Lacey Sturm is a rocker that needs no introduction, someone whose music and ministry has profoundly impacted the lives of many people. She is unafraid to play shows in clubs and bars, yet unabashedly talks about her faith and shares her unique story.
I’ve been a fan of Flyleaf and Lacey Sturm since 2006, but until recently I haven’t had an opportunity to see a live performance. Last year, Josh and Lacey Sturm launched Reflect Love Back, a 12-week daily video devotional series and weekly video discussion. Their desire to open up their hearts and their home in this way made seeing them perform live almost feel like hanging out with friends.
I was blessed to be able to take part in the pre-show meet and greet, which I’d heard is a favorite aspect of touring for Lacey. In my experience, meet and greet has always meant: shake hands, quick photo op, and move on. I was impressed with the amount of time she spent listening and praying with people, demonstrating that she truly cares about making that connection. It was fun to share my story and how RLB has had a role in that with both her and Josh.
The live performance was the highlight of the evening, though. The Cowan in Nashville is a relatively new club inside of Top Golf that features a large, open floor and a VIP balcony. With a capacity of just over 600, the shows here always feel intimate but not too small.
Since I’d never seen Flyleaf perform live, it was a treat to hear Lacey and her band play so many Flyleaf tunes. “Fully Alive” was the opener on a night that featured four tunes from their 2005 self titled debut, proof that Flyleaf has withstood the test of time– that album turns 14 in October.
From her solo catalogue, I was most anticipating hearing anything new from her writing sessions with Skillet guitarist Korey Cooper, along with favorites from her 2016 debut solo album Life Screams. She followed the opener with a new tune “State of Me” and also played “The Decree,” another new heavy rocker.
After a blend of Flyleaf and new music, a three song set of “The Soldier,” “Impossible,” and “Rot” followed. “Impossible” features Lacey’s well-known screams, and she takes time throughout to weave her life story of overcoming suicide through an encounter with a living and powerful God. It is evident that she pours her heart and soul into not only the performance, but into crafting and delivering a message that is specific to the audience on hand. Her genuine love for people comes through in the music and as she speaks.
One of my favorite songs to hear live was another Flyleaf tune, “Cassie.” It is fun to watch the energy on that song from Josh Sturm, who has played huge arena shows with Shinedown.
No Lacey show would be complete without hearing two all time Flyleaf favorites, “All Around Me” and “I’m So Sick.” The night came to a close with one final message about God’s love and encouragement, that we are not alone and we are created with purpose. Each and every person in that place was reminded that they mattered. They closed the show with a worship song turned rock and roll, “Who I Am,” from the Reflect Love Back Volume 1 Soundtrack.
Meeting Josh and Lacey Sturm and seeing a live performance after all these years of listening to and following the music and ministry was such an incredible experience. I would encourage anyone who hasn’t to get out to a live show– it is a spiritually and emotionally awakening experience.
All photography contributed by Jen Hill (Walking By Faith Photography).