Veteran rockers Third Day are calling it quits after 25 years, Billboard has learned exclusively. The Grammy winning band heads out in May for a 12-date run produced by Awakening Events and sponsored by Food for the Hungry. The tour kicks off May 31 in Seattle and concludes June 27 at Red Rocks Amphitheater outside Denver. When it wraps, lead vocalist Mac Powell, guitarist Mark Lee and drummer David Carr will pursue different creative ventures.
“We’ve been talking about it for a while now,” Powell tells Billboard. “I’ve had things I’ve wanted to do and Mark is really enjoying writing and David is loving photography now. So our season was coming to a close. It’s bittersweet. I’m sad that it’s coming to a close, but I’m excited about starting the next season of my life.”
Powell and Lee co-founded Third Day while they were still Georgia high school students (later adding guitarist Brad Avery, bassist Tai Anderson and Carr). The band began building a following around Atlanta and releasing independent projects in the early ’90s before inking a deal with Reunion Records. Since then the band has won four Grammys, 24 Gospel Music Assn. Dove Awards and numerous other accolades while populating Christian radio with such hits as “Consuming Fire,” “God of Wonders,” “Show Me Your Glory,” “Come Together,” “I Believe,” “King of Glory,” “Cry Out to Jesus,” “Call my Name,” “I Need a Miracle” and “Soul on Fire.” The band’s final album, 2017’s Revival, was recorded in Muscle Shoals.
“It’s great that we get a chance to close the chapter in our own timing and in our own way. Nobody is mad at each other,” he says. “We’re still friends and still buds. We’re riding off into the sunset in a good way.”
Powell says the band’s achievements exceeded their expectations. “We never thought we were going to be a band this long. It’s kind of crazy. Time flies by,” he says. “We used to just think, ‘Man, if we could make a couple records, how awesome would that be?’ Now here we are 25 plus years later. There’s been a lot of great experiences. Looking back on it, we’re very grateful for what we’ve been given and very thankful for our fans. That’s why we’re doing this [farewell tour] is to say ‘thank you’ one more time to our fans.”
In addition to performing their hits, the final tour will also feature Lee sharing new music and stories from his critically acclaimed autobiography, Hurt Road, which released last year. Worship leader Matt Maher will be a special guest on the tour, and other guests will be featured in different markets.
“We wanted to go out and do enough cities that would reach around the U.S. to where if someone wanted to get to us, they could,” Powell says of the routing for the farewell tour, which will include stops at Atlanta’s Fox Theater, L.A.’s Citizens Business Bank Arena, Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, MI and the Beacon Theater in New York. Special pre-sale VIP fan experience packages will be available starting March 7. General tickets will be available on March 9.
Following Third Day’s retirement, Powell will continue making music with his band Mac Powell and the Family Reunion. In recent years, the gritty-voiced rocker has pursued a side career in country music, releasing two independent albums and touring solo as well as doing shows with country traditionalist Craig Morgan. “I’ve got a bunch of great people with me,” says Powell, who plans to drop two new albums later this year, including a Christmas record. “[Multi-instrumentalist] Jason Hoard is still playing with me, and we’re just out there making music that we love. If we love it, hopefully other people will love it too. It’s a little bit of everything — a little rock, a bit of gospel and a little bit of country all mixed together. It’s a lot of fun and it’s given me a chance as a writer to explore new and different territory I haven’t had a chance to do with Third Day.”