the movement's organizers its message of unity and togetherness is resonating, and as founder John Kingston said, "What bonds us together is far greater than what separates us."
As Lecrae, Crowder, for KING & COUNTRY, Jonathan McReynolds and The New Respects recorded the rooftop concert in June, each shared hopes for our nation and expressed their appreciation for being included in this one-of-a-kind event. The New Respects kicked the concert off with their songs, "Freedom" and "Something to Believe In," which perfectly fit the theme. They emphasized that "our love for the Lord and His love for us should be what unites us."
Crowder followed with his set: "Prove It," "Run Devil Run," "Come As You Are/How He Loves," and "All My Hope." He said that what is what is most needed right now is a focus on grace. "I love that this moment opens the door to express and bring that truth to people," he said. "People are scratching to know what is true and we get to carry that balm to people who need it."
Jonathan McReynolds performed next, leading with his hit, "Cycles," remarking that he "hopes the tension we all feel allows us to break the cycles." He then sang "Make Room," "Best Things," and "Not Lucky, I'm Loved." He also agreed that "the answer to all this humanity has always been grace."
Lecrae began his set with "Set Me Free" and "Blessings," then shared an encouraging message: "For everybody who's struggling, it may seem difficult, but every time you open your eyes, realize that God's not done with you yet. His plan is in motion and you're part of a bigger plan." After singing "I'll Find You," he added, "we need unity not for unity's sake, but for accomplishing a God-sized goal. And we need to come at it together to tear these walls down." He finished with "Coming in Hot," and added, "Division is not something that's been unearthed - it's always been there. We are not homogenous, but we need each other. I find strength in remembering the history of my faith, the empty tomb and death defeated. Because none of this is bigger than death."
for KING & COUNTRY finished out the concert with their set: "Fix My Eyes," "Joy," "God Only Knows," "Priceless," and "Together." They added that, "the theme running through humanity is that you have to go through difficulty to find redemption, and it feels like we're doing some really important work to rise together."
American Awakening co-founders John Kingston and Marisa Prince closed out the livestream with a message of encouragement and invitation:
"I believe in us, in the possibilities of this land, and that our greatest destiny lies in front of us. Together, we can discover purpose, meaning and true community, and now is the time to become who we're meant to be."