Chris Tomlin

On Stage with the V-Piano

Chris Tomlin on the V-Piano

Sixsteps Records artist Chris Tomlin is embarking on the second leg of his Burning Lights tour this fall with a stealthy V-Piano. It began earlier this year with a 33-city tour across the country in support of his latest album bearing the same title. Burning Lights deputed at #1 on Billboard’s Top 200 and garnered five GMA Dove Award nominations including Song of the Year for “Whom Shall I Fear,” Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year.

A Texas native, Tomlin began writing songs as a teenager and is now the “most often sung artist anywhere”, according to Time magazine. CNN also crowned him ”king of the sing-along” in a recent article. Yet, amidst his popularity, Chris maintains his role as worship pastor at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia and continues to be a leader in the Passion conference and the “End It Movement,” bringing light to the issue of human trafficking.

Chris was kind enough to sit down with Roland U.S. and share thoughts on ministry, songwriting, and a special part of his current concert line-up where he performs solo on the Roland V-Piano. The concert starts at a fever-pitch with “God’s Great Dance Floor,” but about half-way through the set, Chris goes out on a runway into the center of the audience for a few songs by himself, including the stirring ballad “Sovereign.”

“In the middle of the night, all of a sudden this V-Piano appears on the end of the runway of the stage,” Chris explains. “It’s pretty awesome—it’s set in this case that lights up. So everything’s dark and all of a sudden it lights up, and it’s sitting there. Then I go and do a couple of songs from it—just me sitting there playing. It’s really special…it’s one of my favorite parts of the night, if not my favorite.”

His primary instrument is guitar, but Chris writes music on both guitar and piano. Having used the V-Piano on an earlier Christmas tour, he turned to it once again for this intimate part of the concert. “I hadn’t played piano in years, and I thought, ‘I’d really like to do that again this year on this tour, Burning Lights,’” said Chris. “And I thought, ‘If I’m gonna do it, there’s only one way I can really do it to where I feel confident.’ I’m not just saying that. I thought, ‘The V-Piano will give me the confidence to be out on this thrust runway’…you know, I’m away from the band, I’m out here by myself, people are surrounding me, it’s kind-of nerve-wracking and I can’t hide behind the band anymore! And I thought, ‘I’ve gotta have that, I’ve gotta have the V-Piano to really feel confident.’”

Look for Chris Tomlin’s two-disc Burning Lights Deluxe Edition scheduled for release on October 29th, which will include the Burning Lights CD and a new Live from Red Rocks concert DVD recorded at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Related article: Interview with Matt Gilder: Music Director/Keyboardist for Chris Tomlin