For better or worse, we’re not the people we were when we fell in love with this music. I wrote a book about Christian rock in the ’90s, and one thing that struck me as I was putting it together was just how important some of that music was to my generation in pointing us toward the things that mattered to us: authentic faith, honest humanity, artistic integrity. Those are good things. But going to a rock show when you’re 18 and when you’re 35 are very different experiences. Have you noticed, for example, that when you go to see a band like Weezer or Jimmy Eat World, the fans are still mostly the age you were when you started listening to them? Have you noticed that you think less about buying their new records, and more about who you used to be and how you felt when you first bought their records?
I’m really happy to see new material from some of my favorite musicians, but I know that I’m not the same person I was when I started going to rock shows in church basements. I no longer put band stickers on my car or wear their buttons on my jacket. I no longer listen to Christian radio or buy my music from Bible bookstores. But these are some of the people who taught me what I know about faith, hope and love””and I’ll be forking over some cash this year to hear them do it again.