Saturday, July 11, 2015

tobyMac at the Great Lawn

Kevin McKeehan, better known by his stage name tobyMac, was born in Fairfax, Virginia, and grew up in nearby Falls Church. As a youth, he would frequently take the commuter train to Washington, D.C. so he could purchase the newest rap records. Inspired, he began experimenting with two turntables and a microphone. While attending Liberty College in 1987, he formed the Christian pop rap trio DC Talk; by the time the group split in 2000, DC Talk had sold eight million records. Launching a solo career in 2001, he quickly gained Billboard, Grammy and American Music Awards and sold another three million records. TobyMac's sixth studio album, This Is Not a Test, (stylized as ***This Is Not a Test***) will become available on August 7, 2015.

TobyMac headlined before 60,000 cheering fans at the closing event of Luis Palau's evangelic crusade in the Great Lawn of Central Park tonight. This was tobyMac's largest New York area audience since he opened for Pope Benedict XVI at a 2008 youth rally at St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers. Backed by his seven-piece funk rock band, Diverse City, tobyMac sang and rapped an electrifying mix of pop, rock, hip hop, Latin, and funk on "Eye on it", "Boomin'", "Made to Love", "Lose My Soul" and "Speak Life." With lyrics that examined the intersection of life and spirituality, tobyMac sang passionately about hope and redemption, while his energetic band played crunching rock beats, possibly the loudest, hardest beats ever played in Central Park's Great Lawn. The live sound was spectacular, but thousands in the audience were a quarter-mile from the stage and so watched the performance via projection; fans in more than 100 countries, however, watched the concert close-up via simulcast but missed the bright live sound. TobyMac, with his uplifting songs and upbeat band, made for an excellent performance in the park.

TobyMac headlines the Theatre at Madison Square Garden on November 13. In the meantime, visit tobyMac at