Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Contemporary worship events like to adopt brand names which transcend individual musicians or groups. So the UK has Spring Harvest and Soul Survivor, for example; an American equivalent would be Passion; our Australian friends have arguably the most internationally popular one (Hillsong), and Planetshakers is another, newer brand from Down Under. This DVD presents two hours of top quality worship filmed at the 2004 Planetshakers conference in Melbourne, very much reminiscent of Hillsong or Bradford's Abundant Life church. An excellent 11-strong band, augmented at times by additional horn and string sections(!), is fronted by worship leaders Henry Seeley and Sam Evans alongside (count 'em) 11 backing vocalists who, strung across the stage like Fame Academy finalists. The 15 tracks on offer here were not all recorded on the same occasion. This DVD would appear to be the "best bits" from at least two worship sessions at the conference, so the whole thing lacks continuity and does not really feel like a one-take live album; one song fades out (both visually and aurally, which accentuates the fact) before another begins, and almost all the extemporary prayer and ad-libbed exhortations from Seeley and Evans are not retained. This is a minor quibble however; I can highly recommend the power and professionalism of every aspect of this release and the songs are often excellent too. The second half of the running order (which follows the first drum solo I've ever encountered in worship!) is especially good, with standout tunes such as "Come To Praise", "Everything's Changed" and "Perfect Day" (not the Lou Reed number) really getting the crowd bouncing. The package is rounded off by some fairly redundant special features, one of which calls itself an "On Tour Documentary" but amounts to just five minutes of home movie footage with "Everything's Changed" playing in the background. A shame, but not enough to dampen the infectious, God-centred enthusiasm of the main content.
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