Hillsong United kicked off their United States 'Welcome Zion' Tour on June 3, in Portland, Oregon.
The tour is promoting their most recent international release 'Zion,' which has been their most successful Billboard 200 debut, starting at No. 5 on the charts. The new album marked Hillsong United's 12th full-length album and was released on February 26, 2013. During street week, it peaked at No. 1 album overall on iTunes in the United States, as well as other parts of the world.
This new album is beautifully different from Hillsong United's albums in the past while managing to stay true to the group's reputation for bringing some of the most popular worship songs from around the world to the Church. The songs allow listeners to lose themselves in peaceful worship while also reminding them of the power of the Lord through moments of intensity and passion.
The group's first performance of the tour, in Portland, stayed true to the Hillsong United way of doing things, featuring colorful flashy lighting and throughout the Rose Garden Arena. "Everything we do as UNITED, from writing and recording these songs, to playing them in front of people and all the production, is an expression of a really extraordinary God doing what only He can do through really ordinary people who love Him and want to serve Him," said frontman, Joel Houston, according to Jesusfreakhideout.
Hillsong United is an Australian-based group with a long history of sold-out show in the United States, having sold-out shows in the past at some of the locations it will be stopping at during this upcoming tour. They marked the first Christian artist to ever sell out Los Angeles' Staples Center and have sold out shows at major venues including the ShoWare Center in Seattle, the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, the Gwinnett Center in Atlanta, the BankUnited Center in Miami, the Music Hall in Dallas and two sold out shows in the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. They also hold the record for the largest attendance in the history of the Sears Centre Arena in Chicago, Illinois, even more than some legends such as Billy Joel, Elton John and the Eagles.
Hillsong United works to connect churches and individuals to God through their music and message. The Hillsong United team is made up of a collaboration of pastors, worship leaders, musicians and songwriters and fronted by worship leaders such as Joel Houston, Jad Gillies, JD and Matt Crocker. They have toured six different continents and 42 nations in total.
"We're going into this next season full of expectation and a desire to go further and deeper to find new ways to bring people into the presence of God, which is really not that difficult to do if we allow God to be God in the midst of it all," Houston said, according to the Hillsong United website.
The next stop on the tour will be tonight, June 4, at the the ShoWare Center in Seattle, Washington. The group has sold out shows at this location in the past. Hillsong United tweeted this afternoon saying, "Seattle - there are a few tickets left for tonight - Get them at the door! Also we will be hiding 2 near the venue, stand by for more info!"
Known 'Welcome Zion' Tour Dates and Locations (according to the Hillsong United website):
June 3- Rose Garden Arena - Portland, OR
June 4- ShoWare Center - Seattle, WA
June 6- Sleep Train Pavilion - Concord, CA
June 7- Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, CA
June 8- Grand Canyon University Arena - Phoenix, AZ
June 10- Isleta Amphitheater - Albuquerque, NM
June 11- Verizon Theatre - Dallas, TX
June 13- Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Denver, CO
June 15- Chesapeake Energy Arena - Oklahoma City, OK
June 17- Target Center - Minneapolis, MN
June 18- Sears Centre Arena - Hoffman Estates (Chicago), IL
June 19- Bankers Life Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, IN