Almost exactly a year after the Christian pop duo/band For King and Country made its arena debut in Tucson last October, they’re back, this time with their “A Drummer Boy” drive-in holiday concert tour.
Brothers Luke and Joel Smallbone and their band will perform at Pima County Fairgrounds on Sunday, Nov. 22, for an audience of fans socially distanced in their vehicles. Each car is limited to six passengers and vehicles will be parked a minimum of 6 feet apart. Audience members also will be required to wear masks if they are outside of their vehicles.
“We have a live sound system that pipes through your car, as well. Everybody can see us. We are right there with everyone,” Luke Smallbone explained last month as he and big brother Joel were wrapping up their fall drive-in tour and preparing for the holiday tour.
“This was kind of the formula that we came up with,” he said. “It really is unlike anything we have ever done before. It’s kind of a whole new experience for all of us but we are excited to embark on a grand adventure and usher in Christmas for everyone.”
“A Drummer Boy” tour takes its name from For King and Country’s just released album ”A Drummer Boy Christmas.”
“(We are) kind of known as a Christmas band, but we have never actually done a full-length studio Christmas album before,” Smallbone said from a concert stop last month in Texas.
Smallbone said the brothers worked on the album over the COVID-19 lockdown last spring, adding a few original songs to a handful of Christmas carol standards including “Come All Ye Faithful,” “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Silent Night.”
Their self-penned “Heavenly Hosts” inspires with the theme of “love is going to save me” while the hopeful message of “The Carol of Joseph (I Believe In You)” resonates far beyond the holidays to the times we are experiencing, from the social unrest to the COVID-19 health crisis. (“I believe in you / Yes, I believe in you / I finally hear the song / The angels singin’ on and on and on / And I believe in you / Yes, I do.”)
The Christmas tour includes a soldout show at the Gila River Arena in Glendale on Saturday, Nov. 21.
“What we are finding is that people want to get out. They want to be safe, but they want to do something. I don’t want Christmas 2020 to be the eyesore of my life. You want to be able to makes some memories,” said Smallbone, who is from Australia but has spent most of his life in Nashville, Tennessee. “Our hope is that these events are an opportunity to get out and be safe … and make some special memories.”
“I think everybody needs hope. They need something to believe in,” he added. ”It’s difficult to find your place in the world with all the noise that is out there. Our hope is that people can come. We celebrate the birth of Jesus. We sing songs about it. In 2020, it resonates with people.
Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Starburch