A 20 successive years annual concert tour is a rare occurrence in the music industry. But for singer-songwriter-author-filmmaker Andrew Peterson, whose Behold the Lamb of God tour is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Christmas season, that’s precisely what this year marks.
To further celebrate this milestone, Peterson recorded a fresh edition of the related album, Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of Christ’s Coming, to be released on October 25. The pre-sale album will be accessible this Friday, July 19, along with ticket purchases for the upcoming dates of the trip.
Over the past two decades, Behold the Lamb of God has become a cherished tradition of the holiday not only for Peterson and his band but also for churches and families across the nation who attend the concert and perform their own song renditions.
The tour is renowned for its distinctive Christmas storytelling, with Peterson’s original American-folk songs telling of Christ’s birth as foreshadowed in the Old Testament and brought to bear in the New Testament.
The concert is also known to host a range of unique visitors, ranging from Allison Krauss to Jon Foreman, Steven Curtis Chapman, and many more — and to sell out nearly every performance every year.
Sponsored by Compassion International and The Rabbit Room, this year’s tour will feature special guest Jess Ray, plus its classic lineup of all-star artists and musicians. They have 13 towns on the map at the moment, including two displays at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
“Whatever the rest of the year looks like,” Peterson says, “we come back together on the road and sing these same songs again. It’s created this unintentional liturgy of our lives for two decades, and it recenters me again and again on what got me into this in the first place—which is that God put on flesh and dwelt among us.”
In 2004, Peterson recorded Behold The Lamb of God for the first time, working with tourmates and musical associates including Andy Gullahorn, Andrew Osenga, Jill Phillips, Gabe Scott, and Ben Shive. These old friends (along with many new ones) have teamed up to produce the 20th Anniversary album this year, providing a fresh look at their twelve songs, including fan favorites like “Labor of Love,” “Matthew’s Begats,” and “Deliver Us.” The outcome is a unique chance for listeners to hear a record that sounds familiar as well as fresh — voices that are thankful to be singing the most lovely tale ever. The pre-sale album will give exclusive bundles of albums and merchandise at The Rabbit Room.
“That recording session was one of the best things in my music life,” Peterson says. “How often do you get to go into the studio with a group of musicians who have been touring the same songs, playing the record live for 20 years? I’ve never really heard of that happening. And we decided to record it together in the studio all at once, which also doesn’t typically happen these days. I walked into the room with around 20 musicians and old friends, and we sang through all of the songs in two days. To get all of the energy of the players together in one place—and more than that, we’re friends—it’s all people you have years and years of history with….I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Peterson has another release this October, his nonfiction book Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making. Through personal stories about his experiences in the creative world, Peterson shares encouragement for those pursuing a calling to proclaim the Gospel through their gifts. The book comes out October 15 and is available for pre-order now.
BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD 20th Anniversary Tour:
11/30 Lansing, MI
12/1 Huntsville, AL
12/4 Lakeland, FL
12/5 Franklin, NC
12/6 Durham, NC
12/7 Knoxville, TN
12/8 Nashville, TN
12/9 Nashville, TN
12/13 San Antonio, TX
12/14 Midlothian, TX
12/15 Birmingham, AL
12/17 Richmond, VA
12/18 Charlotte, NC
12/19 Cordova, TN