MASON CITY | Rend Collective, one of the top bands in Christian music, will headline a concert Saturday, July 29, on the lawn of Grace Church.
“Rend Collective is one of the top five selling (Christian bands) in the country. To have that quality in Mason City is pretty unique,” said Tyler Anderson of Roller City, producer of Thrive Concerts.
The band, known for its "foot-stomping revival hymn" “Build Your Kingdom Here,” and the upbeat “My Lighthouse,” hails from Northern Ireland and incorporates homemade instruments in its songs.
Anderson describes the band’s style like being “around a large campfire — being drawn into it. That’s how their music feels.”
GAWVI, a producer for Christian rappers, has launched a solo career. Anderson said he’s been watching him on Spotify, where he’s rocketed up to 400,000 listeners per month.
“He’s a very talented electronic dance guy,” Anderson said. “Great workout music.”
Mike Mains, a talented indie rocker from Michigan, has performed in Mason City several times, and returns for the Thrive Festival.
The final artist is Shawn McDonald, whom Anderson describes as an “acoustic hippy guy.”
Anderson returns to the concert scene after a three-year absence.
“It has been quite the journey,” he said. “It has transformed into a huge event, a larger version of what we’ve done in the past.”
He connected first with Nick Burgus of Grace Church and considered using the Bridge, the church’s new, 700-seat venue. He's also teamed up with Jesse Wunderlich at Grace.
“In terms of the leadership team God’s brought into the fold, it’s a constant confirmation we’re doing the right thing.”
Anderson said Lynn Brady “caught the itch” to bring bands to Mason City.
“Lynn Brady has been my right hand man,” Anderson said. “He’s been essential. He’s understood it. He could take it and run with it.”
The concert fills a void created by the cancellation of Sonshine Festival in Willmar, Minnesota, and Bash on the Farm in Forest City.
“It’s a really unique opportunity for us. The doors opened wider for us.”
Anderson said he has targeted the Minneapolis and Des Moines markets heavily, with 700 presold tickets. He also did what he called “guerrilla marketing,” handing out free tickets to anyone caught lip-synching along with them in Clear Lake’s July 4th parade.
The concert follows Friday Night Live on July 28. Main Street Mason City is partnering with the NIACC Performing Arts and Leadership Series to bring “Yesterday And Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience” to downtown Mason City.
“It’s going to be a huge weekend in North Iowa. It’s been fun to see how it’s all come together,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he’s very excited.
“I never thought we’d have Rend Collective. It’s not every day you get a band like this to play on the lawn.”
Doors will open for the outdoor concert at 3:30 p.m., with music beginning at 5 on the lawn of Grace Church, 440 N. Illinois Ave., Mason City. The music will go until 11 p.m.
People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Food will be available from Mr. Taco, Ritz Rings & Things, the Iowa Grill, and Roller City Sno Shack.