OTTUMWA — The driving sound of drums and electric guitars might not have disappointed a heavy metal fan, but the philosophy behind the music might have surprised them.
Young people at Promiseland Fest told the Courier that while these days they can hear Christian rock on the radio, seeing their favorite bands live is much different. One of the most popular of those playing at Ottumwa Park on Saturday was "Thousand Foot Krutch," known for both their rock music and Christian songs.
"We're waiting to see TFK," said Emilie Paddock, 17, of Carlisle, who came to Wapello County to hang out with friends and hear some live music.
But when asked what brings her to this type of concert, she answered, "Jesus."
So, can she only relate to rock music instead of the quiet hymns at a country church?
"I like that, too," Paddock said. "I think there's multiple ways you can worship God with music."
That idea, that there is more than one way to share the message in the Bible, is key to some performers combining their faith and their talent.
The lead singer for the rock band on the second stage seemed as comfortable talking to the crowd as he was singing for them. That makes sense: He's a licensed minister.
The song Steve Shettler and his band, "Piercing the Darkness," were starting was inspired by hard rock icons "Metallica."
"We're showing people the love of Jesus, expressed through music," he said after their set ended.
Everyone deserves to hear that message, he added, from old people to young. And music that teens can relate to gets the message out to a wider audience.
Promiseland Fest was founded by Ottumwa resident Nathan Grooms, who was busy helping a musician find a microphone Saturday afternoon.