MercyMe at the Craterian Theater

The band presents a program of holiday favorites
MercyMe was formed after Bart Millard broke his ankles in high school, shattering his football ambitions and forcing him to take choir as an alternative.Photo courtesy of David Molnar

Christian rock band MercyMe will acknowledge the holiday season with a small series of Christmas concerts across the country. The award-winning, Texas-based band will perform renditions of classic and contemporary Christmas songs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at the Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford.

Earlier this year, members Bart Millard, Mike Scheuchzer, Robby Shaffer, Barry Graul and Nathan Cochran collaborated on MercyMe's seventh studio album, "The Hurt & The Healer," which debuted May 22 on the Fair Trade Services label and was produced by Brown Bannister and Dan Muckala.

If you go

Who: MercyMe

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6

Where: Craterian Theater, 23 S. Central Ave., Medford

Tickets: $44, $47 or $50; $32, $35 or $38 for ages 18 and younger

Call: 541-779-3000

In a press release, Millard says the title track set the theme for the entire album. The song, penned shortly after Millard's cousin, a firefighter, was killed in the line of duty, reflects the grief as well as the healing and comfort felt by the family.

"It (the title track) raised the bar for us because it's hard to call an album 'The Hurt & The Healer' and have a lot of light material, so it challenged us to keep going down this road to what's important in our lives, the idea of redemption and restoration," Millard says.

The album features somber ballads alongside rootsy alternative numbers and get-up-and-move arrangements, but as a whole, it is MercyMe's biggest rock 'n' roll album to date and one of its most personal.

MercyMe formed nearly 20 years ago, was signed by INO Records (now Fair Trade) in 2001 and has since become one of the Christian music industry's most prolific groups. Its hit song "I Can Only Imagine" won multiple Dove Awards and peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's adult contemporary chart. Another song, "Word of God Speak," was named the No. 1 Christian Song of the Decade by Billboard magazine.

In addition to several mainstream radio hits, Grammy nominations, an American Music Award and appearances on several television programs, MercyMe has packed venues and concert halls across the U.S.

"Our music has never been about us," Millard says in a press release. "It's not even about the music. It's about witnessing and worshipping."

Tickets to the show at the Craterian cost $44, $47 and $50, or $32, $35 and $38 for ages 18 and younger. Tickets are available at the Craterian box office, 16 S. Bartlett St., Medford, and www.craterian.org or by calling 541-779-3000.


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