Decyfer Down, Children 18:3 can impress Tupelo skeptics

Two bands are in Tupelo today ready to erase the line some draw between Christianity and rock ‘n’ roll.

The first Reaching Out Fest is scheduled for Saturday at Ballard Park. The show features Christian hard rock act Decyfer Down and Christian punk rockers Children 18:3.

Both offer open and unedited Christian messages. In 2015, there are still church workers, including younger ones, who aren’t ready to accept the genre as part of spiritual outreach.

“We’ve got a song called “Scarecrow,” talking about people in the church who kind of close the doors and kind of don’t really won’t people in there that don’t talk like them and walk like them,” Decyfer Down vocalist TJ Harris said. “It’s not about that. It’s about the heart.”

The family event is free to the public and is scheduled to begin with Wisconsin contemporary Christian band Loftland at 6:55 p.m. Children 18:3 takes the stage at 7:45, followed by Decyfer Down at 8:30.

Decyfer Down is working an an indiegogo campaign to help fund the recording of its new independent EP. The band has Billboard success, Christian Rock Chart success and a Grammy nomination.

For this Reload & Rock Tour, DD shares the stage with one of rock’s most praised live bands. Children 18:3 has released four studio albums, most recently “Come In” back in April.

The Tooth & Nail Records sibling trio has a reputation for a live show that will turn even rock skeptics into immediate fans.

“We get up and we have a really good time,” said drummer Seth Hostetter. “It’s been a really good tour. All three bands are great.”

Country star Miranda Lambert is in Tupelo today and secular rock bands play here few and far between. Saturday, Ballard Park hosts free rock ‘n’ roll with a Christian message in a town Elvis built on a genre Christians are still somewhat slow to accept.

Bands like Decyfer Down and Children 18:3 are out to change some mindsets that still think Michael W. Smith’s contemporary style is the only music with a Christian message.

“It’s about souls,” Harris said. “It’s about reaching the whole world. It’s not about just reaching a small amount of people.”

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