Idol Chatter

Full disclosure: I’ve never been much of an Audio Adrenaline fan. First of all the name. Adrenaline is a hormone, a glandular fluid that enters the bloodstream for a short-term or circumscribed effect. It didn’t promise much in the way of introspection, which I am a fan of, even in rock music; nor did it guarantee visceral fortitude.

But after 15 years in the business, 18 radio hits, countless Dove Award nominations (okay 22), Audio Adrenaline has more than lived down the name. Now that they’ve decided to call it quits–years of belting it out has left lead singer Mark Stuart’s vocal chords in a threateningly tattered condition–the band’s contribution to the Christian rock looms even larger.

Entering the Christian rock scene at a time when most Christian bands were pale imitations of mainstream names, Audio A certainly hit some familiar notes–they are most often compared to U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers–but had a bright melodic sense that was all their own, catchy hooks that sold their songs, and tons of energy. They first came to attention as an opening band for DC Talk, a band that took Christian rock to a new level; Audio A’s success, especially their debut hit “Big House,” gave that level some depth. The band and the song also made the genre more fun than it had a reputation for.

There’s still time to catch the supergroup on their 35-city farewell tour with Mercy Me. The band will shut down after a final concert in Georgia in April.

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