Christian Rock Band Hillsong United will finish their summer tour "Welcome Zion" on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thanks to a new app, fans around the world can live-stream their last two performances.
According to the website, the 15 year old band is "committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique song, connects with churches, individuals and ultimately connects people everywhere with God."
Hailing from Australia, it originated as part of the Pentacostal Megachurch Hillsong, and now tours the world. Its tenth live album, Live in Miami, came out last year, and its third studio album, Zion, came out earlier in 2013.
Subsidiary bands perform monthly in London and at Hillsong summer camps, but the main event hits Hoffman Estates, Ill., on Tuesday and Indianapolis, Ind., on Wednesday.
Worship leaders Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, JD and Matt Crocker teamed up with "an evolving collaboration of pastors, worship leaders, musicians and songwriters – all intentional about giving voice to a generation passionate about God."
This Christian devotion runs through their newest song, "Oceans." The chorus echoes "take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/And my faith will be made stronger/In the presence of my Savior." Subdued and haunting, the song dances on the deep trust and confirmation of faith.
"Everywhere we go from the moment it starts the crowd lifts," the band's manager, Jason Strong, told The Christian Post. "Oceans" focuses on "stepping into mystery and boundless trust," all focused on the person of Jesus Christ.
Thanks to the new app, called UpFront, Hillsong fans can still watch the performance, even if they can't make it to Hoffman Estates or Indianapolis.
"It gives us the chance to make a big tour more personal," Strong explained. "Meet and greets have been fun, but more than that the live stream feature in particular has allowed us to give people near and far, an up-close perspective of not just what's happening on stage, but who we are and what we're about."
This personal connection with favorite artists may sound like a fantasy, an impossible dream that would never come true, but Hillsong United has been using the app "for about a month now."
"We are enjoying the ease of use both on our end and the users," Strong told The Christian Post. "The features include ability to call people, message them, email them as well as the features on most social platforms – like Twitter, Instagram, etc."
As the band's tour draws to a close, however, "the live feature is one we are pretty excited about and we have been broadcasting songs live each night on tour." Strong highlighted the experience of watching "up close and personal" performances hundreds of miles away, via UpFront.
The app is available for purchase in the App Store, on Google Play, and online at BeUpFront.com.