Four contemporary Christian bands are slated to play live at the Lutcher Theater, Aug. 26 as part of an unprecedented Back to School Concert. The first band takes the stage at 6 p.m. followed by three more powerhouse acts.

Headlining the evening is Grammy-nominated Sanctus Real, known for their successful merging of substance and style that is evident in their five albums that have garnered seven No. 1 radio singles (and six more that landed in the Top 5.) The Dove Award-winning act features Matt Hammitt (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Rohman (lead guitar), Mark Graalman (drums), Dan Gartley (bass) and Pete Prevost (guitar).

Offering glimpses of the guys’ own joys and heartbreaking struggles, has endeared the band to fans around the globe. With the release of Pieces of a Real Heart, Sanctus Real has continued to push itself both artistically and thematically. Fueled by the real-life experiences culled from a life often spent traveling from city to city, not to mention the maturing that inevitably results when raising families, the album is confessional, thoughtful and really anything but surface-level. Armed with a passionate message, Pieces of a Real Heart also has plenty of hope for the world-weary.

Closely billed to Sanctus Real is Fireflight. When these Floridians launched their Flicker Records debut, The Healing of Harms, in 2006, the versatile quintet rocked two No. 1 radio singles, toured relentlessly, and, best of all, discovered a growing fan base that reciprocated the band’s passion.  Before the title track was released of their 2008 sophomore album, Unbreakable, NBC repeatedly used its title track, the lead single, for prime time television promos. The album debuted at No. 10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart.  Fireflight won Taco Bell’s fan-voted “Best of the Beat” contest and then performed at ESPN’s “Winter X Games 13.” As Fireflight logged additional audio exposure on ABC, E! Entertainment’s “Style Network,” and even SyFy, Christian rock and pop radio fanned its own flames, sending three more Fireflight singles—Unbreakable, The Hunger, and Stand Up—to No. 1. The Unbreakable music video logged more than a million plays on YouTube, and the song itself had been confirmed as a future download for the wildly popular Rock BandTM video game.
Fireflight’s latest album For Those Who Wait, with its stunning new 10-song collection, has been said to exceed expectations. As drummer Phee Shorb puts it, “For Those Who Wait sounds as good as I’ve always hoped we could sound.”

Armed with an arresting voice that’s drawn comparisons to Joan Jett and The Pretenders’ Chrissy Hynde, is Dawn Michele.  Fireflight guitarist/support vocalist Justin Cox explains the record’s fuller, more muscular sound is the result of taking a different approach and different equipment into the studio. When the rock quintet—which also features Fireflight founder/guitarist Glenn Drennen and bassist Wendy Drennen (his wife)—reunited with Rob Hawkins (Jackson Waters, Rush of Fools), who also helmed Unbreakable, Justin told the producer he “wanted this album to be way heavier and way bigger.”

“We pray earnestly that God will give us good songs that will be able to help people,” she says. (Dawn) “And He’s come through for us, especially in our weakest moments. That’s when we’ve really gotten the best stuff.”

Along with Sanctus Real and Fireflight, the Lutcher Theater will also present two other up and coming Christian rock bands for this “back-to-school bash.”  Run Kid Run and The Access are also slated to perform.

Illinois-based pop/rock outfit Run Kid Run combines infectious melodies and uplifting lyrics into an exuberant sound that’s both catchy and accessible. The group is comprised of vocalist/guitarist David Curtis, guitarist/vocalist Neil Endicott, bassist Lyle Chastain, and drummer Matt Jackson.

Run Kid Run’s new album Love At The Core is available everywhere now. As one would expect after two years, Run Kid Run comes out with a dynamic sophomore release that will for sure put them on the charts with songs like Captives Come Home, One In A Million, and Freedom…just to name a few.

Love at the Core weaves throughout its ten exuberant pop/rock songs the message that a relationship with God is central to the essence of life.

The Access’ debut album, The Time Has Come released in 2008 has two singles Pressing On and I Remember When, now receiving radio airplay in the USA and internationally. The band has recently performed/ministered on stage at one of Christian music’s largest and oldest concert events the “Ichthus Festival 2008.”  They garnered a slot on the industries “Winter Jam Tour Spectacular,” opening dates with Toby Mac and have shared the stage with GMA Dove Award Nominee, Leeland on many occasions.  The band is set to release three more songs off the new album to worldwide radio soon.

Justin Michaels leads the group with vocals, acoustic guitar and piano.  Other band members include Nick Daniel on rhythm electric guitar, Winter on lead electric guitar, Caleb Larremore on bass electric guitar and back-up vocals and Kyle Mason on drums and back-up vocals.

“We want to make music with meaning. The last thing we want to do whenever we get up to play, is just put on a show. We want people to come to a concert but leave knowing they’ve just had an experience, that they’ve been touched and changed by God,” says Justin Michaels, band lead vocalist.

Tickets for this “one-of–a-kind” Back to School event range from $20 to $25 and special rates are available for groups. Visit or call the Lutcher Theater box office at 409-886-5535 to reserve tickets.

The Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts is located at 707 Main, Orange.