TOBYMAC’s Hits Deep tour performed at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on February 6th, 2023. On stage, the seven-time GRAMMY award winner was supported by acts such as Crowder, Cochren and Co., Tasha Layton, Jon Reddick, and Terrian. In the crowd were fans that ranged from infants in their mother’s arms to older audiences with their canes being waved in the air
Beginning the night was Terrian with a beautiful voice that’s featured twice on TOBYMAC’s latest record, Life After Death, on songs Found and Rest. For songs of her own, she featured In The Arms, as well as Stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Between songs were personal anecdotes all about the singer’s relationship with God and her relationship with her religion overall.
This would be a theme throughout the night as each act was a Christian based singer/group, there would be discussion on stage of everything from humanitarian work, to finding love with the ones closest to you.
Cochren and Co. was another fantastic act that TOBYMAC brought on tour with him. Featuring great music as well as lighthearted preaches, Cochren performed Thank God For Sunday Morning which had the crowd up on their feet swaying to the music. Cochren told the crowd how blessed he was to have his wife on stage with him playing the keys, and how their marriage has been one of his biggest blessings, but if you ever wanted to really test your marriage, “try living on a tour bus with them!”
Taking the stage next was Jon Reddick who was also featured on TOBYMAC’s latest album with the song Shut Up Choose Love. Reddick would lead the stadium in song while performing his music such as God, Turn It Around, and Glory and Majesty. While discussing his music and life, Reddick could not stop smiling when describing his Lord, making it apparent this is what he loves to do above all else.
Fourth to bless the crowd was Tasha Layton, who performed some of the moving music off of her latest 2022 album release, How Far. Between the performance of songs such as Into The Sea (Its Gonna Be Okay) and Look What You’ve Done, the artist would discuss her relationship with God. She explained that her relationship with Him was broken for quite some time, but after she had explored many different religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism, she found herself coming back to Christianity. If everyone in the crowd could feel God’s love through her songs, then by her own words she was doing all that she ever wanted.
The next act brought a bit of a change in pace. Crowder, joined on stage by his group of seven including musicians and backup singers, would bring a bit of a harder sound to the stage. With elements of Bluegrass, Rock, and Rap, his music really stood out to me. Some great moments during the set were Good God Almighty and Red Letters.
Before TOBYMAC would finally take over, there was one last act to grace the stage, but they were no singer or band. It would be a pastor, who’s been touring with TOBYMAC for quite some time, and he’d be representing the Food for the Hungry non-profit organization.
After a live painting performance on stage reminding the audience “people are treasure,” the pastor would hand out flyers along with volunteers throughout the stadium, urging the audience to sponsor a child in a developing nation. He would tell his personal story of sponsoring a young girl in Nicaragua, and upon visiting her, seeing the difference small sacrifices such as less eating out or less Starbucks could make. The arena was then lit up with phone flashlights, signaling interest in the program from many new volunteers.
Finally on stage was then TOBYMAC. Beginning explosively with the hit song Help Is On The Way (Maybe Midnight), TOBYMAC would take the stage backed by his performers all choreographed tightly into their routine for the night. Holding back on mainstage for a bit, they’d soon take over the cat walks splitting the crowd. Running out here they’d be joined by streamers falling from arena ceilings, in this time the crowd was also treated to Everything, and I just need U.
Fans in the Tampa crowd specifically were loving the performance. One guest poured over herself with such excitement that she couldn’t stop herself from bragging about her husband’s custom Tampa Bay Lightning (our city’s hockey team) jersey, brandished with TOBYMAC where the usual surname of a player would be. Looking closer, the jersey was signed by the man himself. Her husband had won it in an auction and worn it to each of the past three TOBYMAC concerts the couple had went to.
Over the course of the night, TOBYMAC would be joined on stage by the majority of his openers, including Jon Reddick, Tasha Layton, Michael Cochren of Cochren and Co., and David Crowder. Each performing with the main act, it truly felt as though they were brought on tour to get more eyes on their music and help the overall message of the tour instead of just a name to play while guests file into the venue. Each act’s performance contributed to a night consisting of preaching love and the word of the gospel to all ages in attendance.
The show would continue on featuring some other hits like Til the Day I Die and Made to Love before closing out the night’s music with Promised Land and Feel it.
TOBYMAC’s Hits Deep tour will continue on through the southern US until late March. It was a fantastic show to attend for any aged Christian music fan.