What’s the Big Surprise?

It is no surprise to long-time fans of Sparrow band The Elms that The Big Surprise, the group’s full length
follow-up to their 2000 eponymous 5-song EP, is re-igniting a surge of attention for these young rockers.
The Elms recently completed a stretch of 20 dates on the road with Festival Con Dios, the extreme sports-meets-Christian rock tour that
received strong media coverage in both Christian and mainstream press for its uniqueness, including a cover story in Newsweek. On
the road with headliners Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys and O.C. Supertones, The Elms were one of five bands that opened the events,
performing songs from The Big Surprise.
The Elms will rejoin the acclaimed Festival Con Dios tour for its second leg throughout September. The July 16th Newsweek
story–which proclaims on its cover, “Jesus Rocks!”–spans the resurgence in contemporary Christian music of all genres, and the
internet companion article at www.Newsweek.MSNBC.com additionally compared The Elms to mainstream band Oasis.
In between tour dates, The Elms traveled to Nashville to film the music video for “Hey, Hey,” the debut single from the album, which is
currently in the top 5 and climbing on Christian rock and Christian Hits radio according to R&R (July 13, 2001), and at number 6 and
climbing on Christian rock radio and number 5 and climbing on Christian Hits radio (CHR) according to CCM Update (July 23, 2001).
Directed by Steven L. Weaver and produced by April Dace for Revolution Pictures, the performance video followed the band around
Nashville and gives a retro 1960s feel that reflects the tone of the song, which has been compared by several critics to the Bay City
Rollers’ hit “Saturday Night” for its catchy opening.
Written by Owen Thomas, one of two brothers who, in part, comprise The Elms, “Hey, Hey” reflects the love of God for all of mankind.
Says Owen, “There’s a common misconception among those who don’t believe in Jesus as savior that humans are expected to come
to Jesus pure, when they’re fully ready to assume the responsibility of Christianity. This isn’t so. Revelation 3:20 says ‘Behold, I stand
at the door and knock. If ANY man. . .,’ not just the perfect ones, ‘hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.’ Makes it a
bit more inviting when you realize Jesus is interested in changing people when they come to Him and not the kind of God who only
accepts the unblemished. If that were true, we’d all be in serious trouble! Salvation is readily available, and able to change us from
the inside-out.”
Hitting stores in late May, The Big Surprise has already received notable critical acclaim from publications like CCM Magazine, who
note in their June issue, “Instead of settling for tried and true formulas with predictable key changes and programmed beats, the group
takes risks and manages to concoct a collection of cleverly written songs…The Elms seamlessly crafts a power pop soundtrack perfect
for summer drives with car windows down and your hair blowing in the wind.” ChristianityToday.com called The Elms “one of the best
bands to come along in Christian music,” while Youthworker magazine’s report card chalked up an “A” for the band’s new project
(July/August 2001).
Comprised of brothers Owen Thomas (vocals, guitars, keyboards, songwriter) and Chris Thomas (drums), along with childhood friend
Thom Daugherty (guitar) and newcomer Keith Miller (bass), The Elms hail from Seymour, IN. Named after a restored coach house in
England owned by the Thomas brothers’ Uncle, the band will perform at several festivals and camps this summer as well as at three
Youth Specialties events before thousands of youth group leaders before heading out this fall again with Festival Con Dios.
The Christian Activities Elms Forum is at:Elms Forum

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