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Winter Jam to put Christian bands on top

Courtesy of Sanctus Real

When seeking motivation and positive energy, some people choose to exercise. But for the musicians and artists in the Winter Jam 2012 tour, spreading faith through music is where they find hope.

Heralded as Christian music’s largest annual tour, more than 10 Christian bands and solo artists are a part of Winter Jam 2012. Ohio native Sanctus Real and tour headliner, Skillet, are among the list of bands scheduled to perform at the Schottenstein Center Saturday. Doors open at 5 p.m.

“The music at Winter Jam is all genres of music,” said Nick Hall, a speaker on the tour. “They happen to be all Christian artists, but that doesn’t mean it’s all explicitly Christian music. It’s just positive music about life and about family and certainly about faith. … It’s powerful.”

The bands featured in Winter Jam were chosen by popularity and by fans’ requests. Timing and availability of the artists were also factors in the decision.

Winter Jam began its first tour in 1995. Last year, the attendance at Winter Jam exceeded the size of audiences for popular artists Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, according to Pollstar’s 2011 Worldwide First Quarter Ticket Sales “Top 100 Tours” chart.

“It started just kind of as a one-night deal 17 years ago,” Hall said. “They just said, ‘What would it look like if we just put on a really good show and made it really affordable, so that anybody could come out and have a good time?’ Last year, this time, it was the largest attended tour in the world between January and March.”

Grammy Award-nominated Sanctus Real is returning to the Winter Jam tour since its first time in 2007 . Mark Graalman, the drummer of Sanctus Real, remembers when the band was one of the opening acts for Winter Jam five years ago.

“We had like 15 minutes and we got to play like three songs,” Graalman said. “Now, jump ahead five years, and this year (Winter Jam) is letting us play right before Skillet. … It’s a huge blessing.”

Sanctus Real has been together for 15 years. Among spreading hope, family values and faith through its music, the band said it has continued to hold humility as a virtue.

“If you’re ever feeling like a cocky rock star one second, you just wait until you go home on Monday morning and you have to change poopy diapers,” Graalman said. “That’s going to humble you pretty quick.”

Both Graalman and Hall said that Winter Jam 2012 will host a very diverse group of performers with different music styles, but who all share a genuine love for God and Jesus.

“I think it would overall be positive,” said Samuel McCoy, a fourth-year in biology. “I understand that for a lot of people (Christian music) is meaningful and they do enjoy it and listen to it a lot. So having that, especially in the winter when people are mostly stuck inside … having an excuse to go out, have some fun with friends, is always, always needed.”

Entry into Winter Jam 2012 is $10 and can be paid at the door.

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