Inside PREACHER’s SXSW live dress rehearsal

A chapel made to be a lounge and recording studio

Inside the home of PREACHER in Dallas. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Last Friday in the heart of Oak Cliff, an old church came alive with the soul-stirring melodies of PREACHER, the latest project from local musician Keite Young – formerly of Medicine Man Revival.

With his signature blend of gospel, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll, Young took the stage in breezy linen attire, joined by his wife, Suzy Batiz, adding to the evening’s love-filled ambiance. The live dress rehearsal was for the band’s SXSW debut this week.

People talking in a dining roomGuests gathered and chatted in the lower level of the venue before the chapel was opened. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Hors d'oeuvres on a table

Hors d’oeuvres of lobster Mac, caviar guac on chips, morsels of salmon, meatballs and more were served. Photo: Jessica Waffles

People talking inside an art gallery space

The art gallery inside the home was vast, covering the many walls with beautiful original pieces. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“The reason why everyone is here is because one day I had a meeting with a former collaborator,” Young explained at the beginning of the night, referring to his wife and parter Batiz. “We’d known each other a little bit, then she looked at me. And we knew something had happened. We didn’t know what yet. We’ll probably go our whole lives trying to figure it out. Everything changed and how we saw the God in each other. And see the God in ourselves. I am not the same person.”

An art piece made of wood and rocks inside an aquarium-like tank

This one of a kind piece submerged in water was built directly into the wall during reconstruction. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Musicians playing while people watch

PREACHER aka Keite Young mid-rehearsal for the project’s SXSW debut with Rolling Stone and The Funk Factory. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The event wasn’t just about music; it was a gathering of kindred spirits. Guests were treated to tasty bites like lobster mac and caviar guac, alongside fancy cocktails served from a beautiful bar. Spring flowers adorned the space.

Young’s voice soared in the intimate space, carrying lyrics that spoke to the soul, while his bandmates provided the perfect backdrop of rhythm and melody.

A chapel made to be a lounge and recording studio

The building has been transformed into a space to connect through music and art. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A singer behind a vocal booth glass

The intimate live rehearsal was raw and powerful. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A musician playing drums in a drum booth

Marcus Jones behind the drum kit with PREACHER. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Throughout the evening, Young shared heartfelt stories, inviting guests into his world of music and love.

“This is not a performance. This is a rehearsal. You all are special butterflies on the wall. We want to invite people into our home that will move with integrity. Here you will experience the rawness of rehearsal, where we may start and stop to get things sorted out,” he explained.

PREACHER’s music touched on themes of love, transformation, and the power of community.

Musicians performing in front of a videographer

Videographers were up close and personal to capture the night with PREACHER. Photo: Jessica Waffles

People on a lounge swing chair

A swinging lounge chair was rigged all the way to the top of the building. Photo: Jessica Waffles

“Some of these songs aren’t done, some people might think it unwise to share it with you. But it’s fun,” Young laughed.

Young’s words resonated with the audience, setting the tone for an evening of connection and authenticity. As he introduced one of the standout songs of the night, “GOTCHA,” he shared its meaning: “It’s about how everybody’s got their thing, but you don’t really have it – it has you.”

While performing “The Moment,” he sang to Batiz directly, charming the whole room.

A man smiling

RC Williams smiles at Keite Young during the PREACHER live dress rehearsal. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A musician playing guitar

Jimi Brass at the PREACHER live dress rehearsal. Photo: Jessica Waffles

The live music ended, and guests were invited into the control room to preview PREACHER’s upcoming album.

There was a sense of anticipation in the air. Young’s music had a way of bringing people together, reminding them of the beauty and power of the human spirit.

The 9-song album is co-produced with Keite Young plus Grammy Award-winning artists RC Williams and S1 (Symbolyc One).

A chapel made to be a lounge and recording studio

The room was filled with love at the PREACHER soft debut. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Two musicians playing guitar

Mark Lettieri (left) and Jimi Brass (right). Photo: Jessica Waffles

A room of people talking, mood lighting

Guests were invited upstairs to the control room to listen to the PREACHER record. Photo: Jessica Waffles

As the night came to a close, it was clear that PREACHER’s live dress rehearsal wasn’t just a rehearsal; it was a celebration of life, love, and the universal language of music.

PREACHER will be performing at SXSW at the Rolling Stone Future of Music stage at Moody Theater tonight March 14 at 6:00 PM. Two additional performances will by at Speakeasy for Pourri’s Funk Factory presented by Rolling Stone March 15 at 1:00 AM and March 16 at 9:00 PM.

A groupd of people talking and smiling

RC Williams (left) and Skin Wade (right) joked about keeping Wade to hang for a drink afterwards. “Well if RC Williams is asking, then maybe I should!” Wade laughed. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A hall with large pieces of art

Massive art pieces lined the walls inside the renovated church. Photo: Jessica Waffles

A bouquet of flowers on a table

Several beautiful bouquets of Spring flowers were displayed throughout the space, evoking the spirit of growth and abundance. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 
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