FORMER Sunshine Coast band Newsboys won over a new legion of fans after headlining Australia’s biggest Christian music festival with a new lead singer on the weekend.

Michael Tait, former lead singer of super group dc Talk, thrilled a capacity crowd at Toowoomba with an energetic show which closed with Christian music’s monster hit, Jesus Freak.

“That was so amazing! Woo I still have a rush! "Yeah that's right...Like a black choir, with a lot of white people,’’ one fan blogged on Facebook after the show.

Newsboys headlined Easterfest with Australian Idol winner Stan Walker, who demonstrated his vocal prowess with some inspirational songs as well as his hit single, Black Box.

The festival catered for every musical taste – from more mellow performances from Sunshine Coast singers Steve Grace and Lucy Hannah to the ear-piercing sounds of US metal masters As I Lay Dying.

Canadian band Article One – complete with one of the fastest rock violinists around, was a huge hit with numerous shows throughout the three day festival which attracted more than 20,000 people.

US group Superchick proved popular along with rap outfit KJ-52, who took the crowd on a journey through the best  - and worst – of the 1980s  and 1990s.

The festival not only took over Toowoomba’s Queen’s Park but also spilled into the city with a programme that included free performances by Stan Walker and other artists in the CBD, and a film festival.

Easterfest was supported by the Toowoomba Regional Council with mayor Peter Taylor on hand to help introduce Newsboys to the crowd with festival director Isaac Moody.

There was plenty for old rockers, including Resurrection Band while glow dance parties, the Red Frog circus, and a fancy pants ball rounded out the festival’s huge line-up.

For the first time this year, the artists press conferences were held in public meaning fans got to see and hear their favourites answer questions on everything from their faith – to the stories behind their tattoos in the case of As I Lay Dying.

Related: Why Mark Furler is no fan of screamo music



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