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Saturday, July 23, at Main Street Café.


Some Christian bands address their beliefs in a subtle fashion. Casual listeners might not notice the mysteriously capitalized pronouns on the lyric sheet or the curiously platonic phrasing of their pledges of devotion. By contrast, Carbondale, Illinois' Convicted leaves no doubt about its spiritual affiliation. Its latest album, Under God, combines roaring riffs with explicit overtures such as Deliver me, oh Lord. For years, devout groups with countercultural musical tastes have flocked to 3953 Walnut, formerly the site of New Earth Coffeehouse and now the home of the nomadic all-ages venue Main Street Café. Without this haven, local religious rockers would gig exclusively at permissive parishes. (Burning Existence, one of Convicted's Kansas City-based opening acts, brought its spiraling guitar harmonies and choppy breakdowns to Bethel United Church of Christ two weeks ago.) As the only place in town where mosh pits periodically yield to prayer breaks, the Main Street Café preserves one of the area's true underground scenes.

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