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The Color of Power

Christian hard-rock group RED plays the county fair Thursday



    Since their 2006 debut dropped, RED’s grungy, emotive sound has continued to break the mold of typical one-hit-wonder Christian acts, securing them a spot on the Billboard 200 as well as Grammy nominations and numerous chart-topping singles.

    Guitarist Anthony Armstrong attributes the success of the band, who will be at the San Diego County Fair on Thursday, to the veracity of the members and their raw performances.

    “We want to sing about our lives, our beliefs and our faith, and include that into our music to just be genuine -- be open and honest," Armstrong said in a phone interview. "We don’t necessarily throw on a smile when it isn’t what people need to see. People need to see true emotion.”

    RED are all about creating an experience, from graphically intense narrative music videos to fiery live performances.

    “When we step on the stage, we want to make sure that people are walking away not only inspired by the music but blown away by the visual effort," Armstrong said. "We’re very aggressive guys onstage: We’ve got the facial expressions, and we’ve got emotion literally pouring out of us while we’re preforming.”

    The band is supporting its 2013 album, Release the Panic, on the current tour. Armstrong said the band has evolved during the past seven years on the road, touring with an impressive lineup of mainstream acts such as Seether, Drowning Pool and Papa Roach. He added that bonding with other touring bands has been influential, referring to their relationship with Papa Roach as a "bromance." Shaped by both experience and spiritual development, the members of RED have honed their craft but remain loyal to their sound.

    “We like to experiment and take chances to try to be as creative as possible,” Armstrong said.

    RED will play the San Diego County Ford Dealers Paddock Stage at the San Diego County Fair on June 20 at 9 p.m. The show is free with fair admission.