Grammy winners For King & Country bring talents to Tech

April 21, 2016


Staff Reporter | anh038@ latech.edu


Luke Smallbone (left) and Joel Smallbone (right) perform a song with KB (middle) at the Thomas Assembly Center last Thursday. Photo by Avery Bryan

Luke Smallbone (left) and Joel Smallbone (right) perform a song with KB (middle) at the Thomas Assembly Center last Thursday. Photo by Avery Bryan


Ruston, Louisiana: Population around 19,500, home to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and for just one night, home of a Grammy winning band.



On the evening of April 14, the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Louisiana and Louisiana Tech University’s Union Board hosted the globally recognized band For King & Country at the Thomas Assembly Center with guest stars such as rappers Big Al and KB.



The performance was the sixth stop on For King & Country’s  “Priceless – The Tour -” which features songs from of all three of their albums. Their latest album, “Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong” was released in 2014.



“What’s great about the concert is that students are not the only people benefitting from the event,” said Colby Ashley, vice president of the Union Board. “People of all ages are welcomed, so the community benefits as well.”



Ashley said though the Union Board was responsible for production and sponsoring aspect, the event was ultimately the work of the Boys and Girls Club.



“The Boys and Girls Club came to us to sponsor,” he said. “The opportunity presented itself and it was in our budget, so we went for it. We’re glad we did.”



For King & Country, which classifies itself as Christian rock/pop, is comprised of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, but there are Ruston roots tied to the group’s success. Ben Backus, a Tech business graduate, plays bass for the the Grammy winning duo. Steven Lynch,  the group’s stage manager/percussionist, is also a Tech business graduate.



For King and Country has won two Grammy’s, a Dove Award and Artist of the Year. Billboard also named them as one of the New Artists to Watch for 2012 and American Songwriter called them “Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”



They said the band’s name, For King & Country, is a reflection of standing and fighting for something greater than yourself.



Rebecca Fletcher, a freshman fashion merchandising student at Tech, said though the band’s music is great, their message is even more important.



“We definitely need more Christian events like this on campus,” said Fletcher, a Union Board member. “I think the Christian community in Ruston really appreciates them too.”



During the concert, the brothers said the philosophies of hope and love were instilled by their parents who raised their seven children in Sydney, Australia, before relocating to Nashville in 1991 for their father’s job.



Gabrielle May, a senior animal science major,  said she felt the band brought more to Ruston than just hope and love – it brought a sense of community.



“At first I just came out to hear the band,” said May. “Now, I see that the band brought students and the community together while also bringing recognition to Tech.”


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