The start of a national tour always is a big thing, but the concert that kicked off the current “Jesus, I Believe” tour for Christian worship band Big Daddy Weave was more memorable than usual: a Carnegie Hall performance backed by a 250-voice choir.
Five months later, lead singer and co-founder Mike Weaver is still pinching himself. “Gosh, man. That was such a neat event,” he said in a recent phone interview from Nashville. “I was blown away. I’ve never seen anybody worship God at Carnegie Hall.”
The band’s website mentions it as part of the group’s 20th anniversary, although the band’s official bio has them starting in Mobile, Alabama, in 2002, but whatever the year, Big Daddy Weave has been leading Christians in worship for a long while and finding a strong response.
The group has five No. 1 singles to its credit, a gold-selling album (a half-million copies in sales) and a song, “Redeemed,” that stayed atop the Christian charts for three months. Twentieth anniversary or not, Big Daddy Weave has had a considerable career.
The fivesome of Weaver, his brother Jay on bass, Jeremy Redmon on guitar, Joe Shirk on saxophone and keyboards, and drummer Brian Biehl — all original members except for Biehl, who joined in 2013 — bring their national tour to Waco Saturday night at the Midway Performing Arts Center.
For Weaver, it’ll be a night of worship and music meant to encourage listeners that they’ll always find love and help in God.
“We are worship leaders, really, first of all,” he said. “We share what we are going through. There’s such a community place (in concert). You don’t feel alone. ‘Hey, man, it’s not over for you. There’s light beyond the curtain.’ ”
Though Big Daddy Weave has grown older, their audience gets freshened with younger listeners, he said. Some are children of older fans while others are new Christians drawn to their music.
It’s that contemporary music that’s been the calling card for Big Daddy Weave and their ministry. “You’ve got to go through the streets to get to the church. Jesus is calling us to remind the church who we really are,” he said. “We’ve got to get outside the bubble. Get involved in world missions. Love people.”
Joining the group is Nashville singer-songwriter Brandon Heath, opening for Big Daddy Weave and touring in support of his album “Faith Hope Love Repeat.” Heath, noted Weaver, has a knack for pulling listeners in. “People love him and we love him,” he said. “When you hear Brandon, you’re at Brandon’s house in a way.”
Weaver said the evening’s meant to be a welcoming, comforting, encouraging experience. “You’re going to sing, laugh and have a good time,” he said. “And be reminded of hope.”