Reviews: for King & Country, Australia 2024

The 2024 Australian tour by for KING & COUNTRY has been a spectacular success. Fans across the country have enjoyed unforgettable performances filled with energy, emotion, and top-notch musicianship.

From Brisbane to Sydney and Perth, Joel and Luke Smallbone have shown why they are one of the most beloved acts in contemporary Christian music.

Here, we’ve compiled reviews from some of the standout shows on their tour, showcasing the band’s incredible live presence and the unforgettable experiences they’ve created for their fans.

Does for KING & COUNTRY Put on a Good Concert?

Joel Smallbone, Melbourne Australia 2024

For KING & COUNTRY’s concerts have been described as “spectacular” and “memorable” by reviewers. Justin Rouillon praised their Brisbane show, noting the band’s “interaction with the audience and heartfelt messages.” He felt the concert was a “memorable homecoming.” The emotional performances, especially “Unsung Hero,” left the crowd “buzzing, eager for the next opportunity to see for KING & COUNTRY live.”

Grace Stokes highlighted the duo’s dynamic stage presence and emotional depth in Sydney. She described the show as “gargantuan,” with powerful moments like “Fight On, Fighter” and the intimate “Pioneers.” She said the band brought “such energy, hope, happiness, and a sense of camaraderie and purpose,” making the concert unforgettable.

Sam Vigus echoed these sentiments in Perth. He called the performance “spectacular” and praised the band’s ability to create an intimate atmosphere despite the large venue. Vigus noted the band’s “dynamic stage presence” and their moving testimony. He concluded that the night’s performance was a testament to their dedication to fans and their mission to spread hope and faith.

Justin Rouillon

Venue: Brisbane Entertainment Centre
City: Brisbane, Monday 3 June 2024
Audience Size: Almost 10,000

for King + Country delivered an electrifying performance at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, with an audience of almost 10,000. Opening with an amped-up version of their 2021 hit “Relate,” the energy in the room was palpable as the band immediately connected with their fans.

The setlist featured crowd favourites such as “Fix My Eyes” and “Fight On, Fighter,” and the production values were top-notch. A standout moment of the night was when the band performed “Unsung Hero,” creating an emotional high point for both the band and the audience.

The concert concluded with a powerful rendition of John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” and for King + Country’s version of “Little Drummer Boy,” leaving fans in awe. The band’s interaction with the audience and heartfelt messages made this concert a memorable homecoming. The crowd left buzzing, eager for the next opportunity to see for King + Country live.

About the Reviewer: Justin Rouillon is a music journalist writing for 96.5FM, with a passion for live performances and over a decade of experience covering the music scene.

Grace Stokes

Venue: ICC Sydney
City: Sydney, 31 May 2024

for King & Country delivered an outstanding performance at the ICC Sydney, with the dramatic entrance setting the tone for the night. The band kicked off with “Relate,” instantly engaging the audience with their energetic and perfectly harmonised vocals. The stage, filled with a myriad of instruments, promised a gargantuan show that did not disappoint.

The setlist included hits like “Fix My Eyes” and “Fight On, Fighter,” with the brothers showcasing their musical prowess and heartfelt connection with the audience. A standout moment was the performance of “Unsung Hero,” dedicated to their parents, which created an emotional high point. The inclusion of their wives’ voices in “Pioneers” added a beautiful, personal touch to the night.

The concert concluded with the iconic “Drummer Boy,” featuring an epic percussion session that left the audience in awe. Joel and Luke’s interaction with the crowd and their heartfelt messages throughout the evening made it a memorable and emotional homecoming. The production level, musicianship, and showmanship were world-class, leaving fans forever changed.

About the Reviewer: Grace Stokes is passionate about the positive impact live music can have on the community and champions artists through her reviews. She writes for scenestr, Australia’s largest entertainment print media group.

Jonathan Andre

Venue: ICC Theatre
City: Sydney, 31 May 2024
Audience Size: Sold Out

for KING & COUNTRY delivered a stellar live music set experience at the ICC Theatre in Sydney on May 31st. The concert, part of their Homecoming Tour, showcased Joel and Luke’s exceptional energy, hope, and camaraderie. With a setlist featuring 25 tracks, including new additions like “Relate,” “Love Me Like I Am,” and “Unsung Hero,” the duo captivated the audience from start to finish.

The night’s highlights included emotional renditions of “God Only Knows” and “Burn The Ships,” with the band addressing themes of loneliness, hope, and perseverance. The inclusion of personal songs like “Cheering You On” added depth to the performance. A special moment came when the brothers spoke about Compassion International and their biopic movie, “Unsung Hero,” further connecting with the audience.

Overall, the concert was a powerful and moving experience, blending energetic performances with heartfelt messages. The band’s vulnerability and dedication to their fans shone through, making it an unforgettable night. The ICC Theatre experience was one for the memory books, leaving the audience enthralled and inspired.

About the Reviewer: Jonathan Andre is a dedicated music reviewer and site administrator for 365 Days Of Inspiring Media. He has a passion for live concerts and enjoys sharing his experiences with fellow music enthusiasts.

Sam Vigus

Venue: RAC Arena
City: Perth, 20 May 2024

for KING & COUNTRY delivered a spectacular performance at RAC Arena in Perth on May 20th, marking their first show in Australia in five years. The multi-Grammy award-winning duo, Joel and Luke Smallbone, along with their talented band, played a diverse setlist featuring classics, new originals, and covers from their “Unsung Hero” movie soundtrack. The concert concluded with an incredible rendition of “Little Drummer Boy,” adding a touch of Christmas magic to the night.

The duo’s dynamic stage presence was highlighted as they moved from the main stage to a smaller stage in the middle of the arena and weaved through the crowd multiple times, creating an intimate and memorable experience for everyone. Their heartfelt performance and moving testimony about their family’s journey from Australia to the United States added depth to the show, as they shared their story of struggle and God’s provision.

Sonshine was pleased to partner with CMAA in bringing for KING & COUNTRY to Australia and looks forward to hosting more talented Christian musicians and bands in the future. The night’s performance was a testament to the band’s dedication to their fans and their mission to spread hope and faith through their music.

About the Reviewer: Sam Vigus is a passionate music journalist for Sonshine, dedicated to covering live performances and sharing inspiring stories from the music industry.

Soothing Christian Music for Anxiety

Music can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety and stress. It has the ability to affect our emotions and state of mind. Different songs may be calming or soothing for different people, as everyone has their own unique musical preferences.

Let’s explore the most soothing Christian music that could help you with anxiety.

10 Calming Christian Songs

Here are some worship songs that may be helpful for managing anxiety.

  1. Peace Be Still – The lyrics of this song remind us that God is in control and can calm our storms.
  2. Even When It Hurts (Praise Song) – This song encourages us to trust in God’s plan and to find strength in His love, even when things are difficult.
  3. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – This song reminds us that God is with us, even when we feel like we are in over our heads.
  4. I Will Trust in You – These lyrics express a deep trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness.
  5. Great Is Thy Faithfulness – This classic hymn celebrates God’s faithfulness and His presence in all aspects of our lives.
  6. The Lord’s Prayer – The familiar words of this prayer can be comforting and bring a sense of peace.
  7. Be Still – This song invites us to quiet our hearts and minds, and to trust in God’s care for us.
  8. Anchor – The lyrics of this song remind us that God is our rock and our anchor, and we can find hope and stability in Him.
  9. You Are My Hiding Place – These lyrics express a sense of safety and security in God’s presence.
  10. Blessed Assurance – This song celebrates the assurance of salvation and the knowledge that we are loved by God.

Why Music About Jesus Christ is Comforting

Music that focuses on Jesus Christ and His teachings can be comforting in a number of ways. Some specific ways that this type of music may be comforting include:

  1. Lyrics that celebrate Jesus’ love and grace – Hearing about Jesus’ love and the fact that He has paid the price for our sins can be deeply comforting and bring a sense of hope.
  2. Lyrics that encourage trust in God – Many Christian songs include lyrics that encourage listeners to trust in God’s plan and to rely on His strength and provision. This can be especially comforting for those who are facing difficult challenges.
  3. Music that helps to create a sense of community – Sharing in worship through music can create a sense of community and belonging, which can be comforting and supportive.
  4. Music that helps to quiet the mind and bring peace – Some Christian music is specifically designed to be calming and soothing, and can be helpful for managing stress and anxiety.

Christian music that focuses on Jesus Christ and His teachings can be a powerful source of comfort, encouragement, and inspiration for believers.

Study on Mental Health in Later Life

A psychology study has demonstrated that listening to Christian music has a positive impact on the psychology of the elderly in later life. Religious music is readily available to most people, and this means that it can be a crucial resource to promote mental well-being.

The study titled “Listening to Religious Music and Mental Health in Later Life” published in the Gerontologist Journal collected data from 1,024 senior citizens from 65 years and above. The participants included in the study were aging, religious black and white Americans in good health. The aim of the study was to examine the impact of listening to Christian music on mental health.

The results indicated that listening to worship music frequently decreased death anxiety, and increased participant’s satisfaction with life. Moreover, the study found that listening to religious music increased self-esteem and bestowed upon the participants a sense of self-control. The findings also showed that all participants, regardless of their race, black or white, or gender, men and women, or socioeconomic status, experienced the same outcomes. Put differently, religious music improved mental health for the aged across races, gender and income.

In spite of the findings mentioned above, the study had some limitations. One is that it was difficult to tell whether listening to religious music outside worship had a different effect on participants compared to listening to the music during a church service.

Other studies have established the link between various religious practices and good mental health. Some of the religious practices that have been linked to positive mental health include attending church service, prayer, congressional support, meditation, relationship with God, and using religious coping strategies in times of difficulty.

Implications for Holistic Medicine

Many health practitioners and academics have advocated for a holistic approach to health and tailoring medical services according to individual needs. Holistic medicine aims at catering for the individual physically, mentally, and spiritually. Hence, the findings of the study have implications on the approaches used to treat and manage diseases. For example, an increasing number of studies have shown that relaxation techniques and meditation applied after counselling play a role in ensuring good health.

Religious music has a soothing effect, and this improves psychological well-being. This means that listening to gospel music acts as a form of self-therapy or self-comfort technique. The findings of the study emphasise that religion is a critical social-emotional resource that improves the psychology of older adults. Listening to religious music is important among adults because they may experience challenges while taking part in traditional religious practices, for example, attending a church service.

Co-Parenting Tips for Divorced Christians

As a divorced Christian father or mother, you must make the conscious choice to co-parent and do what you can in the best interest of your child or children. While you and the other parent may be unable to live together any longer, you should maintain a principled approach to co-parenting and set a good example for your kids.

Here are 6 tips on how to co-parent in a way that serves everyone’s best interests.

1. Move Past Your Former Marriage and the Divorce

Tip 1 is to focus on the future instead of the past. You need to look beyond the marriage and separation.

Unfortunately, couples divorce for a variety of reasons and it can be a difficult period of adjustment. It is even harder when a child or children are in the mix. You and your ex-partner need to be in contact with each other due to that lifelong connection.

Remember that, when it comes to divorce, it is almost never the fault of only one party. It tends to be a mix of issues that both have contributed to.

When the decision has been made to get a divorce, assigning blame doesn’t help anyone. It is a waste of energy and it leads to resentment. Instead, try to focus on the good qualities of the other person. If they are a good father or mother, focus on that!

2.Never Speak Poorly About the Other Parent to the Child

Avoid talking poorly about the other parent in front of the kids. This can make them feel uneasy. Anything you need to communicate with the other parent should be done with them directly.

Just follow this simple rule: Never let your child or children hear you speak poorly about the other parent.

You may not like something that parent did, but don’t put it on the shoulders of your child. They should never have the burden of adult responsibilities passed on to them. Children shouldn’t be used to get revenge or to hurt each other.

Don’t post negative messages through social media either. You don’t have to say your ex-spouses name for everyone to get who you are talking about. This creates more issues and doesn’t resolve anything. Focus on staying positive and rebuilding your life as a single parent.

3. Communicate in a Sensible, Respectful Way

Effective communication is essential for co-parenting to be successful. If the two of you can’t do this without conflict or tension, get a neutral third party involved. A facilitator can help you to create a parenting plan you are both happy with. It can help you learn better ways to communicate with each other.

If you can’t communicate well, at least establish some ground rules. For example, no fighting or discussing important issues in front of the kids. Try to meet at a location where you both feel at ease. This can be a coffee shop or even at the park. Communicate by email or text if you can’t talk face to face.

Don’t ask someone else to do the communicating for you. This includes anyone else either of you dates, the kids, family members, or mutual friends. Schools and other organizations should have contact information for both parents. This allows them to stay informed without relying on the other to make sure they get those details.

4. Come Up With an Agreed Visitation Schedule and Parenting Plan

The courts prefer parents to work out their own visitation schedules and parenting plans. And there is help if you just can’t work it out informally. Technology is improving in this area, with co-parents now having the ability to generate custody schedules and parenting plans just by answering a series of simple questions.

There are times when parents don’t have contact due to issues such as domestic violence. There may be a restraining order in place. In such a scenario, a community agency may need to step in to help with exchanging the children.

5. Establish Clear Rules in Both Homes

Be realistic about parenting and rules in the homes. Your children have plenty to adjust to the changes and the divorce. Don’t try to be the favorite parent by letting them stay up later or have more TV time. Try to create a plan that keeps the kids on the same type of schedule overall no matter which parent they are with during that time.

6. Be Flexible

The last tips is to be flexible. There may be events that come up which you would like to take your children to. However, they fall during the other parent’s time with them. Ask if you can make some changes to the schedule and why.

Likewise, there will be times when the other parent would like to do something with them during your assigned parenting time. Being flexible helps you and your ex get along. It also gives your children a chance to have quality time with each parent.

Final Thoughts on Christian Co-Parenting

Divorce is tough to get through, but it isn’t the end of the world. When you have children, doing your best to be amicable and co-parent makes a difference and will keep you on the right path.

Strive to establish clear rules for the children to follow in both homes. Do your best to be flexible too when the other parent makes a request. It helps keep everyone on the same page and getting along.

The children need to see their parents both love them. They need to see they have support all around them. A united front is going to help children recover from divorce and help both parents heal too.

FURTHER READING: Co-Parenting Tips and Strategies

Alphacrucis College

Alphacrucis College is a Christian university with campuses in Australia and New Zealand, including in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart and Auckland.

The mission of the College is of “equipping Christian leaders to change the world”. The degree-conferring institution is Christ-centered in the sense that it is, ” Committed to the teachings and example of Jesus Christ”. Other values espoused are commitments to excellence, integrity and innovation. It also aims to be a global institution, in part by operating as an online college and by accepting international students from around the world.

Courses Offered

Alpacrucis Colleges offers courses across five broad fields, namely:

  • Business and Leadership
  • Chaplaincy, Counselling and Social Science
  • Education
  • Ministry and Theology
  • Music and Creative Arts.

The courses extend from vocational education training — certificates and diplomas — through to the full range of university-level courses: bachelor degrees, graduate certificates, and masters and PhD programs.

The College is fully accredited as a provider of Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). It is also registered with Australian Government as a provider of higher education courses and is recognised by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA).

Diploma of Music Industry

The Diploma of Music Industry course is intended for anyone involved in worship music, including instrumentalists, vocalists, pastors and worship directors. It is available both online and at the Parramatta Campus in Sydney.

The course aims to familiarise students with, and build skills in, all the key aspects of delivering music for the benefit of listeners. Areas covered include song writing, arranging, performance, improvisation, chart reading, music directing and recording. With 14 electives available, students can hone their skills in certain areas such as teaching music, writing for film or audio engineering.

Business and Leadership Programs

Leadership with Christian values is the real emphasis of the College’s business school. For example, rather than offering an MBA, students can study for a Master of Leadership or Master of Philosophy. The Bachelor of Business degree can be part of a double-degree alongside Bachelor of Ministry or Bachelor of Theology.

The Master of Leadership program promises to produce graduates with a deep understanding of leadership, integrated with a Christian worldview. Students are expected to work towards maintaining Christianity as part of their vocation. They are also trained to uphold faith-based and broader community standards in how they conduct themselves in business.

General skills required in business management are certainly not forgotten. The business school teaches students advanced leadership theory and how to apply the principles they learn in a practical settings. Further aims are for students to develop skills in problem-solving, working as part of a team, and communicating effectively with others.

Morality and Ethics in Business

If you think the central Christian principle — do unto others as you would have them do unto you — lacks relevance in the world of business, think again. Ethics has an important place in business and, in many cases, underpins commercial success. Here are reasons why moral standing is relevant to business and why teaching ethics has an important place in business education.

Businesses Need Ethics

Good ethics and principles are valuable in business. People may think businesses only want to make money. While that is a key focus, a business that doesn’t practice good ethics or follow principles will most likely will end up failing due to its own greed and selfishness. Some huge businesses have gone bankrupt when their customers learned they were acting in ways that were unethical or flat-out illegal.

For examples of companies that suffered due to poor ethics and a lack of principles, look at corporations like Enron or Worldcom — gigantic companies that appeared willing to lie, cheat and steal in order to make a profit. They didn’t believe in ethics or follow any faith-relevant principles and suffered dire consequences.

Key Principles to Follow

Ultimately, a business that believes it should do good instead of harm is a business with principles and ethics. What are some of the key principles and ethics a business should believe in, beyond the normal success principles that are commonly taught?

Well, honesty is an obvious one. A business that is honest about its successes as well as its failures knows that, “The truth will set you free.”

Having integrity and being loyal to customers/investors is another important aspect. Putting the customer first and being open and transparent with them shows that a business knows that, without its customers or investors, it is nothing. A business should view those who utilise it as an important resource to nurture and support, not something to exploit and toss aside.

Fairness is key. It shows to clients and customers that a business doesn’t want to, “Bend the rules,” or do anything that puts others at a wrongful disadvantage just to, “Get ahead,” in its field. Good human resources management is about ensuring staff are treated fairly, which boosts morale, job attachment and, ultimately, productivity.

All of this is a part of a business being law-abiding and accountable. A business that is willing to do anything illegal at the end of the day clearly lacks ethics or principles and will never be accountable for where it went wrong.

Exemplary Businesses

Talking about business ethics and principles is all well and good but what are some companies that actually put these concepts into practice? Some companies known for being exceptionally ethical include, but are not limited to, Starbucks, UPS, PepsiCo and Xerox. These businesses are known for putting a focus on the well-being of not only their customers and investors, but employees who work there as well as the environment.

Companies such as these comply with rules and regulations, work to be responsible and truthful, and have a reputation for doing good. Companies such as these strive to follow core values and principles even if doing so can make them less of a profit in the short term. They know that if getting extra money comes at the expense of their ethics, it is money that is NOT worth making.

Ethics and Principals Deliver Success

When it comes to business ethics and principles, it isn’t being idealistic to say that businesses with strong ethics and principles have more success in the long-run. Corporations that break the law, mistreat employees, or otherwise behave terribly eventually end-up bankrupt — even if, in the short-term, they had immense success.

Businesses that know to be ethical and follow their principles often end up lasting a long time and being beloved by those who use the business and/or work for it. Business ethics and principles aren’t only morally right, they end up being the smartest choice for sustainable corporate success.