As you’re walking into a Chris August concert, you may find a guy, decked out in a well-fitted suit and tie, holding the door and welcoming you to the show. Most fans do not realize it’s actually Chris August himself. “I’ll talk to people and they’ll have a whole conversation with me and never know it’s me until I go up on the stage," says August. Unless someone points me out, but usually I can do pretty well incognito.”
August admits he does this to get a feel for the crowd, and there definitely was a good vibe last Friday night at his concert at Faith Harvest Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The fans who expected to hear good music got their wish--with a bit of good ol’ comedy thrown in as well. August may have made a huge switch in his music career, from secular to Christian touring, but the humor and fun in his performances has remained consistent. “I’m still entertaining people, I’m still goofy!” he laughs. But the biggest difference August sees is after the show. “In the past, people would come and say ‘That beat was so cool, man you can sing!’ Now it’s like, ‘Hey I’m just letting you know that song changed my life,' or ‘Your song helped us heal our marriage,’ Chris explains. “I’m like what? I was not expecting that!’”
August has definitely made a difference in Christian music. With three Dove Awards earned just last year, including “Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year," for his hit single, “Starry Night,” August is making his mark as a successful artist. Yet, he views his accomplishments differently from what the music industry deems as success. “Ultimately, I feel that I’m called to tell the Gospel,” explains August during an interview with CCA before the show.
His music clearly reflects that tone, especially his song, “Unashamed of You.” The song is an unabashed declaration of his faith, and it had the Friday night audience intently singing along.
August is not only an entertainer or evangelist, but a talented musician as well. During the concert, it was immensely satisfying to find that his music transitions well from studio recording to live performance.
August's musical sound also demonstrates that he is not afraid to branch outside standard Christian pop. A big fan of artists such as Sara Bareilles and John Mayer, August is clearly a “soulful” musician. His upbeat song, “Let the music play,” induced a lot of head bobbing from the audience and received huge applause. To confirm his love for soul music, August entertained the crowd by doning dark glasses and playing bits of Stevie Wonder songs.
During the interview we also asked August about his upcoming tour plans. August is off to join TobyMac’s Hits Deep Tour, which kicks off November 29th. It includes a stellar lineup of artists such as Brandon Heath, Mandisa, Britt Nicole, Jamie Grace, and Group 1 Crew. August commented, “In my time of doing music, I’ve never seen this done, in terms of just playing the hits.”
August will play two songs: "Starry Night" and likely, his new single, “Center Of It.” August gives us a few more details about the Hits Deep concert, “I will sing on a song with Group 1 Crew. I’m going to have Mandisa and Brandon Heath sing background vocals. We’re all doing a song with Toby.”
Perhaps fans will wish August was doing his infamous and hilarious "Candy Wrap” song on the upcoming tour. But apparently kids are the only ones capable of melting Chris’s heart enough for him to sing the song, just like the candy melting in his mouth in his “Candy Wrap” music video. When asked about the song, August chuckled and explained, “I sang Candy Wrap as a joke on a big christian radio station, and I didn’t realize they had, like, 6 million listeners!" Laughingly he continues, “Soon after, at every show, people would be like ‘Candy Wrap!’ but unless some cute little kid asks me to, I won’t play it.”
Clearly, there must have been enough cute kids at Friday night’s show, because August did end up entertaining us with the “sweet” lyrics. The devoted younger fans held up posters which said “I love candy and Chris August” and some even threw candy on stage, to August's delight.
August’s funny streak was not over by the end of the night. Admitting he had no additional encore songs, August urged the crowd to pretend like the band had just gone off stage and had come back to do an encore. Humored once again, the audience took up a resounding applause before August and his band launched into the radio hit “Starry Night.”
At this point, it became extra clear that humor was not the only highlight of the concert. The serious moment was when August shared with the crowd that the vocals on the radio recording of "Starry Night" are actually the same vocals that August recorded the very night he rededicated his life to the Lord on January 18th, 2009.
What a great song to end to the evening with. To go from hearing the emotionally-driven Starry Night lyrics on the radio, to chatting on a couch and hearing August's story, to finally watching him perform the song on stage, it definitely was a night to remember.
To see if Chris August and the rest of the artists on the Hits Deep Tour are coming near you, go to christianconcertalerts.com homepage and put in your zip code!