It was an opportunity I didn’t necessarily want or ask for. Over the years with all of the bands I’ve played in, I’ve maintained a good relationship with Kilby Court, the longest running all ages venue in Salt Lake City. Will Sartain, one of the current promoters texted me with an offer to open for the band He Is We in Salt Lake City.
“Matt, would you be a good fit to open for He Is We?”
I had heard of the band before looking through music news websites. I decided to YouTube their live shows to get a feel for their shows. What I found were full crowds of young teens (mostly girls) singing along with every word. They reminded me of a tween Civil Wars. So naturally, I agreed to the show.
Now honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the show. I would play to couple hundred of people and to pass out The Rock Music propaganda; I would sell a few CDs and I would probably offend most of the crowd by talking about being a part of a movement of musicians out of a local church. That would’ve been fine with me. It was a show. I had to do what I had to do.
I needed help passing out promo material and selling merch so I had my friend Tony Mihaly come with me. As we got to the venue, The Complex, what we saw before our very eyes astounded us. A massive line of what seemed to be under-18 year old kids, waiting for the doors to open. It made me realize exactly what God had set up for us. He gave his a ripe field to sow the seeds of the gospel through TRM. We walked in and talked to Will and he told us he expected a sell-out crowd of 900 kids.
I was the only opening act for the night. Tension was rising to a fever pitch as the sold out crowd was waiting for someone, ANYONE to play. That person would be me. In my whole career as a musician, I have never heard the reaction I heard just by walking onstage as I heard that night. I proceeded to play my 45-minute set. The crowd was fantastic and I knew I won them. I told them to come to my merchandise table to pick up TRM download cards. I had brought 300 cards. By the end of the night, they were all gone. I had explained the TRM to some, but for the most part, kids came by and picked up the cards without Tony or I having to say anything. It was unbelievable. God had made it so easy to do my job that night. I was definitely blessed and hopefully others were blessed too.
The great thing about my ministry of promoting The Rock Music, that it doesn’t matter whether or not I play in front of 900 with He Is We in Salt Lake City or to 3 people at record store in Bountiful (which seriously happened one week within each other). Whoever receives a download card or has a conversation with me about Jesus, that’s why God put me there. I have to admit, it’s great to have a good (great in this case) show but with eternity as my scope, it’s clear that those nights are fickle and will not last forever. It’s the seeds that Jesus plants through us in the fertile soil of people’s hearts.
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears,let him hear.” Matthew 13:9 (ESV)
Matthew Quen Nanes