Yesterday Jonathan and I went to Hillsong London for church. At one point the main guitarist got up and explained that some friends had called him up the other day to tell him they were in London, and that they wanted to visit Hillsong. Turns out those friends were the pop/R&B Christian singers Mary Mary. And they sang two songs for us in church! Jonathan and I aren't that familiar with them, but when they sang "Shackles" (their number one hit) the entire church was dancing.
Hillsong is held at the Dominion Theatre on Tottenham Court Road, which is where they also show the musical "We Will Rock You." I like that the theatre is in the middle of a busy square, right by the opening of a tube station and that it doesn't look like a church. I wonder how many people have stumbled in under the giant bronze rocker's legs accidentally, wondering what all the fuss was about. Because it is alot of fuss. I've never been in such a crowded theatre--even for a performance. We arrived at 12:15 for a 12:45 service and found masses of people chatting, drinking tea, and flipping through the various programs and CDs that Hillsong produces. Eventually we made it into the theatre.
It was a worshipful experience. The musicians knew what they were doing, had great transitions and jumped and danced all over the stage. The songs were well-chosen too. The only qualm I had was with the visuals behind the musicians. I've seen some powerful presentations during worship services, whose images draw your thoughts upward and magnify your awe of God. But Hillsong's images were close-up shots of the musicians and their sweaty hair. Not exactly inspiring. But despite the sweaty hair images and a pastor that rambled, it was a good experience. We got to see Mary Mary, anyway :)