Last year, a singer stood above the crowd, belting his words from above the Nuart Theater marquee sign.This year, the Nuart Theater will again close off a section of Main Street for their 7th annual block party, but Christian bands, such as Hawk Nelson and Manafest may not face such heights.
The free party will feature a bounce house, a balloon-animal clown, chips, candy, drinks and $1 burgers, as well as community organization booths.
“There’s going to be hard rock, rap, folk rock, indie rock, there’s going to be all styles of music, so it’s just fun,” said Nuart Theater manager and musician Eric Engerbretson. “The only thing that’s Christian about it is the lyrics of the songs.”
Headlining the 2013 party is Hawk Nelson, a rock band that just released its sixth studio album, “Made,” in April.
Known for their hit “The One Thing I Have Left,” the three-member band took off from the Christian charts and landed on mainstream charts, winning a No. 1 spot on VH1’s top 20 video countdown in 2006.
“So this festival, everybody’s welcome,” Engerbretson said. “And when they hear the music, they go ‘Oh, I’ve never heard people singing about God in very modern styles of music.’ And people are going to say ‘Oh, this is not an alien thing to me, this is not a big hymn sing with 400-year-old songs.’ This is young people singing passionately in their vernacular about what they believe.”
Hawk Nelson comprises bassist Daniel Brio, drummer Justin Benner and guitarist and frontman Jonathan Steingard, who took over after Jason Dunn departed for his solo career.
Manafest, or Chris Greenwood, was noticed by Trevor McNevan of rock band Thousand Foot Krutch in the late ’90s and has been releasing music ever since.
Engerbretson describes Manafest as a hard rocker with a sprinkling of rap, while others consider him a hip hop artist, with music much like P.O.D. or Linkin Park.
While Manafest hasn’t reached the Billboard Christian charts since 2010, he did release an album titled “Fighter” in 2012.
Other block party bands include classic rockers The Lacks, hip hop artist Soulwinna, indie rocker Ergo Rex and acoustic musicians Joal Kamps and Katie Ainge. The party runs 2-9 p.m. Sunday on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets.
“The idea of the NuArt Block Party is to just throw a big party for the students, with zero pressure for any agenda. It’s to show them that this is what the Nuart is, we’re like this, and we’re here all year round,” Engerbretson said.
Visit www.nuarttheater.com/block-party.html for more information.
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @LindseyTreffry.
->if you go:
WHAT: Nuart Block Party
WHEN: 2-9 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets
COST: Free. Church member donation is suggested.