Hillsong United Begins U.S., Canada Tour with Battle Cry

One of the world's most renowned praise bands is bringing their modern rock worship to cities all across the United States and Canada beginning Friday with the first event of their North American tour.

Hillsong United – the youth-centered worship ministry of the Sydney-based megachurch Hillsong Church – started their tour Friday at the Battle Cry event being held Apr. 13-14 in Detroit. Nearly 30,000 teens were expected to attend the event aimed to combat a generation taken over by secular culture.

Friday's event is the first in a series of concerts to reach out to tens of thousands of young Christians around the states and provinces.

"We are really excited about coming back to North America and we're looking forward to taking songs, which have been specifically written to be sung corporately, to young people across the continent," explained Joel Houston, Hillsong United's creative director as well as worship leader, in a statement.

As part of the international tour, the band will also be promoting the May release of All of the Above, the group's eighth album and first-ever studio recording. It includes twelve new, original tracks that are meant to inspire and excite Christians.

"With the tour and new record, our hope is to stir up a generation both locally and globally to live lives that are sold out for God and His Cause," added Houston, "lives that are committed to being His hands and feet on the planet, and to bringing justice to the hurting and the broken."

Another notable stop along the U.S. portion of the tour will be on Apr. 22 when the worship ensemble arrives in Nashville for the Gospel Music Association's Music Week – a weeklong event that brings together the largest collection of people involved in the Christian music industry. GMA Music Week also leads up to the Dove Awards, the most prestigious Christian music awards showcase.

While at the GMA Music Week, the band will lead the Sunday night worship service to be held at the Ryman Theatre. Alongside them will be the host for the night, Christian superstar Michael W. Smith.

Hillsong United has also recently launched a new movement called "The I Heart Revolution." Through it, they hope to unite the world by showing their travels all around the globe, and how God has impacted each of the regions they visited. In the compiled documentary, they will show video from Asia, South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia from over the last 12 months.

"It became so clear that God is doing something significant among young people," said Houston in a statement. "Regardless of language or geography, whenever they worshipped God, something powerful happened."

The North America tour is scheduled to last until Aug. 7, ending in Tacoma, Wash.

On the web: tour schedule and "The I Heart Revolution" websites.