So, people probably don’t understand why we slam Urbana worship team so much. It’s just, a bunch of us went to Urbana ’96, and I’m sorry, the music was terrible. I mean, it was OK, it’s just, this conference was huge, you can get a better team, you know?
The most annoying thing is that they sang a bunch of songs that no one knew and that were terrible that were written by members of the team themselves. I’m talking seriously terrible songs – not particularly inspiring lyrics, terrible instrumentation, and mind-dumbingly poor melodic lines.
Anyway, what annoyed me most was their philosophy of how to put worship sets together. It was very “team” oriented. Meaning, everyone has a say, no one has a final say. It just kind of randomly comes together without a overlying vision that you can only get with a clear leader, and that’s terrible. And you could tell. They were only able to pull it off because they had some talented people on the team. But at the worship team seminar, they were advocating that style for everyone. Bad, bad advice.
It’s bothered me so much to this day that at that praise conference I went to a while back, I asked Paul “Open the Eyes of my Heart” Baloche about it, and he pretty much said that one person has to be the leader and take charge with it. And I definitely trust Paul “Above All” Baloche more that Urbana “Grow Something New” ’96 worship team. So to recap: I was right.
Anyway, I could go on and on about what was bad about that team, like how certain songs made people seriously afraid, but it would take a while, and it’s not that important. The thing is, a lot of people liked it a lot. So, really, us making fun of it shows our evil music elitism more than anything else. But I’m sorry, I know music, and I can explain why things were objectively bad.
But if you’re going to Urbana, seriously, don’t go in with a bad attitude about anything, even the worship team – it will just poison you. I’m not joking, I have friends who should know better who were really blessed by the worship at Urbana, so, the right attitude can change anything. And even though we made fun of it, we all still stole the lyric sheets to all the songs that they told us not to take. Uh, at least I did.
There’s another worship team we make fun of also. A few years ago IV had this pretty bad worship team. Featured was this bassist who would play random notes and random rhythms. Utterly random. Like even at the end, when a team would all end together and play a G chord, he would play, a half second later, like an Eb. I only heard them a few times, but, it made an impression.
It’s pretty terrible that we make fun of worship teams. But, just explaining things for people who don’t understand.