Arts & Entertainment

Third Day to rock the Toyota Center

For more than 17 years, members of the Contemporary Christian rock band Third Day have been expecting the end.

"You always think, ‘We'll do this for a while and then we'll have to get real jobs,' " said bass guitarist Tai Anderson. "The fact that we've been able to do this and we've been so successful, it's something to get geeked out about."

Luckily, the band members have stopped looking for day jobs and are bringing their Revelation tour to the Tri-Cities on May 6 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick.

The multiplatinum band includes Anderson, lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee and drummer David Carr. The group has 25 No. 1 singles under its belt, along with three Grammy awards.

Since opening for the popular Australian band the Newsboys in 1996, Third Day has come a long way and recently released its 11th album, Revelation. Now bands are opening for them.

"We actually are kind of returning the favor," Anderson said. "We were this American band opening for this Australian band, now we're kicking off this band called Revive that's an Australian band. We're paying it forward."

Also joining Third Day on tour is Brandon Heath, a contemporary Christian musician from Nashville, Tenn., who was nominated for two Grammys this year.

"Our favorite pastime is picking on the opening bands in loving ways that make them feel accepted," Anderson said. "I will say our singer Mac is deathly afraid of clowns, so there's been a few times some clown masks have come into play to shake it up, but we keep it clean."

Despite the pranks, the group members are close-knit, something that has gotten them through the long months on the road.

"Definitely the favorite part of touring is being on stage every night," Anderson said. "We spend a lot of time at home getting to charge up, which gives us the energy to come back out. We're all genuinely friends. It's the foundation of friendship that everything is built on."

Perseverance on the road, in life -- even in love -- are subjects of their current album.

The tracks Call My Name, Run To You and Revelation are about looking for answers and being at a crossroads.

"There's kind of a theme," Anderson said. "Just kind of asking for help. I don't know what to do, I have questions, I need help -- I think that theme kind of came out. Economically, a whole lot of people are asking those very questions -- I think our album is really timely right now."

Third Day continues to express strong Christian undertones in its work, yet there is some speculation the band is planning to cross over to the mainstream pop charts. Anderson, however, says they won't forget their Christian base.

"I think for us, we're pretty secure in our identity as a Christian band," he said. "We want to make music that anybody can enjoy. We want to push our music as far as we can. There's always a fear our band is going to forget who we are while reaching for new fans, but I think our core is very secure."

The humble stars have been around the world and back and are ready to give those looking for answers a positive pick-me-up.

"We're looking forward to taking it up to the Northwest," Anderson said. "The theme is we love doing this, and I think when people come out to the show they'll love it too."