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Newsboys Past and Present: Current and former band members join for Newsboys United Tour

Current and former Newsboys band members have teamed up for the Newsboys United Tour. The band will perform at the Sanford Center on Sunday, July 29, joined by the band Zealand. Submitted photo 1 / 2
Current Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait performs in concert. Submitted photo 2 / 2

BEMIDJI—Newsboys is coming back to town in a bigger way than anyone could have expected or even hoped for.

When the contemporary Christian band brings their Newsboys United Tour to the Sanford Center at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 29, it will be a rare occasion for fans to see. That's because the band's current lineup has joined forces with former lead singer Peter Furler and former bassist Phil Joel, effectively bringing together two different eras of the band.

"I think there's a lot of people who wanted to hear it again," Duncan Phillips, Newsboys drummer, said about bringing back some of the band's former members and older music. "There's certainly a good chunk of the crowd that we kind of haven't seen in the last ten years."

Phillips said the concept for the United Tour came about when the band was working on the song "The Cross Has the Final Word," which was released in 2017. They consulted with Furler on the project, and the idea snowballed into Furler and Joel joining current band members on tour.

The night will also be a chance for Joel to perform in multiple capacities. In addition to performing with Newsboys, he also will play with his more recent band Zealand, which will open the night.

Although this may be the first time they've all been in town at once, the Newsboys have stopped in Bemidji for shows before.

"I know that we've been there a couple times for sure," Phillips said. "I definitely remember because it's such an unusual name."

The band isn't giving away too much as far as what the concert will look like. Phillips referenced the different eras such as "Classic Newsboys," "2.0," and then "United" for the time they perform together.

In spite of that, he made a point of saying that it's ultimately one band, even if the members represent two different decades of music.

"It's still Newsboys, even though it's classic Newsboys," Phillips said. "The way we kind of segue between the 2.0 and the classic—it's really nice the way we do it."

The United Tour may turn out to be more than just a chance for the band to reconnect. Phillips said the band is looking into the possibility of making a "United album." He said there's no release date penned down so far, although they could release a single as early as late this year.

He clarified, however, that the project will depend on the band creating the right collection of songs.

"The plan is to put out a United record," Phillips said. "We got some great songs already. We'll see how the whole thing works, but that's the plan."

Regardless of whether there's a future album or other projects coming down the pipe, the group is taking a moment to enjoy the different eras of the band coming together under one tour and on one stage.

"It may never happen again," Phillips said. "It's a moment where a lot of people are getting to see what they thought they never would, and I truly believe it's better than it's ever been."

If You Go

What: Newsboys United Tour

Where: Sanford Center, 1111 Event Center Dr. NE

When: 6 p.m. Sunday, July 29

Tickets: Available at the Sanford Center,, by phone at (800) 745-3000 or the day of the show at the Bob Lowth Ford Ticket Pickup Windows.

Jordan Shearer

Jordan Shearer covers crime and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. A Rochester native and Bemidji State grad, he previously spent several years in western Nebraska writing for the Keith County News. Follow him on Twitter @Jmanassa

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