Just Between You and Me, I miss DC Talk

Michael Tait

Newsboys on TV

Sometimes the oddest things happen when you least expect it.

Today at the Nissan dealership I overheard a TV show host introducing a live performance from a band. The sound of their lead singer was quite nostalgic. He’s got a voice that:
1. somehow reminds you it’s all gonna be OK
2. sounds a lot like Michael Tait from DC Talk

That’s because it is Michael Tait now fronting the popular band Newsboys. But if you were growing up as a Christian in the 90s, you know Michael from DC Talk.  He, along with TobyMac and Kevin Max Smith, were the yoot’s outlet (“What is a yoot?”) for gospel rap/rock music. This band was a clear sign that the days of Carman (but not you, timeless Michael W. Smith!) were passing and it was possible to make popular and good music that just so happened to have spiritual lyrics. So of course my brother and sisters and I latched onto the band very early on, starting with a concert somewhere near Washington, D.C. in 1989. We were living in Stafford, Virginia and went to watch 3 guys (one white, one black, one swirl) rock out and it was awesome. You might hear people say they’ve loved DC Talk since the beginning when Free At Last came out, but I’m talking about songs like “Spinnin’ Round,” “Time Ta Jam,” and “Heavenbound.” Gui-gui-guitaaaaar!

We moved away from Virginia but kept listening to the band from Lynchburg as they released another album, then another one, then another one, and another one. And around 1998 when I was in college, a group of us drove to Alabama for a DC Talk concert, this one much bigger than the first one I saw. I remember singing along and Kevin Max’s bleach blond hair. I remember sneaking backstage with Nathan Oyer and acting like we were supposed to be there (I think we just walked around in circles).

Momentum Mobile3I’ve got a lot of good memories of the band, and it didn’t stop when they took a temporary (which is still going??) hiatus about 15 years ago. My very first job when I moved to Nashville was driving Toby’s Momentum Mobile which turned out to be such a fun experience. I learned a lot… like:
1. we live in a big, big country
2. how much I love music
3. leave the car running if you’re going to play music for a few hours
(yes, a fan had to give the Momentum Mobile a jump start)

Driving around the country on that tour was nothing I expected as a 5th grader watching DC Talk perform back in ’89. But it was better than my wildest dreams.

So needless to say I’m holding onto a sliver of hope that DC Talk will have a reunion tour before I’m too old to hear it! And today, just today I’m thankful my Nissan Versa needed an oil change.

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