Until the Whole World Hears…Live includes an audio disc featuring eight of the original 12 offerings performed live.
The DVD provides a video scrapbook of the band on tour to promote the original CD release. Footage was shot at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina, the North Charleston Coliseum in South Carolina, and the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
As anyone who’s ever attending a Casting Crowns concert knows, the production is always top notch, and this tour is no exception. There are powerful renditions by both Mark Hall and keyboardist Megan Garrett, and Hall characteristically relates some great stories from stage.
The real treasures, though, are the special features.
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the madness and mayhem that go on during the band’s “down time” in the clips “Laser Tag” and “Cornhole.” “Our New Drummer” introduces Brian Scoggin. There’s a segment devoted to the folks who pull off the production of a Crowns’ experience, aptly titled “The Crew.”
A poignant piece chronicles the 3 ½ year journey of the Hall family as they sought to adopt their fourth child, Meeka Hope.
At the top of the menu sits the music video for “Until the Whole World Hears,” certainly a highlight of the package.
Filmed atop a 20-story building in Birmingham, Alabama, it’s powerful and affecting– especially as throngs of people answer the call to “sing until the whole world hears.” The ending of the song, originally recorded in Hall’s home church of Eagles Landing First Baptist in McDonough, Georgia, during a regular Sunday morning service, gets special treatment in the video.
The band solicited churches and youth groups to send in videos of people singing the song’s concluding lines. The response was overwhelming, and a varied selection made it into the final cut. While there are several American participants, groups from Kenya, Singapore, Guatemala, and Brazil are included as well.
“Check out the group from Israel,” lead singer Mark Hall told his students on a recent Wednesday night when he uncharacteristically previewed the new video. “Look behind them. You can see the Dome of the Rock in the distance. Way cool.”
Hall typically does not sing Crowns music at the church, however. This is not where he performs, but, as most fans know already, this is most definitely where his songs are birthed.
“We’re really still a youth praise band,” Hall says nearly eight years after they exploded onto the Christian music scene. “All our songs come from this place. They are a reflection of what we see going on here in the church.”
In the case of “Until the Whole World Hears,” Hall’s stimulus came from his mentor Roger Glidewell, the executive director of The Institute for Global Youth Studies in north Georgia. For years, in his letters and emails, Glidewell always closed with that instructional phrase and the citation for Matthew 24:14. Hall and his co-writers spun that simple line into an anthem currently being sung, literally, around the world.
The life lessons and experiences Hall has walked through with his students not only influence his songs, but his sermons. A true “bonus” feature of the DVD is a special five-part teaching series where Hall delves into the Scriptures that support his life views. It’s a transparency shared by his bandmates, all youth workers as well, and their love for God ignites the emotional performances of this live set.