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I recently hosted a Christian rock show. Considering my legacy of opinion and front-page coverage of ousting the Christian bands from the park on Halloween, you wouldn’t think that I would ever host such an event. And you would be wrong.

Created by Eric Ennes, whose father was one of the original hippies-gone-Christian during that weird Chico phenomenon of the ‘60s, the rock show has carried on the tradition of bringing the word to the people, but in new and creative ways. By combining art, dance and music, Eric hopes to shake loose some of the dust the church has gathered over the last couple of thousand years. His goals are ambitious and not focused just on Chico. His message has been carried to the Siberian region of Russia (where he spoke Russian), to Africa (where he spoke French) and to South America.

One of the elements of the show was that members of his congregation wrote songs that he and his band would perform. I thought this a novel and inspired idea. The words then were projected overhead so that the entire audience could sing along. And the music? Well, as a friend and I oversaw the activities, we duly noted that it sounded “better than most bands in Chico.” Which is to say it was tight, driving and well rehearsed. On the horizon, Eric hopes to release a compilation CD of songs that members of the gathering will record on their own. Perhaps it could be the new Chico City Limits CD?

Speaking of which, didn’t Mike Waltz (Electric Circus) and Dale Price (Cornerstone) use the Chico road sign on their album before Marty James (Scapegoat Wax) got hold of it? Not bitchin’ here folks, just trying to keep score.

Spent the last several days on campus looking at faces and handing out info. Might be my optimistically deluded self speaking here, but it seems like the new crew is hungry for something more than the usual 21 shots on the 21st birthday. So for those of you out there reading these words, let me say welcome to Chico. This city is ready to embrace your aspirations and dreams. Dare to make a difference. Don’t let the next four years slip by in a stupor. The choice is yours!

Now, apparently due to some publishing mathematical equation I don’t truly understand, I reach over 100,000 people a week with my column, which is practically everyone in Chico. So I’ll only say this once more: The Hips are NOT playing in the park on Sept. 5. Instead we have one of my favorite bands, Jackpot, and locals The Krays.

Thank you and good night.