Family Force 5 bringing its party to Questapalooza

rcopley@herald-leader.comAugust 30, 2013 

  • IF YOU GO

    Questapalooza

    What: Fall kickoff party for Quest Community Church.

    When: Sept. 1.

    Outdoor Party: 3-7 p.m. with inflatables, face painting and other activities and food. Free.

    Concert: Featuring Matthew West and Family Force 5 and Tedashii. $25 and $30.

    Where: Quest Community Church, 410 Sporting Court.

    Learn more: QPZA.com.

Christian bands are fond of co-opting a little gospel-ism in telling audiences, "We're going to have a little church here."

Sunday night, Christian dance party masters Family Force 5 will be playing in a church — but don't expect them to get all Sunday morning on you.

"We play at churches and we play at, like, the Warped Tour and Bamboozle and stuff like that," drummer Jacob Olds says. "We try not to change anything up for each audience because we need both, and we like to play to people. As long as our heart is in the right place playing these shows, it's great.

"The most important thing is that God is happy with what we do."

Family Force 5 will share top billing with Matthew West at Questapalooza, the fall kickoff event at Quest Community Church in Lexington, which boasts an outdoor festival followed by a big-name Christian concert. In the past, it has featured chart toppers including Tobymac and Third Day.

Olds wasn't quite sure what co-headlining means except that FF5 and West will probably have equal time for the sets.

"The funny thing is with co-headlining, someone is still opening, unless Matthew West wants to integrate his entire set with Family Force 5, which could really be interesting," Olds says. For those not in the Christian music loop, West is decidedly mellower than the Georgia-based crunk rock practitioners he shares the Quest bill with. "We'd have to get together and practice for a while, but it could work out."

This weekend finds the band at the end of the summer festival swing, a format the band has ruled the past few years with high-wire-act shows that include bits like singer Solomon Olds crowd surfing in a giant bubble.

"It's been a blast this summer, particularly with our song Chainsaw, which has really caught on and people have a blast doing the dance," Olds says. "It is a really stupid dance."

One of the hallmarks of recent festival seasons has been offstage crowd interaction with things like dodgeball games and other get-togethers with the band. Olds says that aspect of their touring has grown to a point the band tries to schedule off days to hang out at festivals and play with fans.

"We'll just show up at people's campsites and talk," Olds says. "It's fun for us, but it's also encouraging to just go and hang out and be a part of something."

He says the Ichthus Festival, which was held in Wilmore up until last summer and is scheduled to return at the Kentucky Horse Park next year, was "way early in letting us do that."

Olds says the band has to be careful how it handles its extracurricular activities, lest it make other bands angry because fans are hanging out with Family Force 5 instead of catching other acts' shows.

"Everybody needs their own time," Olds says. "Because we want to interact, and not just say, 'We're just going to do our set and eat catering and bye.'"

And that is Family Force 5 at its essence, which is why Olds says the group doesn't go trying to change its show for different venues.

"It's about capturing fun for us," he says. "People will say, 'Your lyrics aren't serious enough, and then when we write a serious song, they say, 'Where's the fun?'"

This band likes to have fun, Olds says, recalling a recent incident when two band members ran into each other onstage in the exuberance of a set.

"That's what Family Force 5 is," he says. "It's a little raw, and you never know what's going to happen.

"I just like people dancing and seeing smiles on their faces."


IF YOU GO

Questapalooza

What: Fall kickoff party for Quest Community Church.

When: Sept. 1.

Outdoor Party: 3-7 p.m. with inflatables, face painting and other activities and food. Free.

Concert: Featuring Matthew West and Family Force 5 and Tedashii. $25 and $30.

Where: Quest Community Church, 410 Sporting Court.

Learn more: QPZA.com.

Rich Copley: (859) 231-3217. Twitter: @copiousnotes. Blog: Copiousnotes.bloginky.com.

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