Chris Renzema plays concert at Bryan College
3 weeks ago Triangle 0
Written by: Mathäus Schwarzen, staff writer
DAYTON, TENN.—Chris Renzema performed in chapel for the Bryan College student body on September 24. The Christian singer and songwriter performed a 45 minute set in place of the usual chapel service as part of his “The Boxer and the Bear” tour.
Renzema opened with the first track from his debut 2018 album, I’ll Be the Branches, called “I Don’t Wanna Go.” He hopes to use his music as a way of ministering to the needs of his listeners.
“My goal continually goes back to empathy,” Renzema said. “Getting people to know that they are not alone in the thing that they are enduring is a really cool thing that music can do.”
Renzema predominantly played an acoustic guitar, but moved to a keyboard for his last track, “How To Be Yours.” He also met with fans and took photos after the show.
“My biggest challenge is that sometimes shows are bad,” Renzema said. “That can throw you off if the show tailspins like it does sometimes. Luckily there’s enough encouragement most of the time to bring it back up.”
Renzema has released one album, an EP and two singles. His second album, Jacob, will be released October 4.
A Grand Rapids, Michigan native, Renzema and his band have played shows across the United States. His performances range from opening for Chris Tomlin at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater to playing in churches throughout the nation. His key influences are 70’s Folk, Punk Rock and the band Wilco.
Renzema said that he writes most of his songs as prayers and puts them to music. He encouraged the students to let go of their worries and allow God to provide for them.
“We try to bring so much to our lives, and we do that with our relationship with the Lord, too. We try to act like we’ve got this, like we can hold it all,” Renzema said. “Eventually, something happens and you drop it all, and there’s this moment where you realize that what the Lord asks of us is not to bring anything because he is so fully sufficient for us.”
Michael Jones, a senior, and Julia Jones, a graduate student, have seen Renzema play twice now.
“I loved it,” Michael Jones said. “When we saw him in Knoxville, it was just him and his acoustic guitar. Hearing the live band with him made the show that much more enjoyable.”
Renzema played at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn. the next day. He is currently beginning a tour of Texas, starting October 2 in Dallas.
Mathäus Schwarzen is a staff writer for the Bryan Triangle specializing in campus news, and a sophomore at Bryan College, majoring in creative writing. He spends his free time writing and listening to music.