The Scream the Prayer Tour is scheduled for Wednesday, July 8.
Marquee Theatre in Tempe
It used to be so easy — so blessedly easy — to tell the difference between secular and Christian rock bands. The shrill U2 wanna-bes? Christian. The guys with the tattoos and dilated pupils? Secular. But that was yesterday. Somewhere along the line, these once-useful distinctions collapsed into each other like a pair of revival-tent worshippers with heat stroke. Consider the Scream the Prayer Tour, headlined by Haste the Day, a traveling congregation of inked-up metalcore rock bands that — oh, yes — just happen to be spreading the word of Jesus. No longer must Christian rock bands limit themselves to scripture-based lyrics and non-threatening 4/4 rhythms. Now they have hip, un-Christian-y handles like Gwen Stacy (named after Mary Jane's slutty rival in Spider-Man) and machine-gun percussion designed to make your ears explode. So what makes them specifically "Christian"? Uh, voting tendencies? In an era where a towering fuck-up like Scott Stapp can abuse drugs, throw glass bottles at his wife, and still insist he's a "Christian artist," maybe it's time for Christian rock fans to set stricter limits on the genre. And be quick about it, before these devout poseurs start geeking bats.