Night of Joy Review

September 9th and 10th feature a wide variety of Christian music artists performing at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. I was at the event and saw first-hand the incredible Narnia promotions.

The Friday concerts started at 7:30 on four separate stages. Ten bands played overall, but Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe, and Steven Curtis Chapman played on the main stage. The concert lighting was breathtaking against the backdrop of the iconic castle at the center of the Magic Kingdom. The lights illuminating the castle even changed colors during the concert to mirror the lights on the performers and the effect was amazing.

During the concert, Steven Curtis Chapman premiered “Remembering You” the first single released from the Inspired By album. Chapman admitted to the audience that he and his band had never actually practiced this song together and made the audience promise not to hold it against him if the performance fell through. Despite flubbing one line the song came out great and the audience loved it.

I also visited the Narnia promo booth set up in Tomorrow Land. The booth featured four xBoxes set up with the Narnia game demo and two plasma screen TVs which were showing the trailer and the four “Making Of” chapters.

Everyone leaving the park received a Narnia passport (pictures) and a CD (picture) of artists who performed at Night of Joy. The CD also includes a bonus track with behind-the-scenes information on the making of the Inspired By album (in stores September 27). Here’s a transcript of the interviews:

Steven Curtis Chapman: “Great stories never die. You know, great story-telling. Whenever a story is just great and has all the elements that make a great story, it doesn’t matter what time period, what generation it’s being told to or read to. It’s still a great story and it captures your imagination. For me, as I finished the story, what I really wanted to capture and what I felt the story left me with was: Every time I experience spring or new life, the beginning signs of redemption, restoration, I want to remember what all of that means, what all of that represents. So, I wrote a song that I think is from the perspective of a lot of the characters in the book at the end of this story saying ‘whenever I see the first signs of spring, I’m going to be remembering you.'”

Bethany Dillon: “When I was actually learning to read, my mom and I would kind of go through books where she would read a page and I would read a page and we went though The Chronicles of Narnia together. And I actually remember just late at night and just reading that story and it just connecting with me so much as a kid. I loved that it was a chapter book and I could actually get it at that age. I just finished reading the first book on the plane and it just moved me in a different way. And I just love how that has so shaped my faith and the way that I see our stories.”

Chris Thomlin: “This is the most relative story of the world. It is the story of all of us; it’s the story of all of mankind. That there is this place, that there is this home that we all belong. All of us were created for it. And somewhere along the way, we’ve just kind of taken off on our own road and made decisions that have led us away. We’ve believed lies and it has led us away from this place that we belong. And, that there is someone who is going to make a way back for us, that there is a hero that will save the day.”

Jeremy Camp: “I was actually reading the book as they called me. And it was something that was already in my heart to read. And I didn’t have any clue that there was a movie coming out for it. So when they called me I was like ‘this is the most amazing thing because I’m already right involved in the book, it’s something that I wanted to do anyway, to read this.’ I’ve always been intrigued by CS Lewis and his writings. I just got done reading one of his books called The Great Divorce and so I’ve just always been intrigued by him. So when I got that call I was like, ‘yeah this is amazing. I was honored for sure.'”

Saturday night saw Kutless, tobyMac, Tree 63, and the Newsboys performing. Both Kutless and tobyMac mentioned the Narnia film (to great applause) but neither played their Narnia soundtrack song. (We will have clips from the songs and other cool stuff available next week so stay tuned.) Night of Joy 2005 came to an end around 12:45am on Sunday morning with the Newsboys bringing down the house. The weekend was fantastic!