Never has a Christian youth ministry grown so much as to become a hit rock band that plays sold-out tour dates around the world. The Australian praise and worship band, Hillsong United, has been spreading the word of God and the love of Jesus for over ten years now. The band has released a new live album nearly every year and engages in a rigorous concert schedule that preaches to audiences in even remote areas of the world. Hillsong United just recently released their second studio album, Aftermath, in March and, as of June 13, the group has recently finished up tour dates in Asia. The remainder of Hillsong United's concert schedule for 2011 includes two months worth of energetic and stunning tour dates in North America.
Hillsong United ultimately grew out of the youth ministry and choir of the Pentecostal megachurch, Hillsong Church, in Sydney, Australia. The youth ministry is known as Powerhouse and the house band for ministry meetings was led by Reuben Morgan. The band would play at the youth ministry's summer camp and eventually the songs made their way into regular service, and on the church's live Praise & Worship albums. In 1998, the youth ministry band included an EP, One with Hillsong Church's annual Praise & Worship albums. The EP was so successful that Hillsong United released Everyday in 1999, which included live recordings from their annual tour date at the Encounterfest youth conference. In 2002, the band changed its name from Powerhouse Youth to Hillsong United and has since included a revolving line-up of musicians from the congregation. In 2006, new band leader Joel Houston (son of senior pastors Bobbie and Brian Houston) led the band to produce a translated version of the Hillsong United album, United We Stand. The Spanish-language album was followed the next year by Hillsong United's first studio album, All of the Above, which was then followed by stadium tour dates around the world.
Hillsong United continued to release their live albums, leading up to the release of their second studio album, Aftermath, which was released in February of this year. The album topped the Billboard Christian charts, and even peaked at #17 on the Top 200. The success of the album has prompted a busy concert schedule in 2011, with remaining tour dates on the eastern half of the United States and one show in Canada. North American tour dates begin on June 13 in Milwaukee and will travel throughout the southeast part of the country before taking a break on June 22. After making their regular appearance at the Hillsong Conference in Sydney on July 5, Hillsong United will resume their tour dates in North America on August 3. Hillsong United's 2011 concert schedule will conclude on August 20 in Columbia, Maryland, so be sure to check Eventful for all the tour date information.
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