Message and the music: Kutless in Tupelo Friday night with a mission

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

Christian rock band Kutless has a 10-plus year history, full of hit records and hit singles. Such success would make life easy, but not in one way: The band has a difficult time coming up with set lists.
“It’s so hard, to be totally honest. I think what makes it harder for our band is how dynamic and dynamically opposite our music is. We have songs that are super-heavy … and then we have (a softer song like) ‘What Faith Can Do,’” said Kutless guitarist James Mead. “We’ve got probably five or six songs we have to play all the time from the years of songs becoming hits, so you’ve gotta factor in those, and you’ve gotta factor in the new stuff and think about transitions between the two.”
Kutless has had hits with songs like “What Faith Can Do,” “Strong Tower” and “Sea of Faces,” and now, a new album, “Believer,” is spawning new hits, like “Carry Me To the Cross.”
“Everybody is actually the same. We were all made, we all have the same internal struggle, the same sort of things that lead us to joy and to temptation. I think the story of the life of the believer is really the story of God’s faithfulness toward us,” he said. “All of the songs are about finding our identity in Christ.”
Much of the Kutless’ set list on this tour with Jeremy Camp is built around tracks from “Believer.” That makes things easier to determine what they’ll play that night, but the band – made up of Mead, vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall, bass player Dave Luetkenhoelter, drummer Kyle Peek and lead guitarist Nick DePartee – also chooses songs that help get messages across to the audience. Fans can expect to hear the band talk about what led them to write some of the songs and the messages behind them.
“Worship is something we love to do, even when we’re at home at church, we like to get together and lead worship. It’s so fun,” Mead said.
Reaching fans – through worship, through music, through a perfect set-list – is the highest priority for Kutless.
“In the last year or so, the message of our show has become more and more important to us,” Mead said. “It’s more evangelizing and spreading the gospel that’s the most important part of the show to us.”
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

On Stage
WHO: Jeremy Camp, Kutless, KJ-52, Jeremy Allison and NDW
WHEN: 7 p.m. July 20

WHERE: BancorpSouth Arena. Tupelo

COST: $26.50, $22.50, $18.50 and $15/groups of 10 or more, all plus fees

INFO: bcsarena.com or (662) 841-6528