Modern worship band Hillsong UNITED wrapped up its North American “Aftermath” tour with huge crowds in every market, logging 10 sell outs at major venues coast-to-coast while simultaneously mobilizing a movement of people to help ease hunger in the local communities surrounding each worship night and inspiring donations to help with earthquake relief efforts. Becoming the first Christian artist to ever sell out Los Angeles’s Staples Center, Hillsong UNITED’s tour launched following the release of its 11th full-length album and second ever studio recording, AFTERMATH, which topped retail charts internationally and has become the band’s fastest selling album ever.
In addition to the Staples Center, major market venues that sold out along the tour included Seattle’s ShoWare Center, San Francisco’s Warfied Theatre, Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium, Dallas’s Music Hall, Houston’s Berry Center, Atlanta’s Gwinnett Center, New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom and two back-to-back sold out events the same night at Boston’s Orpheum Theatre. Partially driving the success in each market were Hillsong UNITED’s more than 1.6 million friends at www.facebook.com/hillsongunited. Plans for a fall 2011 North American tour will be announced soon.
“For us, it’s all about serving Jesus and His Church. Our focus has and will ALWAYS be building God’s House,” says Hillsong UNITED’s Jonathon “JD” Douglass during the tour. “There is NOTHING BETTER than knowing that we no longer have to live in the aftermath of our past mistakes, but we can choose to live in the aftermath of what Jesus did for us on the cross, and we can live in his love, freedom and grace!”
“These were the most energetic, diverse and passionate crowds I’ve ever seen,” adds Shane Quick, Premier Productions co-owner, following the tour. “The passion these guys show for the church and lost people is inspiring and life changing. It’s one of the most rewarding tours/events I’ve ever been a part of.”
With thousands attending each worship night along the “Aftermath” tour, and in response to nationwide food bank deficits, Hillsong UNITED partnered with local churches and agencies to facilitate a food drive in every city visited. Over 7,000 family meals were collected for those that need them most through the generosity of worshipers attending the tour. Audiences were also invited to use their cell phones to text a donation to New Zealand earthquake relief efforts. More than $33,000 was raised to help those working to rebuild in New Zealand even as Japan deals with the aftermath of its latest major earthquake. People can still donate $10 by sending the text “IHEART” to 85944 and confirming with a “yes.”
Prior to the sold out worship night in Sacramento’s Memorial Auditorium, Hillsong UNITED worship leaders were featured on the K-LOVE Christian Radio Network. Pictured (l-r) in the studio are: Kelli Caldwell, KLOVE afternoon host; Jonathon “JD” Douglass and Jad Gillies, Hillsong UNITED; Scott Smith, K-LOVE music director and afternoon host; and Joel Houston, Hillsong UNITED.
“We believe that worship isn’t just singing songs; worship is a way of life,” says Hillsong UNITED’s Joel Houston. “It’s loving God and others.”
Along the tour, Hillsong UNITED met with radio, retail, label and media associates, completing inteviews with K-LOVE (Click here to hear interview), CNN, PBS NewsHour Extra and many others as its first single from AFTERMATH, “Search My Heart,” a pulsing, urgent cry to be used by God for His – not simply our own – purposes, has become the band’s most successful radio single ever. Hitting the Top 20 on Billboard’s national Christian radio audience chart, the single continues to gather radio adds each week and has already been heard by millions of people nationwide.
In addition to the radio success, Hillsong UNITED claimed it’s highest sales charting success to date. Topping the overall “Christian, Praise & Worship” and “Christian/Gospel Mainstream” charts, landing at No. 17 on the Billboard Top 200, becoming Hillsong Music’s 10th Top 10 album in Australia and hitting the top 10 on iTunes in numerous countries around the world, Hillsong UNITED’s AFTERMATH debut sales were 55% ahead of the last, critically acclaimed album, A Cross the Earth: Tear Down The Walls. Four weeks later, AFTERMATH remains the band’s fastest selling album ever and marks Hillsong UNITED’s first new recording since the alliance announced last year with EMI Christian Music Group.
AFTERMATH is also the first new album from Hillsong UNITED in over two years, and offers an unabashedly creative collection of new songs that celebrates the One who saves, redeems and is the true representation of Hope in a world where hopelessness abounds.
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