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The Newsboys will `Let the Music Speak` when performing in Western New York this month.
The Newsboys will "Let the Music Speak" when performing in Western New York this month.

Michael Tait promises good time when Newsboys visit WNY

by jmaloni
Tue, Mar 7th 2023 05:50 pm

Band has two local March shows, then will return this summer as part of Kingdom Bound Music Festival

By Joshua Maloni

GM/Managing Editor


There is, perhaps, no bigger stage show in all of Christian music than a Newsboys concert.

Big theatrics – even bigger light packages – and a gravity-defying drum kit are some of the visuals fans can expect.

Musically, the show offers more than two-dozen songs, including many hits: the band’s biggest (“God’s Not Dead”), its newest (“I Speak Jesus”), and the one you always hear in church (“You Are My King {Amazing Love} ). dc Talk and U2 covers round out the setlist.

“I’ve been with the band now for 13 years. This is, by far, the best live show I've been a part of with Newsboys. It's just a night with Newsboys,” lead singer Michael Tait said in a phone interview last week.

He explained, “ ‘Let the Music Speak,’ we call the tour. It's 28 songs, and it's a fun night. Acoustic set to power set of pop songs, to a power worship set, to songs that you've heard way back in the day – some old, (for) old-school Newsboys fans, to new stuff. I do a song called ‘One’ by U2, and talk about how we are better together. And although we're different, that should be celebrated, and not pushed away – because the beauty is found in the diversity.

“The show is just another level.”

The Newsboys have had a lot of fun – and a lot of fans – so far on their spring tour. (Photos ©Sidney Grace Photography // provided by Newsboys management)


Like Tait said, he has been at the helm for more than a decade – but Newsboys started all the way back in 1987. Between Tait and former singers Peter Furler, John James and Phil Joel, the band has almost 30 albums (including studio releases, live shows and compilations). So, selecting 28 songs – which is a lot for a concert – isn’t even scratching the surface of Newsboys’ vast catalog.

In speaking of the sorting process, Tait said, “We'll go online to ask people what they like to hear best. What's your favorite songs? We watch the movement on streams and see what people are into. Then we'll kind of indulge ourselves; we’ll throw a extra couple in there – like ‘Jesus Freak’ or ‘In the Light.’ … Because we can. (Laughs). We try to find what the people want to hear, man. And then where our hearts are also, obviously. All we want to serve is the people, ultimately – that's the goal.”

Combining the bells and whistles with the songs, and a message, while utilizing Tait’s otherworldly voice – it’s a challenge, but, “I think the Holy Spirit is the ingredient that holds it all together,” he said. “We try to write the best songs we can. And we’ll do some cover tunes from some other artists, too, because that's part of who we are.

“But also, we've always been big on a great live show. I mean, I think people who come to a Newsboys show, they know they're going to get entertained, as well as ministered to – which is great, because I love to entertain them, and take their eyes off the business, the craziness of life, sometimes; the hustle and bustle; but also, to light a fire inside their heart, in case the furnace pilot is turned off. We want to relight that pilot, and get a fire burning in them again. …

“People say, ‘What’s a Newsboys show like?’ I say, ‘Guys, it's like an MTV-VH1 video music award show mixed with a fiery, Black Baptist church service.’ That’s what it’s like. (Laughs)

“And with that said, it's like you put these songs together, you get the people in the room that love Newsboys and want to hear great music and, at the end of the day, it's a win-win combination.”

He added, “Man is it special, because we get up there, and we just sing these songs people love and they know so well. And all of a sudden, you go, ‘Wow, this is where I belong. It’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now.’ There's no better feeling as a lead singer to sing songs and people sing them back to you – and we're all singing to the Lord. It’s powerful, man.”

Michael Tait on stage (Photos ©Sidney Grace Photography // provided by Newsboys management)


Drummer Duncan Phillips does his thing. (Photos ©Sidney Grace Photography // provided by Newsboys management)


Newsboys will bring “Let the Music Speak” to Rochester on Friday, March 17, and then to Hamburg on Sunday, March 19. Find tickets and more information here.

Tait said he’s looking forward to returning to Western New York and Kingdom Bound this summer, when Newsboys perform on the Darien Lake PAC stage on Wednesday, July 26.

He’s also jazzed for some other musical opportunities headed his way.

Tait occasionally rejoins TobyMac and Kevin Max for dc Talk one-offs; he’s performed with his sister, Lynda Randle; and even joined Grand Island’s own Marc Scibilia for songs and a Buffalo show once upon a time. These ventures away from his “day job” help fuel Tait’s creative fire.

“It's all in the mix,” he said. “For me, for instance, this past Christmas, I did a tour with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, my first Christmas tour with them. And in a perfect world – if I didn't do Newsboys, if I didn't do dc Talk, if I didn’t ever do Tait Band – I would have been on tour – and still wouldn’t mind being on tour one day – with Michael Bublé and Harry Connick – and Michael Tait. Because I love to sing the classics. I love to sing the standards. I love a great love song with strings. I love a big band song with horns.

“That kind of music allows me to escape my ‘day job,’ so to speak, in many ways. Nothing bad there when I say ‘escape.’ I mean, that allows me to go out and fulfill other parts of my creative craving.

“And to see how people respond to that, it's been overwhelming – so much so that I'm making an entire record this year. A solo record for Capitol Records. A Christmas record of all crooner songs. I'm pretty stoked about that.”

Catch up with Newsboys here.





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