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Grammy-winning Third Day rocks a message of hope and inspiration

After asking for direction in its last album "Revelation", Christian rock band Third Day has decided it's time to "Move," with their next stop being in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 3.

The Grammy Award-winning group will be performing at 7 p.m. in Abravanel Hall as a part of the group's "Make Your Move" tour. The tour highlights their new album "Move," which guitarist Mark Lee says is an answer to the questions the group asked on its last album "Revelation."

"There was a line in one of the songs in 'Revelation' that said, 'Tell me should I stay here or do I need to move?'" Lee says. "And we thought, 'You know what, it's time to move.'"

The band, named after the biblical account of Jesus Christ rising from the dead on the third day following the crucifixion, has a sound reflecting its southern roots in Georgia. The group combines some twang, pop and folk elements in their music, yet those who attend concerts are sometimes not prepared for the power behind the band's sound.

"I think you need to expect to get rocked," Lee says. "That's something that really surprises people about seeing us because when you hear the music on the radio, a lot of times the songs they play are a little more mellow than if you listened to the whole album and got the whole Third Day experience."

That experience is something that has proved to be popular among Christian rock fans. In its almost two decades of existence, the band has won four Grammys, had two albums go platinum and has been named the Gospel Music Awards Group of the Year three times and Artist of the Year once. The success the group has had is what bassist Tai Anderson said led to part of the message behind the "Move" album.

"For us, there was a wake up call right after we won the GMA Artist of the Year a few years back," Anderson said. "It was like 'OK, what do we do with this?'

"We've been given this platform and we feel like God wants us to use that," he continued. "It's really about putting our faith into action and that idea of motion."

The idea of putting faith into action has led Third Day to team up with Grand Canyon University and World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization that fights poverty and injustice, as tour sponsors. Lee says when fans get excited at the show and want to put their faith into action, the group wanted to provide some outlets for them to contribute.

"World Vision is a great place for fans to do something good with their resources," Lee says. "And we also felt like many of our fans are several years away from college and wish they could do something different with their lives and so GCU gives them a chance to go back to school and do something more. We felt it was an innovative way to give back to them."

Uncommon to the music scene, Third Day has featured the same band members for as long as they've been together. Over their stint as a group, they say people have come up to them and have told them how their music has affected their lives? — from helping overcome addictions to saving marriages. Lee says that is a gratifying aspect of what they do.

"It is a big motivation to keep doing what we're doing," Lee says. "It would be one thing to just write party music or something. And that's all great, you can have fun for a little while and forget about your problems. But when the party is over, the problems are still there. I'm really proud that a long time ago we made the decision to write music about some of the deeper issues of life. As a result we have been able to hopefully encourage people as they are going through these hard times.

"The more you live, the more you see how hard life is," Lee continues. "And that's more motivation for us to try to give people some hope."