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Neal Morse on worship tour: a detailed report!
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Neal Morse in Siegen

In July and August, Neal was on worship tour again. Besides events in England, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands, his spiritual journey led him to Germany as well. His stops: Haibach and Bessenbach near Aschaffenburg, Siegen and Berlin. Read the detailed tour report here and check out the video clips!

Only five months after his last worship evenings in Europe and Germany, the musician from Nashville paid us a visit again. His mission: Spread the good news of Jesus Christ and accompany it with brilliant songs. The tour started on July 11 in the Netherlands and led him to some Dutch cities, then to Belgium and finally to Germany. Before the worship gigs started, Neal made a stopover on the Night Of The Prog Festival at the Loreley, then took his drive to Haibach near Aschaffenburg, where the first German worship event took place.

Thursday, July 24 – Haibach


The venue of today's worship evening was "Treffpunkt Jesus", a hard-to-find church room that is situated directly under a workout place. Not surprising then that you miss it at first and drive past. The evening began with a common meal before the service started. Some people wanted to play a few German songs with Neal. Apart from Ruben, Neal's cajon player on the worship tours, there were many more musicians and instruments: Julie, normally contributing background vocals, played the trumpet and the church's pastor took over the accordion - and of course there were piano and bass as well. Following this unique gathering of musicians, Neal played some of his best original compositions, including "There Is Life", "Alleluia" and the popular "Sing It High". Neal talked about the fact that people want to live their dreams and are constantly trying to reach their goals.



Friday, July 25 – near the Main river in Aschaffenburg

This day, a meeting near the Main river in Aschaffenburg was planned. Homeless and many young people from broken families often gather there, so the members of "Treffpunkt Jesus" thought it was a good idea to go there with Neal and play and sing a few songs. To this end they brought a small PA system. While there were setting it up, Neal started jamming a little:


In the following, Neal played a few of his songs, amongst others: "California Nights", "Somber Days", material from the "Songs From The Highway" album and "Route 66", which was requested by one of the young people sitting there. Together with Ruben and bass player Alex from Berlin, Neal played for approx. 90 minutes. Some people came over and told that they liked the beautiful music and the courage of the musicians to just come down and play for the people. Mission accomplished!

Saturday, July 26 – Castle Weiler, Aschaffenburg


Today, a jam session took place at the castle, in which Neal and his family stayed overnight most of their days in Germany. More precisely, the event took place in the sunshine in the castle's garden. Fans and music enthusiasts had the opportunity to play together with the prog multi-instrumentalist. This was originally planned as a workshop for the musicians to team up in small groups and learn some songs, and the results should be presented later in the evening. But nobody really stuck to the program. In the early afternoon, more and more (mostly young) musicians arrived and set up their instruments. Some of them played "Pull Me Under" and "Take Away My Pain" by Dream Theater together, before Neal joined them for a few songs. It wasn't a real workshop, Neal accepted some song requests from the audience and asked the attending musicians to come on stage and play with him. During his breaks, he gave them some time for their own jams.




A highlight, however, took place during a short lunch break, when Neal gathered with a few visitors at the courtyard of the castle and talked about his music career. His spiritual comments and words that followed this conversation were very inspiring, and remarkably, none of the listeners fled from the discussion, they were listening eagerly. After the jam session it was planned to show Neal's new DVD "Sola Scriptura & Beyond" on big screen, which also happened, but it had to be terminated  prematurely because of an approaching thunderstorm. A wise decision, because a little later there was a real cloudburst and the equipment was just saved in time. Overall a very nice day with some very nice conversations and a great community atmosphere!


Sunday, July 27 – Castle Weiler, Aschaffenburg

The next day, a worship service was held at the same location. Neal played some worship songs and gave his testimony. The good news was that many of the visitors from Saturday were present again. A special highlight surely was that Neal's brother Richard, who lives in Germany, just arrived and the two brothers played a couple of songs together,  e.g. "Invocation" from Richard's solo album "Rychyrd".


Tuesday, July 29 – Siegen


The EfG Siegen-Geisweid has always been part of Neal's worship tours. Also this time, Neal had a worship service there. It was a reunion with the pastor of "Treffpunkt Jesus" from Haibach, who couldn't resist coming over and he got the opportunity to speak at length. He told the exciting story how he heard of Neal for the first time: While Neal was in his home town of Aschaffenburg in February, the pastor attended a service at Neal's church in America. So finally, by some friends' help, they got to know each other.

The musical part of the evening started with a brilliant piano improvisation by Neal that raised a very spiritual atmosphere. The evening was filled with very special versions of Neal's songs. Neal asked Daniel Fries, a good friend and guitarist from the EfG Siegen-Geisweid, to support him, so Daniel contributed some very melodic solos. Every night is different! The good news was that much more people attended the service than at Neal's past visits in Siegen. This evening, certainly more than 50 people appeared at the church that was beautifully flooded by the summer sun.

Friday, August 01 – Jesushaus Köpenick, Berlin


Then the Americans went on the long journey to Berlin, where three worship evenings were scheduled. The first service took place at the "Jesushaus" in Köpenick, a small church community that is situated in a larger building. Once again, a few musicians supported Neal in his songs. In addition to the usual piano and acoustic guitar, the audience was able to enjoy saxophone, bass, percussion and drums. Especially the version of "Cloudburst" was beautiful with the given instrumentation, as you can see in the following video:


Also terrific: Neal's version of the Chris Rice song „Come To Jesus“ that will move you to tears: 

The most emotional and spiritual experience was the moment when the bassist of the band gave his testimony and told how he - with the help of Neal's music - has found the Lord.



Saturday, August 02 – Tragwerk Youth Church, Berlin


This evening, Neal was a guest at the "Tragwerk" youth church in the Berlin district of Lichtenberg. As it was Neal's birthday, the service started with a "Happy Birthday", which was accompanied by one of the musicians on piano. Neal was offered a plate full of muffins with candles. Neal's kids sang "Go Light Your World" by Chris Rice and a woman gave her testimony. Two heart-warming experiences! It is always deeply touching when people speak about their experiences with God.


Sunday, August 03 – CVJM, Berlin


The day began with a morning church service where especially German songs were played. Then again the evening belonged to Neal, this time at the CVJM (YMCA) Berlin. Consequently, it was well attended - especially by many young people. Neal gave his testimony and some other visitors followed his example. "Jailbreak" was a lot of fun that night - as this video demonstrates:

Following the German dates, Neal went on to Norway and England. But if you're curious about the music and the good message, you should know: It looks like Neal will come back to Germany in October and November! In any case, the latest evenings with Neal were once again a very inspiring, soothing and unique musical experience!

Images: Webmaster & LOBA-User "qed"

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