Martin Smith | The Live Experience | Event Review

Martin Smith | The Live Experience | Event Review

Just days before the release of Martin Smith’s debut solo album ‘God’s Great Dance Floor Step 01,’ Smith and his band of youthful talent, Johnny Bird (Guitar), Sarah Bird (Vocal), Natasha Kissel (Keys) Josh Price (Bass) and Ben Thatcher (Drums) visited my city of Birmingham (UK).

Having had (a pre-release version of) the album on repeat for a few weeks I was excited to hear these new songs live and get in on the action on ‘God’s Great Dance Floor’… the physical one at the front of the stage.

There was an air of expectancy in the venue, a venue that I know well. The stage was transformed with lights and ‘God’s Great Dance Floor’ branding was clear, bold and set up to engage us in the worship that was about to take place.

The crowd were responsive and ready to worship and people flocked to the front as Smith got the night going with ‘Redemption Day,’ a song with a heavy Delirious? vibe and a chorus that you couldn’t help but belt out full throttle… “Oh the joy, the joy of my salvation…”

More people rushed to the front of the stage and began jumping and dancing frantically, seeming able to cast away their cares and focus their minds on worship.

Ben gave my chest a thumping through his solid grooves on the intro to ‘Fire Never Sleeps’ at which point more of the crowd joined us at the front to get up close and personal as sparks of worship became burning flames of passionate worship.

Sarah lent her fiery voice to ‘God Is Coming’ which many people in the crowd seemed to know and were singing like a giant choir with the quirky addition of Sarah’s glockenspiel playing.

As the energy and electricity built in the room the crowd started to reach out and push through into the presence of God as Smith sang over us and led us in worship.

Smith took time to teach us ‘Awake My Soul’ giving insight into the meaning behind the song and ensuring that as the chorus was sang the whole crowd could join in. Connecting with the crowd, Smith got everyone to pull out their camera’s/camera phones and film the song to later be used in the ‘Awake My Soul’ music video.

The moment I had been waiting for was when Smith sang ‘Obsession’ which took us into deep contemplation, soul searching and thought taking us into a period of worship.

‘Catch Every Tear Drop’ followed and as I looked around me I could see the tears in the eyes of those who were overwhelmed by God’s love, which was tangible and very real.

As Smith led us in ‘Waiting Here For You’ he sat at his piano and let us in candid worship. In this moment we got to see more of Smith’s heart for worship as he led us in pure worship and expectancy of God showing up in our lives.

There was an eruption of worship and the build up of praise and worship was released as Smith sang the Delirious? classic ‘Majesty’ which flowed into Hillsong’s ‘Cornerstone’ and in this overflow of worship came ‘Song Of Solomon’ and the words “Over the mountains, over the sea, here you come running, my lover to me…” which was followed by a moment of stillness as the peace of God infiltrated our hearts.

Smith introduced the next song ‘Back To The Start’ which was followed by a cheer and accompanied by the official music video, which played on the big screen. The area at the front of the stage really did turn into a dance floor and the joy and freedom to dance and enjoy ourselves in the presence of God exploded and took us into celebration mode.

Leading us in worship again with another Delirious? classic, ‘Rain Down’ Smith continued to take us deeper into the presence of God. The area at the front of the stage went from dance floor to barn yard with the Country infused ‘Jesus Of Nazareth,’ which had people line dancing and really getting involved in the whole vibe of the song with foot stomping and frantic clapping.

‘Soldiers’ has some powerful lyrics and really bonded the crowd worshipping in unity, strength and reverence. The bridge came across as a prayer, “We’re crying out, for peace on earth, we’re on our kness, for peace on earth…” with call and response between Smith and Sarah.

‘The Shepherds Song’ took it down to just Smith playing the piano with a massive build up to “Love Is A Fire,” which left everyone is a place of worship.

After an encore of ‘History Maker’ we were led into “Holy Is The Lord” and the vamp of ‘Back To The Start’ to end out the night.

Martin Smith didn’t just perform, he grabbed our attention and focused it on God taking us on a journey to reach a place of pure worship directing us (at times) like a conductor with the crowd as his orchestra creating a collective sound of worship and offering it up to God. Smith’s humility, stage presence and most of all, love of God shone through and really let us know that Martin Smith the solo artist has grown, evolved and found a new sense of passion, written a new chapter in his life and shared (both live and through his new music) the soundtrack to his wilderness/dark experiences as well as the journey of self-discovery and finding God’s purpose for his life in this new season.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes