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Grammy-nominated Royal Tailor to open Winter Jam

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, March 28, 2013, at 7:52 p.m.

If you go

Winter Jam

What: Christian concert featuring headliner TobyMac, Newsong, RED, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets and Royal Tailor.

When: 7 p.m. Friday. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Where: Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman

Admission: $10 at the door. No tickets required.

For more information: Visit www.intrustbankarena.com.

Famous Christian rapper TobyMac will hit the Intrust Bank Arena stage at Friday’s Winter Jam — eventually.

But before the headliner performs at the Christian-palooza of a concert with a $10 general admission ticket, a whole lot of well-known and up-and-coming bands will get the crowd warmed up.

Among them is Royal Tailor, a group of young musicians with a Michael-Jackson-meets-Maroon-5 pop sound.

Members of the Grammy-nominated group met when all four were attending Indiana Bible College in Indianapolis.

Lead singer Tauren Wells, guitarist DJ Cox, bass guitarist Blake Hubbard and drummer Jarrod Ingram all shared a love of music — and of God.

They formed Royal Tailor in 2009 and immediately found work. The guys have been playing between 200 and 300 shows a year for the past several years.

Calling from a stop in Columbia, S.C., recently, Wells said that the second-best part of touring with Winter Jam is the backstage camaraderie.

The guys have become good friends with members of the other bands, and much of their time is spent engaged in competitive beanbag games with TobyMac’s band, as well as with members of RED and Matthew West’s band.

But the first best part of the gig is the feeling the band members get when they walk out on stage every night and share a room with thousands of people who share the same beliefs (and the same taste in music).

“It’s really easy to impress people from a distance, but you impact them up close,” he said.

Royal Tailor opens the show, and Wells describes the set as “15 minutes of sheer awesomeness.”

The group plays “five and a half songs,” he said, including a medley that strings together Jackson’s “Bad,” Maroon 5’s “She Will Be Loved” and Hillsong’s “You Hold Me Now.”

The worst part of the tour?

Being separated from loved ones, said Wells, who is about to become a father. Members of the group are on the road more than they’re off these days.

“It’s difficult being away from home,” he said. “I’ve got a wife and a baby on the way. But God gives us grace for different seasons in our lives. He’s given our band and families grace to be able to do this.”

Reach Denise Neil at 316-268-6327 or dneil@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @deniseneil.

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