By James Beaty
David Frey, lead singer and songwriter with Sidewalk Prophets, plans on having something special in store for the audience at his upcoming McAlester concert.
Frey is set to perform in McAlester, along with Jason Castro and headliner Matthew West, as part of West’s “Into the Light” tour.
The concert’s scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, a Thursday, at the Southeast Expo Center. West is bringing his “Into the Light” tour to McAlester to benefit the Ryan McAffe Memorial Scholarship fund.
Sidewalk Prophets, winner of the 2010 Gospel Music Association Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, plan on performing some of their hits on the contemporary Christian music charts, songs which include “The Words I Need to Say” and “You Love Me Anyway.”
The group’s most recent release, “Live Like That,” has provided another hit with the title song.
Frey spoke to the News-Capital while criss-crossing the country on the “Into the Light” tour.
“It’s awesome,” Frey said of how the tour has gone so far.
“We’ve been with Matthew a couple of times before. He’s become one of our brothers,” Frey said. “We love him with all of our heart.”
And that’s in spite of the fact that West’s huge hit “Hello, My Name Is” kept the Sidewalk Prophets’ song “Help Me Find It” from reaching the number one spot on the Christian music charts.
“He was number one for 16 weeks and we were number two for 14 weeks,” Frey said.
That prompted the News-Capital to note the fact that the classic band 1960s Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a number one hit on the Billboard charts, although many of their songs are still played today. Instead, Credence hit the number two spot five times as well as other slpots in the top 10.,
“Credence is one of may favorite bands,” Frey said, expressing a particular liking for “Have You Ever Seen the Rain.”
All three of the acts who will be in McAlester on Nov. 7 — West, Castro and Sidewalk Prophets — were part of the huge WinterJam tour earlier this year.
Frey said he’s enjoying touring behind the new album, “Live Like That.”
“It’s a lot of fun,” Frey said. “Getting to see the country is great, and seeing what God’s doing.” Part of that is seeing how God can use songs “to put people back together,” Frey said.
He doesn’t necessarily think of that, when writing a song in a small room in Nashville, said Frey.
“Then it goes on the road and millions of people hear it,” Frey said. Soon, the stories start flooding in from people who tell him and other members of the group how the music has touched them.
“That’s God working,” Frey said.
“When we wrote the song, God was in it. God was the center of it all.”
In addition to Frey, Sidewalk Prophets also consists of Ben McDonnell, rhythm guitar; Shawn Tomczak, lead guitar; Cal Joslin, bass and Justin Nace, drums.
Frey and McDonald started the group while attending Anderson University in Indiana. Winning a talent show led to an audition and ultimately, a recording contract.
Frey said he came by Christian music naturally.
“My parents divorced when I was in junior high school,” Frey said. Christian music helped get him through it, he said.
Tickets for the “Into the Light” concert are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Shared Blessings, the First Baptist Church of McAlester, Lakewood Christian Church and School, King’s House, Life Church and a number of other churches in the city and surrounding area.
Also, tickets are available online at itickets.com.
Next, Sidewalk Prophets plans a Christmas album, which the group will tour behind following the “Into the Light” tour.
Frey said he’s looking look forward to the McAlester concert.
“I think we’re going to have a great time,” he said.
As for the surprise, suffice to say it involves acoustic guitars, harmonies and one of their fellow performers.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Frey.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.