Winter Jam wows fans: Nearly 9,000 pack arena for Christian music

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal


TUPELO – Pyrotechnics, a disco ball, multiple screens and strobe lights wowed fans at the 2013 Winter Jam tour at the BancorpSouth Arena on Thursday night.
The Christian music festival, which featured artists like tobyMac, NewSong, Jason Castro, Royal Tailor and Jamie Grace, drew a nearly sold-out crowd of almost 9,000 to the building.
“Are there any God girls in this place?” singer-songwriter Jamie Grace asked the crowd, referencing the “God Girl” nickname she’s given herself. “Sing along.”
Pop rock Christian band Royal Tailor opened Winter Jam with a dazzling light show and fans screamed for lead singer Tauren Wells’ dance moves.
“It’s so great to be here in Tupelo,” he said.
Winter Jam almost always sells out at the arena; last year, more than 3,000 fans were turned away at the door. The festival set up a stage for the artists to perform mini-sets for the fans who couldn’t get in. They didn’t need a stage this year, but one was set up in case.
Fans lined up at the arena hours ahead of the concert.
Elizabeth Stamper, 32, her husband and her children, 13-year-old Austin and 11-year-old McKenzie, all of Mantachie, beat the crowd by being a part of the Jam Nation line. Fans in that line were able to get inside more than two hours before the show began to secure good seats, along with other perks.
The family, along with friend Barbara Fondren of Hamilton, began standing in line at about 2:30 Thursday afternoon.
“We’re excited to see tobyMac,” Stamper said. “He’s one of the most popular (performers). The kids are huge fans.”
Fondren said Winter Jam, at just $10 a ticket, was a great deal.
“You get a good show at a good rate, and you get a good message out of it,” she said.
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com