Main Image: We Are Messengers don Bunnings hats for a dancehall version of their hit song ‘Everything Comes Alive’ (Makayla Smart).
“If you came expecting a Sunday morning worship service you’re not getting your money back” laughs We Are Messengers frontman Darren Mulligan as he greeted a sold out Brisbane show last night.
We Are Messengers are a breath of fresh air in the Christian music scene. Led by Irish-born Darren Mulligan, the band are refreshingly raw, honest and real in their desire to have genuine connection with fans of their music, and to point people to Jesus.
“You all thought you came to see us tonight didn’t you Brisbane,” continues Darren, “but you know what; it’s the other way around – we came all this way to see you”.
It was a full house at Hillsong Brisbane to see a tour years in the making, with around 250 fans also gathering prior to the concert for a special Q&A session with Darren Mulligan.
“I’m so thrilled with how the band and our music has been received in Australia,” Darren told 96five’s Tim Bain backstage at the show. “Just now I’ve been chatting with people at the Q&A and their knowledge of the songs is unbelievable. It really is a humbling thing.”
The show was opened by Nathan Tasker, originally from Sydney, but who has spent the last fifteen years forging a career in Nashville. He endeared himself to the crowd when he mentioned that his children were most excited when he said he was playing a concert in Bluey’s hometown!
It becomes evident pretty quickly during the show that Darren cares about people; but as well as that, it’s clear he cares about his music and his art, all while managing to avert the spotlight from his own talent.
“Our job is to let humans be human and let God be God; that’s what the band does. That’s why we connect with people because they’re sick and tired of some phony presentation.”
“The world doesn’t need more impressive musicians or artists – we need a more impressive view of who Jesus is.”
While We Are Messengers worked their way through a swag of hits including ‘Wholehearted’, ‘Everything Comes Alive’, ‘Love’ and ‘Maybe it’s OK’, Darren constantly reminds the crowd that he isn’t perfect and still needs forgiveness.
Whether that was references to his old self – a violent, drunken adulterer, or the admission that he was less than gracious recently in New York traffic. the message was the same; we’re all broken, we’re all fallen and we all need grace.
Maybe it’s those reminders that makes the band so relatable, or maybe it’s the infectiousness of their music that draws upon generations of Irish poetic angst and reflection.
Whatever it is, over one thousand people drove home last night feeling seen no matter what they’re walking through.
And Brisbane just can’t wait for We Are Messengers to return. Let’s hope it’s soon.
Listen to Tim Bain’s interview with Darren at the top of the page. You can also listen to Steff Willis’ interview with Nathan Tasker in the audio player below. Scroll down for more pics from the show (all by Makayla Smart).