By Michael Davidson
The Digital Age will be back in Waco to rock Baylor and wow its audience members with its high-energy songs.
Baylor Uproar Records artists Luke Hicks and Manifest Music Co. will be opening the show, which takes place at 9 p.m. Friday in Waco Hall. For both groups, this will be the most significant concert they have been a part of to date.
“Up until being on Uproar, I played a lot of coffee shops and stuff, and I was the background music for a lot of events where no one was really listening,” Hicks, a Houston junior, said. “Last semester was the first time I’ve ever played a real show, so this will be very special to me.”
Though he has played in worship bands for crowds of thousands of people, Hicks said Friday’s show will be the biggest audience he’s ever had for his own music.
“As of right now, I’m not thinking about it too hard, but I’m sure when the day comes I will be,” Hicks said of his impending nerves. “Knowing that that many eyes will be on me will surely make me a little nervous.”
Also newly signed to Uproar, local band Manifest Music Co. will play as well, opening the show with its own brand of musical styling the members refer to as “progressive pop.”
The five-member band includes current and former Baylor students: Montgomery, N.J., junior Mike Stanley on bass, Abilene senior Hugh Knight on piano, Houston sophomore Michael Incavo on keyboards, Houston alumnus Zac Flowers on guitar and vocals and Colorado Springs, Colo., alumnus Erik Williams on drums.
“This is the reason we tried out for Uproar,” Flowers said. “I mean, firstly, we love music and we like playing just to play, but jamming in the garage only brings so much satisfaction.”
The size of Waco Hall, the significance of the show and its lineup also has members of the band a bit nervous, Knight said.
“Playing in such a big venue puts a lot more importance on what and how you play because if you mess up, that’s a really big audience hearing you mess up,” Knight said.
Both Hicks and Manifest Music Co. are also admittedly fans of The Digital Age, a fact that makes the show especially important in a unique way, they said.
Hicks, who has played in different Christian music groups as well, said he could not believe a chance like this was given to him. As a long-time follower of The David Crowder Band, which eventually formed The Digital Age, Hicks said he has anticipated seeing the band live for a while. Now he said it’s still hard to believe he will open for it.
“This is a huge opportunity,” he said. “If someone were to have told me a year ago that I’d be opening for them, I would have said that’s stupid.”
The fact the headliner is from Waco is also a source of excitement for the opening acts, as they feel this helps the experience hit closer to home, recognizing and appreciating the need for local artists to stick together and support each other, Williams said.
“For me its special because I’m a member of UBC church,” he said. “I’ve been going there since my freshman year, so it’s always good to see those guys and hear them play. They’re amazing musicians, and we’re all big fans.”
Flowers also expressed his appreciation to Uproar Records and Baylor alike for their constant goal of giving local artists a chance to prove themselves and make their names bigger and more recognizable.
“I think it’s great that Baylor gives opportunities to local artists to play in shows like this,” Flowers said. “They could have picked a bunch of different bands to open up for such a big act but they picked us. It’s really cool of The Digital Age too, in agreeing to help out Baylor bands because they, after all, came from Baylor too.”