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Rock the Park comes to Victoria for second year

May 28, 2014 at 12:28 a.m.

Seize the Eternal, a hard rock Christian band, is one of four rock bands playing Rock the Park in Riverside Park on Saturday. From left are Gene Staph, Zach Ekvall, Pat McGuire and Erik Monson.

IF YOU GO

• WHAT: Rock the Park

• WHERE: Riverside Park special events area

• WHEN: 2-7 p.m. Saturday

• COST: Free

• BRING: Lawn chairs, food and drinks

Driving down the road one day, her radio on blast, Angela Arnold belted out the lyrics to one of her favorite rock songs.

"I'm on the highway to hell. I'm on the highway to hell," she sang, the '79 AC/DC hit lifting her spirits.

But then she paused, realizing what she was saying - what she was singing - and how it conflicted with her Christian faith.

"I love this music, but I can't be singing this," she said. "Because I'm not on the highway to hell. I'm on the highway to heaven."

At home, discussing her revelation with her husband, Mike Arnold, the duo plotted how they could organize an event in Victoria for lovers of rock music who may want to hear a more wholesome message.

Together they birthed Rock the Park, an all-day music festival of heavy rock faith musicians.

And Saturday, four bands from South Texas will grace the Riverside Park concrete stage for an afternoon of rock-infused worship.

"The bands are simply amazing. They're great talent, and they're about bringing the attention to God," said Angela Arnold, of Victoria. "They're about giving people something to hope for."

Arnold said last year, the concert was at Ethel Lee Tracy Park, but there were complaints about the noise.

So they decided this year to move it to Riverside Park, where the concert would be far enough away from residential homes.

"We want it to be a fun event for everyone, so we thought this would be a better place to have it," she said.

Mike Arnold said there's a need for a music event like Rock the Park because there are many Christians in South Texas who don't care for contemporary Christian music or the hymns of traditional church.

There are Christians who love the '70s and '80s rock genre and listen to bands such as AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Poison.

"A large segment of Christians are being overlooked because they're into hard rock," he said, mentioning he plays acoustic, electric and bass guitar at City Harvest Church. "If people are against it, I ask them to look at the words. What's the message of the song, and what's the heart behind it?"

Four bands are scheduled to rock the park at the free, family-oriented concert Saturday: Living Scars, Restored in Christ, Seize the Eternal and The Prophet Within.

Everyone is welcome to attend, especially lovers of true rock music.

"We just want people to come. It's a great event. It's good for the family, and you can just bring your chairs and your food and beverages and set up for the day," he said.

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