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Writing this on a Saturday seems fitting since this day is the original Sabbath, the day of the week God himself set aside by example for a day of rest. This designation was changed centuries ago to Sunday by the Holy Roman Catholic Church, to reflect that Jesus’ resurrection had occurred on a Sunday, and possibly also to distance Christianity from Judaism (writer’s opinion), which still celebrates the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. The crowd that arrives early - Friday night shows are now starting 8-8:30 PM due to rattling the next door dentist’s fillings one time too many - has a noticeable difference in appearance and demeanor. There are more all ages types. The adults, though anxious, don’t seem to be parents of the musicians, clothing is more the ‘Tinkerbell’ tops, I Love Lucy purses, and Corona Motorsports black Ts, and the crowd seems freshly scrubbed, rather than ‘made-up’ for a night on the town. This distinction is because there is a congregation here to see the band that is the apple of their collective eye. Like the punks, emos and Indies, even old rock ‘n’ rollers like me, we all want to see ‘em LIVE, breaking a sweat in public while exhibiting their talent. I haven’t said it for a while but, live music is your best entertainment value. Tonight the Christians are out to rock ‘the scene’ in So Cali. And that ‘scene’ in Temecula, CA, is Madlins.


Known as HUMILITY just a couple of sermons ago, the band SUBJECT TO CHANGE has just crossed that first frontier, what to call themselves, a task faced by THE BEATLES and THE ROLLING STONES, among others. This band out of Menifee, CA, just up the I-215 from Murrieta, attends the Vineyard Of The Canyon Christian Church, as do almost all of the SRO crowd in attendance tonight. It doesn’t take long to see why there is such a huge turnout as the four members, Jacob Love (rhythm guitar/vocals), Anthony Yeager (bass), brothers Michael and Scotty Pullium, (lead guitar and drums respectively), take the stage and begin to play catchy tunes with lyrics based on fundamental Christian beliefs. The age range is 12-16, the oldest being the dimpled Jacob and the youngest being Scotty, who looks more like a nine year old in size. I have to strain to see him behind the kit. After several songs the group warms up, after playing the song that started the band and the third one that featured a riffy bridge by Michael and voids filled by Anthony’s phat bass. The fourth song had the audience high clapping and the fifth one showcased the voices of Michael and Anthony doing the intro verse and closed with a three part harmony. While the group had quite a few commercial grade songs fit for any ‘Christian rock’ AOR station, the inside news was that Michael, the young jukebox hero, turned 15 the day of the show, nice cake hat, Dude. Another first for the Madlins ‘krew’.


As many bands have, there is a story behind the story. Out here close to Hollywood land we like to call that ‘the backstory’. The ‘suits’ dress that up and call it ‘the prequel’. Many people don’t know that Fleetwood Mac was a blues band before two members left, to be replaced by Lindsey Buckingham, his wiccan (witch) girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, and bass player John McVie’s then wife Christine, and their considerable song writing talent. In the case of EMOTIONS FAHL (‘Fall’), when the band was searching for a name (déjà vu?) it came to light to use the 17th century Dutch family name from Daniel Stevenson, bass player/vocals, for its unique spelling of such a common word. Old friends Jimmy Hubler (drums) and Luke Patrucci (guitar/vocals) had found the new testament to complete their music salvation. Playing a little harder Christian rock with more mainstream lyrics to many of the opening crowd who stayed, this three piece blasted their music to the Waterpolo Titans and the nice girl front-line of fans. Check this Murrieta/Lake Elsinore group on myspace, the place for everybody, including Jesus.


Looking more like a poster hardcore punk rock group with ear loops, a shaved head, and loose fitting clothes, all doubt is lost once Jared Bair opens his throat and lets his strong tenor voice out to deliver the Great Commission musically. Performing in their second appearance an acoustic and unplugged set, LAST ADVENT, all seated, mirrored the Trinity in number. Kyle and Matt have left the band and the new recruits aren’t up to being stage apostles yet, but as we were being treated to LA’s all purpose Christian rock, old Matt did join his former music cross bearers onstage for one number. When you listen to this band from San Marcos, CA, play and sing their commitment to the Word, you wonder why you haven’t spotted them in a guest spot on the latest Billy Graham crusade tour. I guess old Billy isn’t hip to the happening spot for Christians and other folk here in Temecula, CA as Madlins’ myspacers are. We’re one up on you Billy, and we Thank God that He blessed us thusly. Available on Old Earth Records.


Making their second Madlins appearance tonight also was GWP, fresh from showcasing for Atlantic Records, “but couldn’t get signed because we’re a Christian (rock) band.” The three piece opened with the warning, “we’re a little louder than the last band,” then pumped out radio friendly (two to three minute) songs of hardcore Christian rock featuring Matt Chan (guitar/vocals), Adrian Daugherty (drummer), and Ben Williams (bass) with that ‘Slash’ hair-over-the-face look. The last two songs were the most commercially styled numbers with the last song having good spatial distortion guitar FX. GOD WILL PUNISH is out of Menifee, CA, a spot just up the road from Murrieta and are also located on myspace, of course.


The word ‘silent’ is in parentheses here because as I write this, you need both words to find them on myspace, and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss this band also from Menifee who had the hotties hollowing. They brought a grip of young fans and parents, treating them to indie Christian rock with a hardcore edge to it. These So Cali shredders, who feature a bass player that slaps the bass (Jose), play songs that are more melody driven. Pushing the pumpkin limit, frontman Chadd E. Clark led the boys (Matt-lead guitar, Doug-drums, Akira-guitar) in a rousing effort that featured a bass solo lead-in to a rap segment between the frontman and the second guitar. The ‘one more’ effort, a first at Madlins, generated another rap session that had the females screaming again. Perhaps this was a segue nod to coming of Saturday night’s ‘spoken word’ acts. Those Christians, always a peculiar priesthood.


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