by Dan Gibson
Considering I got my start writing about religious rock, it hurts my soul a bit that I don't get to write that much about Christian rock on the Range, so get your angry commenting/emailing fingers warmed up! It's time to talk about Gungor!
But wait a minute before you start your screed, you might actually like Gungor, which is basically Michael Gungor, plus generally his wife Lisa and then a bunch of other people in different combinations. Yes, he plays something that's like worship music, influenced by Sufjan Stevens and Arcade Fire, but Michael Gungor also burned basically every bridge there is with mainstream Christian circles earlier this year by questioning the idea of Biblical literalism (that the Bible isn't a book of allegory and imagery, but that the world was created in six actual 24-hour-days, Jonah was eaten by an actual whale, etc.) This made the Evangelical world explode, including Creationist-with-weird-beard Ken Ham, who condemned Gungor on his website and invited him to come to the Creation Museum to talk things out (I assume Michael declined because nearly anything else would be a better use of his time).
Anyhow, the point is that Michael Gungor is the best sort of artist talking about faith—the kind willing to upset people in the process of trying to figure out what's true and what matters and while the crowd at his group's recentish (sold out!) January show at Congress basically waited for the most simplistic worship song ("Beautiful Things") to get psyched for what was an interesting set of songs up to that point. Yes, unless you're a Christian of some sort, you might not be up for this show, but listen to some of his music under the name The Liturgists, try out some of Gungor's 2014 album "I Am Mountain," see what you think. At very least, the band should be appreciated for trying to challenge a status quo that doesn't care for much diversity of opinion. Tickets for the all-ages show on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. More info at facebook.com/191toole.