I had only recently heard of this Christian event called ALIVE; and as much as I knew, it was an event run by students from private high schools but that was pretty much it. Their website wasn’t really helpful in telling us what it was about and for, just simply on showing that we should be living for Jesus because we were made alive in Him.
Unfortunately to sum up the event, I would have to use the words “RICE rip-off”. It was run over 3 nights: last Friday, tonight and tomorrow night. I wonder if this was exactly what happened last week, and what will happen tomorrow; I would assume the same program would be run over all three nights. It had it good points, but they don’t stand out all too much.
Funny how, similar to RICE, their published time of starting was way to early compared to when they actually started. Or is this simply common to all events, that everyone is always running late? Anyway a few of us showed up at 6pm but there was barely anyone there, then again I didn’t know how many people were expected to come. There wasn’t much going on, they had benches laid out in a quad area for people to sit down and chat, with some soft live acoustic music being played by some year 12s I presume. There was also two sets of inflatable jumping castles and one velcro wall, the latter was quite an interesting addition that I haven’t seen for a while. It got a bit crazy on the jumping castles, which were simply a course from one end to another, where people were racing through them at dangerous speeds; I reckon safety was overlooked here, since only one leader was operating this.
Apart from these two attractions there was not much else to stimulate an incentive to stay so we left to have dinner at a nearby McDonald’s. Once we returned there was finally more people, and the official start time of 7pm drew closer. People eventually started crowding around the main hall where the main event was going to take place. People then started a countdown and gradually everyone starting entering the hall through a single door. A huge eruption of music burst from within; the bass was so loud it was already shaking the ground before we entered. And when we did get in, the bass and electric guitar was too unbearable. It was worse than at karaoke because for some reason, the tech team did such bad sound check that the music was actually hurting my ears immensely. That’s not a good sign, I wonder why they didn’t realize this. Eventually they did, once half the crowd filed back out because it was too loud; that must’ve been somewhat disappointing for them.
They had a house band perform for the first half hour. I’ve never heard of them, they were probably a new band, or one that’s not especially popular. Their music wasn’t really appealing, it seems the lead singer had problems using the microphone because his voice was projecting too far, or the tech team didn’t cater to fix this. We stayed outside the entire time until finally the band stopped playing and we had the official countdown. Some MC led a short game, where 5 volunteers got up to compete in a race to find a balloon, where the reward was the drummer’s drumsticks; interesting concept of a reward. Their countdown started from 5 minutes and luckily the game ended with less than 2 minutes left on the clock.
After the start, their own band started their first song, and this was where things started looking bad. I was a bit amazed at first so my first video only cuts in halfway through the first song; but you’ll understand why:
Yeah that’s right. Sound familiar? Hang on, I could’ve sworn this was the first song at RICErally ‘09, after Nicole C Mullen’s opening song. Hmm…coincidence?
After this video, they moved straight into the talk. I do wonder who the speaker was, whether he was just some year 12 student, or someone who was invited. Because if he was a student, it was a pretty good talk on his expected standards. He spoke relatively confidently, with some good material, a tad long of an anecdote but his points were good; we’ve all heard them before, about us being broken by sin, that was the gist of the talk. I half wonder if he was the one who even wrote it. I guess it’s not my position to judge his ability (if he was year 12). It was a good talk, he used a bit of scripture but that was probably more than enough for his half-hour talk.
It became apparent now that this was an evangelistic event; they never actually said it was funny enough. So after the talk obviously comes the response song. Which one will they choose? Let’s find out:
How I so prayed that it wasn’t this. I half expected it though. So anyway their reflection song is (surprise surprise) exactly the same as the one we used at RICErally this year. Well not exactly, it could’ve been the response song but it was probably the one focused on the most because we played it again after the proper response song haha. The MC asked new believers to come down to the front of the stage where he prayed for them and then told them to walk outside. Didn’t quite catch what he said at that point but my guess would’ve been so that those new believers could have some leader to talk to them, and probably in that nice quiet seating area I described earlier – the one that resembled…could it be? The RICEcafe? And what now would become… the “ALIVE lounge”? My guess shouldn’t be far off. I had seen enough for the night. One of the youth in my church was already tired of it all so by 9pm we left; didn’t stay to sing the rest of the song or see what else would happen before 10pm but I guess we had all been through more than enough.
I guess I’m slightly disappointed at how the event turned out this evening, it was practically a mirror of what we did at RICE. They claim they’ve been planning this for a whole year, but frankly they could’ve whipped this up within a month, one month after rally ‘09. Just thinking in terms of planning: they would’ve had to find a company to hire the inflatable jumping castles, find a security company to hire guards; neither of these take long. Sound and lighting equipment probably belongs to the school, venue belongs to the school, and then it’s just designing the website and flyers; none of which should take a year in total. On top of that they didn’t have many props, the only things that seemed legitimately made were simply cutting out the sides of a cardboard box and writing stuff on it.
ALIVE ‘09 was a really bland event. I wouldn’t blame them too much if it was their first one ever. But to plagiarise the program and material is simply shameful; even if you risk having the event run badly there shouldn’t be a need to stoop as low as copying someone else’s event. But then again isn’t that something we all did by the time we were year 12?